The foothills of the Himalayas, at least on the Indian side of the three country border, is an interesting region. In some cases, just being a mountain or two apart from China or Nepal, it’s not surprising that the cuisine you find there are amalgamations of the three countries' cuisines.

During my trip there, I came across some amazing, and at times unexpected, Himalayan food along the Indian-Nepalese border. I hope that this article will spread some light on what you can expect if you ever plan on going there. 

Aloo Paratha


Almas Baig on Flickr

My first meal in the foothills was the Aloo Paratha, for which I think the closest transliteration would be mashed potatoes flat bread. I prefer to think about Parathas as an Indian equivalent to french toast, though they taste exactly the opposite. The potatoes are mashed, spiced, and mixed with the dough, which is then rolled out and pan-fried on a hot skillet. You can also get the Paratha without Aloo as well.

Aloo Paratha

atlnav on Flickr

Served hot and with a bowl of yogurt, Parathas, as a dish, is not distinctive to the region, but they are by far some of the best in India. The fresh yogurt balancing out the spiciness makes for a very satisfying meal. Nevertheless, be warned for North Indians have a preference for red chilies, and a lot of it. I would say spiciness and servings were one consistency I saw throughout my experience here. Serving sizes are large enough for two people, though that is quite similar to other rural areas in India. 



tedmurphy on Flickr

Next in the lineup are Momos; Nepalese dumplings shaped like crescent moons. Being the closest thing to fast food in the region, they are arguably much more healthier than burgers and fries. What makes these little wrapped morsels of happiness so palatable is that there will a Momo out there for you. As varied as buns are in Japan, Momos come filled with water buffalo, goat, chicken lamb, and yak. Yes. Yak! And if you’re lucky -- beef, since beef is banned in parts of India and Nepal. And don't worry my vegetarian bhais (hindi for bros), there are Aloo, lentil, and a number of vegetable fillings too!

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

Charles Haynes on Flickr

Dal Makhani (lentil curry) can be found all over India and is truly a native staple. However, the country's northern reaches may have just developed the closest thing to the perfect dal.

With Indian food, the longer it takes to prepare, the better it gets, whether that's Butter Chicken, Bohra Kaari (no, not curry) or Biryani; well most of the time anyways. Dal Makhani is no exception. The lentils simmer in buttery creamy tomato sauce for hours on end, creating the most mouthwatering aroma you're ever going to smell. Dipped with roti flat bread or poured on fragrant basmati rice, when that gravy touches your taste buds, you'll be thinking "this trip was worth every penny."

This list is short, but it is far from lacking. Like its people, India's food is part of a vast spectrum of subcultural cuisine, ranging from the fish and coconut combo of the West to the rice-based... well, everything of the South. The boreal region is no exception, with its unique environment, people, and of course, gastronomy.