If you have been to the One8 Commune Restaurant in Aerocity Delhi you need no introduction to Chef Pawan Bisht , the mastermind chef behind #ViratKohli ‘s Restaurant One8 Commune. During lockdown while everyone was making various dishes & checking out recipe’s on youtube , Chef Pawan was busy creating magic & sharing the lost recipes from the Hills and his handle was one thing I regularly checked out to know more about food from #Uttarakhand. He not only introduced us to the basic food ingredients that were growing during that time in the hills but also shared the details of each and every ingredient that goes in making a particular dish the way it is made from the recipe, process, utensils used to cook, time of the year it is cooked and why a particular recipes / ingredients holds that importance in the cuisine from #Uttarakhand.
So this blog is a tribute to 12 Lost recipes of Uttarakhand that you must know about , coming from the Insta handle of Chef Pawan Bisht. A little about Chef Pawan – He started cooking at an early age of 14 at a small village named Chhoi in Ramnagar, Nainital of Uttarakhand. He was all by himself staying away from home and he enjoyed cooking for himself & his friends, thats when he realised that he loves cooking and would like to take it up as a profession. When passion turns into profession everything comes straight from the heart. Its been 12 years since he had been into cooking professionally and he loves experimenting with food a lot. European cooking is his strength but his heart still lies in regional cuisines and being from Uttarakhand this comes naturally to him & he leaves no chance to go back to his routes and share the flavours that matters to him.I met him in 2016 while he was with Junglee Billee – A restaurant in GK and he was hosting a food festival around fusion food from Maharastra. The way he explained each and every dish – its origin , its history, ingredients and the fusion he has created , it was all so over whelming for a blogger because not always you get so much details about a dish and thats what is so special about him.
Dish 1 : Chhaua / Chol Roti
The best company to any food in India and especially in north the food starts with a roti and this dish is a sweet version of our Roti , read everything about it in the post from Chef as Lost Dish 1
Dish 2 – Punarnava
Who can turn a weed into a vegetable thats not only delicious but also loaded with health, the name literally means “New Again” & this commonly found weed of Uttarakhand is also know as hogweed, red hogweed, horse purslane, pigweed, red spiderling and tarvine. Have a look at this dish that is green but super tempting.
Dish 3 – Vadi / Baadi
Vadi is way to consume and store the pulses for a longer time and also create a variation in taste than cooking it normally like Dal. And every region has a specific way of making these Vadi which are cooked round the year. This is the beauty of homemade food that there is no use of preservatives , salt as ingredient and sun drying as the process does the trick and this is super healthy.
Dish 4 – Lapsi
#Lapsi – As a kid i have tried this dish a lot in my household, easy to make , easy to gulp and its delicious too, so personally I was a lot happier to see the dishes i could relate with in the list of Lost recipes by the Chef.
Dish 5- Lesu
#Lesu is a flat bread made with stuffing madua (finger millet) dough inside the dough of whole wheat flour. It can be flavoured with carom seeds. I can so imagine the taste and being a chapati lover this is yet another dish that I would love to try and also seeing how generously the Ghee is poured on this Bread , resisting would be quite difficult.
Dish 6– Kachmoli/ kachpak
Rare recipe and unique dish of Uttarakhand India. Kachmoli/ kachpak/ kachwai/ sanna/ panchola are different names of this unique dish.Kachpak actually means raw (kachha) and cooked (paka) at the same time. The smokiness which comes because the entire meat is roasted over fire and then skin is taken out and cut into small pieces. Till this time the skin is almost 60 to 70 percent cooked. So its partially cooked and partially raw.
Dish 7 Meetha bhaat/ Meethu baath/ Khuska
Meetha bhaat/ Meethu baath/ Khuska made with Red Rice and Red rice holds a lot of importance in the hills. Traditional sweet dish made with the red rice of Uttarakhand. Meetha bhaat is a rare dish with unparallel taste. Earlier this dish was mandatory while community dining. Infact meetha bhaat was given at the beginning of the community dining.This rice is highly recommended to heart and diabetes patients, can you imagine a rice for diabetic.
Dish 8 Bedu Roti /Beru Roti
Bedu Roti /Beru Roti – Bedu roti or beru roti is made with whole wheat flour with a mixture stuffed inside, which is made of urad lentil, green chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fresh garlic, fresh ginger and salt. A coarsely ground paste is made on sil batta out of these ingredients which is stuffed in the bedu roti. I love Dal kachori and this stuffing is so close to that, so i am sure this is going to be something I can love like anything
Dish 9 Bedu ki Sabji
Bedu ki sabji its Himalayan wild fig, also called as Wild fig, Timla fruit, junglee anjeer, bendu, khemri and bedu. This is another dish that holds a lot of importance in Uttarakhand , so much so that it has a folk song on its importance.
Dish 10 Bal Mithai
If you have been to hills and you have not tried this sweetdish or not bought a box of it back home its truly criminal. One thing that is more dear to me just like the hills is this Bal Mithai, The khas khas coated sweet dish which is chewy , chocolatey and a blast of flavors makes it straight to the favourite sweetdish list of every kid who tries it once. Khas khas is know for its cooling properties and is very good for health.It is packed with proteins, calcium, magnesium, potassium which makes it a valuable ingredient. So this is definitely a loaded sweetdish. Over a period of time this health loaded khas khas coated sweetdish was changed to Sugar balls and that’s how we now consume it. So read the post below to know more about it.
Dish 11 Kauni or koni pulao
Kauni or koni pulao the name comes from the ingredient – #FoxtailMillet is one more super grain Uttarakhand grows which is commonly know as kauni or koni in local language and it is grown as rain-fed crop
Dish 12 Rajjada
Cooking in Iron utensils does wonders to our food,& Every metal places an important role in the process of cooking. Yet again a dish that has got healing properties and is a common preparation in the houesholds in Hills. Highly beneficial for curing Jaundice and liver diseases.
I hope you must have enjoyed reading this as much as i enjoyed curating it from his Insta Handle and the best part about all these dishes are they were posted and prepared fresh by the Chef. You can feel the vibe of Uttarakhand in each of the post – The greens in the background , the vibrant colours , Outstanding plating by the Chef. Every dish makes you crave for it and no one could have explained the dishes better than the way Chef has done it.
Do share in comment which is your favourite one and in case you visit One8 commune you can always engage in a conversation with the Chef to throw more light on these or other dishes.
You can also check out few recipes by him on his handle
Stay tuned for more #FOOD2GO4 stories.