Indian Recipe

Sikkim food: Authentic, exotic, culinary delight:

Written by Banani Chakraborty

Sikkim food is authentic, exotic, culinary delight. It is a bizarre combination of Nepal, Bhutan, India and Tibet cuisines. But they are amazingly delicious.

However, Sikkim is not only popular for its abundant scenic mesmerize, but also for its mouthwatering culinary delights. In Sikkim, you will find a pure amalgamation of old rich heritage, colourful culture and lip-smacking cuisines.

You must try these delectable Sikkim foods while touring anywhere in Sikkim. Make a goal list accordingly. They are amazingly simple with savouring flavours.

Sikkim food: Authentic, exotic, culinary delight:

Sikkim food is well-known for its authentic as well as exotic delicacies. They are the amalgamation of unique and rich features of the inherited food menus of Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and native Sikkim. Therefore, they are not only very soothing in taste but also leave you craving for them

Maize is the local staple food. Rice is the main food. The foods are mainly non-vegetarian. The Sikkimese ferment several vegetables to preserve them for a long period.

About Sikkim:

Sikkim is home to enjoyable boisterous or serenity, garlanded in clouds along with spectacular views of majestic Kanchenjunga and other snow laded glorious peaks. The enthralling prismatic magnificence along with beautiful zigzagging hill roads looks awesome.

Further, you can find beautiful meadows, verdant greenery, abundant varieties of flowers, sublime landscape, rich flora and fauna. Added to this, are glimmering glaciers, splendid murmuring, glinting and gushing cascades, winding streams.

Sikkim Culture:

People of diverse tribes and races are living together in this glamorous state of Sikkim. These manifold communities and religions have their unique languages, festivals, dances, crafts. Sikkim owns a blend of culture of Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan. Their food items also reflect this.

 Sikkim Food:

They use local crops like wheat, buckwheat, finger millet, barley, soybean, potato, etc. Moreover, they use local herbs and spices. Almost all the foods are fermented to preserve them for a long period. They also prefer drinks like local beer, rum or whiskey along with their foods. Sikkim is also well-known for its exclusive fermented drinks.

They generally use internally-emitters ingredients and flavours.  You will find them nowhere in the food dishes across India. Therefore, these foods are a delight to your savour.



You must try these Sikkim foods from any local cafes, street eateries and restaurants while in Gangtok or anywhere in Sikkim.

(Also read the following articles for your goal setting to tour some Himalayan Marvels of Sikkim and West Bengal.

As a matter of fact, West-Sikkim foods are not very spicy. Yet they are fresh and delicious. The savours of Sikkimese cuisines are not only subtle but also basic. In fact, they use too much cumin, chilli, garlic, onions and turmeric.

In the first place, we need to express our gratitude for such lip-smacking, tongue-twisting food delicacies.

Several top Sikkim foods:

The local Sikkim culinary are very famous. Therefore, they are a must-try for every tourist who visits there.

Below are several popular, authentic, aromatic and delicious cuisines of Sikkim:

1.Momo (Dumplings):

sikkim food Momo

source google image

Generally, you will get the best quality momo only in Sikkim. Indeed, it is extremely delicious. It is actually a Tibetan dish which was modulated by the Nepalese. Moreover, it is the lifeline of Sikkim food.

It has two parts. Steamed bun cover and the fillings. The cover may be crescent, half-moon or a round pocket shaped.

At first, for cover, they mix water and white flour and make the dough. Sometimes, they add monosodium glutamate and baking soda or yeast to enhance the taste.

Next, is the fillings. For this, they use minced meat of goat, chicken, buffalo or pork in case of non-vegetarian momo. For vegetable momo, they use finely chopped cabbage, carrot, flat bean or chayote, potato and vegetables, cheese and tofu(paneer) or traditional soft chhupri.

Moreover, they use ginger, coriander, onion and garlic with it. They steamed the dumplings. Then, may deep fry or pan-fry. Generally, they serve it with a dipping sauce (achaar/ chutney) or a homemade red chilli sauce. Tomato is the basic ingredient.

2.Sha Phaley:

It is another delicious Sikkim food. Sha means meat and Phaley is bread.  Therefore, it is a combination of deep-fried stuff with bread and meat. At first, they stuff the bread with ground meat, cabbage, flavours, spices and make a semi-circle. Then they deep fry them.

Recently they mix tofu and cheese to the stuffing for variations. Vegetarians, as well as vegans, can enjoy this tofu Sha Phaley.

They are not only soft from inside but also crunchy from outside. They are amazingly delicious with some soup and chutney.

3.Thukpa or Gya Thuk:

sikkim food Thukpa

source google image

Thukpa or Gya Thuk is another very popular, healthy and tasty Sikkim food. To tell the truth, it is a vegetable as well as non-vegetable noodle dish served with broth. Generally, they mix local vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, celery, spinach, bell papers, etc. in veg-dish. In non-veg item, they mix either poached or boiled eggs with chicken or red meat. Moreover, it is spicy. They add green chillies, chopped onions along with garlic to make it tasty and tangy.

4.Gundruk:

To begin with, it is a Nepal origin staple Sikkim food. It is soup. Along with the main meal, they serve it as a side dish. It also works as an appetizer. Moreover, it is high in fibre. Therefore, it helps to maintain body metabolism. Further, it is rich in minerals. Besides, it is a completely vegetarian or vegan recipe.

In fact, it is a leafy item which uses mainly cabbage, radish leaves and cauliflower. Sometimes, they use even the roots of them. Using spices like garlic, onions along with tomatoes or tomato sauce they cook it. Finally, they add mustard leaves and oil to make it delicious.

As a matter of fact, this popular household dish remained almost unchanged over the years. Previously, they used the earthen pot to make it. But, now they use other utensils.

5.Sinki:


It is not only very similar to gundruk but also traditional Sikkim food like that. Furthermore, it is very well-known and tasty.

At first, they chop radish roots and put them into the bamboo. Then they press with a straw. They cover this bamboo with vegetation as well as mud and preserve around a month for fermentation. Afterwards, they use it as soups and stews. Apart from these, they use it with parathas and other food items as a pickle. It tastes sour.

6.Sael Roti:

sikkim food Sael Roti

source google image

Actually, it is a loaf of fried bread. Usually, they serve it with potato curry or tomato chutney. At first, they make a paste of rice and water. They ferment this rice batter to make this soft pretzel. Then, deep fry them in boiling oil. Now satiate your taste buds with this appetizing Sikkim food. Generally, they eat it for special occasions and festivals. This is crispy, doughnuts, and crusted.

7.Phagshapa:

It is another delicacy of Sikkim food. It is a stewed strip of pork. At first, they cook the pork strip. Then, they stew it with dry chillies, spices and radish. It contains a high amount of protein. Moreover, they use no oil. Further, it is spicy as well as tangy.

It is not only healthy food but also one of the best Sikkim food.

(To get an Idea of healthy eating habit, you may read my following articles:

8.Yak Cheese:

The Yak cheese is not only rich in nutrients, protein and fat but also creamier than other cheese. It is available as candies or cut cubes of harden cheese. These are made of unique yak milk. This yak cheese is smoky with somewhat rubbery texture with garlic, onions, tomatoes and peppers.

9.Thenthuk:

It is another yummy noodle soup of Sikkim. They use meat or mutton, wheat flour, vegetables in its preparation. It is among the best Sikkim foods. Sometimes they add chilli powder to make it spicy. The vegetable thentuk is healthier than other forms of it.

10.Dal Bhat:

It is a traditional food. They serve boiled rice with lentil soup along with tarkari (vegetable curry) or meat and chutney. Generally, the Sikkimese prefer this as their daily staple food. They normally use salt, turmeric and some spices to prepare lentil soup.

To tell the truth, it is a very common Bengali food item also.

11.Masauyra Curry:

It is analogous to famous Punjabi food Wari. It is another famous Sikkim food. Normally, they use fermented black gram as the main ingredient and they look like balls. This serves as a spicy condiment.

12.Chang:

At first, it is a brewed beverage. Besides, it is alcoholic by nature. Usually, they use millet to prepare thomba or chang. They ferment the millet with the help of yeast. They use rice, fermented millets and yeast to prepare this drink. It is very potent and is served in and sipped using a bamboo pipe. It is one sort of local beer.

13.Kinema Curry:

It is a famous vegetarian Sikkim food. They use fermented soybean, sliced tomatoes and spices.  They use onion, turmeric powder, tomato and red chilli to enhance the flavour.  At first, they fry them and fermented soybean.  They dry soybean under the sun.  Sikkimese generally serves it with rice items instead of meat. It also contains a high amount of protein.

14.Dhindo:

It is another mouth-watering dish. They mix flour with hot water and stir it with a ladle. Sometimes, they add normal or clarified butter. Traditionally, they use millet or buckwheat. Wheat and cornflower are also commonly used. Moreover, they mix any grain which then can grind and make flour. They usually use iron utensils to prepare this.

15.Ningro Curry with Churpi:

It is another delectable Sikkim food. It is a domestic food item. In the hills, you will get varieties of ferns and the local people love to intake them. They use alpine fiddlehead ferns to make ningro curry.  It is a mixture of such ferns deep-fried and blended with churpi or the cheese curry. It is a fermented food. yummy

16.Chhurpi Soup:

They use cottage cheese to make this traditional soup. It tastes sour due to the cheese. The texture is soft that aids in eating it easily. They use paanch phoranto to add a special flavour. Finally, they garnish it with coriander leaves. It helps in making it more delicious as well as attractive.

Actually, it is a dairy product. They generally use cow milk or yak milk to make the cheese. This fermented dairy product tastes a mild sour. They also use it to prepare soup or pickles. Sometimes, mixed with gives the exotic taste. Traditionally, they serve it with hot cooked rice.

17.Gya Kho:

It is another lip-smacking Sikkim food. Actually, it is a soup. They cook it under coal with several mouthwatering ingredients. This cooking process makes it more delicious. They usually serve it in a bowl which looks like a chimney.

18.Shimi Ko Achar:

Sikkimese prepare this local dish with string bean which is locally famous as Shimi. They add sesame seeds which aid to enhance the aroma. It tastes good when accompanied by Seal Roti. They add sliced green chillies to make the pickle spicy. Further, they add lemon juice for sourness and flavour.

(Also read Use of lemons).

19.Kodo Ko Roti:

It is another very famous Sikkim food. It is a typical pancake. Generally, the principal ingredient of it is finger millet, locally famous as kodo. They use millet flour also. Other ingredients are sugar and ghee. Kodo ko roti and tomato achar is the best combination. They also serve it with pickles.

20.Paneer Cheese:

Sikkim exports the premium quality cheese like Sikkim Alpine Cheese Spread to international countries. Because, of this, the cheese standard is very high here. Therefore, cheese dishes are a must, particularly in West Sikkim.

21.Sikkim’s tea:

Among other Sikkim food, tea is also a famous traditional item and they are quite accustomed to it. Temi tea garden supplies good quality of tea all through Sikkim. They serve tea in ethnic cups which draws the attention of the tourists along with the other dishes.

22.Tama Curry or Bamboo shoot curry:

Rice is the staple dish of Sikkim. They use various curries with it based on their taste and preferences. They use fermented bamboo for cooking such delicious curry. Moreover, they use mainly turmeric powder to cook it. Turmeric powder aids in removing the bitter flavour of the shoots.

23.Tibetan Bread:

Sikkim food Tibetan Bread

source google image

It is available in different styles and sizes. It may be a skillet flatbread. Further, it is thick and soft inside along with a hard outer coating. With a hint of olive oil, it possesses basic flavour. You may take this with a variety of side dishes like yak cheese to make it more filling. Generally, the trekkers carry Sikkim food as a filling staple food.

24.Lassi:

Indeed, Lassi is a popular Indian dessert drink. It is a sweetened, fermented yoghurt drink. It is a mixture of dahi (aka yoghurt), milk, fruits, spices, and sugar. In fact, it is a wonderful probiotic for the tummy.

25.Mesu:

It is another irresistible curry. Bamboo shoots are the primary ingredient. Fermented bamboo shoot is used with the pork to make it another form of pickle. It is acidic by nature and sour. It is resultant from the dish Limbu parlance.

26.Jaanr:

It is one of Sikkim’s traditional beverages. It is available in many varieties like

  • Makai ko Jaanr.
  • Bhaate Jaanr.
  • Jahun ko Jaanr.
  • Simal tarul ko Jaanr.
  • And Gahun Ko Jaanr.

The names used here vary because of the different ingredients and raw materials used in it such as maize, barley, cassava root and wheat.

What is the main Sikkim food?

Sikkim is a land of culinary delight, particularly for the non-vegetarians. Some popular dishes are momos, sha phaley, thupka, Phagshapa, Gundruk.

What is famous Sikkim food?

Due to the chilly weather in Sikkim, fermented foods and drinks are very popular here. You may try dhindo.

What is the staple Sikkim food?

Maize is the local staple food. Rice is the main food. The foods are mainly non-vegetarian. The Sikkimese ferment several vegetables to preserve them for a long period. Added to these, there are dumplings, meats, soups, stews, vegetables along with an amazing blend of Sikkimese savours.

Is vegetarian food available in Sikkim?

Although, Sikkimese prefer meat, yet one will get some vegetarian dishes. Gundruk and Sinki are very good veg-items.

Where can you get these Sikkim foods?

At first, you will get these foods almost everywhere in Sikkim. You will get them in hotels or guest houses, restaurants, small local cafes and street eateries.

Sikkim is rich not only in culture but also in amazing culinary delight. You enjoy abundant happiness while travelling Sikkim. Your joy and delight will manifold with the authentic, exotic, bizarre foods that you will find here.


Almost all these foods originate either from Tibet or from Nepal. Sikkim serve them in their unique style.

Eat this healthy and tasty food and live life to the fullest.

If you miss these Sikkim foods, then you will miss a lot.

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About the author

Banani Chakraborty

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