• Michele Immelman

MoMo and beyond in Ladakh

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Ladakh has been a place of awe and intrigue for a long long time, and now it is on our Curious Journey's itinerary for 2019

What makes Ladakh distinct from the rest of India is the local customs, traditions and rituals which are greatly influenced by Tibetan culture. So too it's local cuisine. I did some exploration and found that the cuisine goes way beyond the MoMo and other noodle dishes. Knowing that Curious Journey followers are keen to take this journey, I felt it fitting to highlight the hidden delights in Ladakhi cuisine

Here are a few delightful dishes you can look forward to...

Butter Tea - Tsaza

This signature tea of Ladakh is mainly prepared by adding and stirring butter and salt to boiling milk

Ladakh Pulao A must taste when in Ladakh is the Ladakhi Pulao. Stark white, beautifully cooked, and exuding aromatic fragrances. It looks subtle as compared to its other variants prepared in other parts of the world; it doesn’t fall behind in flavour. While it may be difficult to spot in every restaurant, you can be sure to find it in hotels in Ladakh


This noodle-soup is of Tibetan origin. However, due to the influence Tibetan cuisine exerts on Ladakhi Food, Thukpa is quite popular in the region. Thukpa is made by adding noodles to a clear soup with either cut vegetables or meat. Lightly seasoned with spices, Thukpa is a fulfilling meal in itself and is available at several pan-Asian restaurants


This is a cheese made from Yak's milk - an animal whose abundance in the Ladakhi region is known by all

Yak milk is first churned by adding lime to it, which causes the milk to split, and the cheese is then made. Chhurpi is readily available in the local markets

Chhurpi comes in three flavours- sweet, plain, and salty. Chhurpi can be had with Khambir (Ladakhi bread), or with some crispy cracker biscuits


A pan-shaped bread, it is a typical side-dish to all Ladakhi broths and brews. Khambir is made with whole wheat flour and baked to perfection. The bread is quite thick and its crust is very crispy. Unlike the North Indian chapatti, Khambir is a very filling bread due to its size and thickness and is a must-have, especially with Butter Tea


Tingmo is popularly sold on the streets of Ladakh as a stew, it is flavoured to be delightfully spicy, yet somehow sweet. There are also pieces of fermented bread served with Tingmo, or dipped inside it. Tingmo can be eaten as a tea-time snack or even as a full meal. The spice in the dish helps to maintain body warmth in the chilling land of Ladakh


Made from wheat and root vegetables, Skyu is a traditional soup-based dish. Soft wheat dough is kneaded into pasta-like shapes and cooked with root vegetables like carrots and turnips. The water is allowed to brew till it becomes boiling hot, and is served as a side dish along with momos, meat and vegetables. Skyu is a staple dish of Ladakh, it is made nearly every other day.


Momo is very famous Tibetan dish. It is a dumpling with different stuffings in them depending on whether it is Vegetarian or Non- Vegetarian. The dumplings are of different shapes. The dumplings are then cooked in a vessel called ‘Mokto’ where the vessel at the bottom contains water and the other three vessels on top having small holes for the steam to pass and cook the momos hold the dumplings. It is eaten with a kind of spicy chutney but can also be eaten alongside ketchup for those of you who don’t really like much spice

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