sikkim food

25 Foods and 4 Beverages of Sikkim that You Must Try

Sikkim is one of the north-eastern states of India that shares its land boundary in the east with Bhutan, west with Nepal and in the South with the Indian state of West Bengal. This small state that was once a monarch is not just known for its breath-taking beauty and picturesque location but also recognized for its tempting cuisines. It offers a unique variety of Sikkim food that borrows its diversity from neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. Food lovers will find plenty of cuisines to gorge upon and will have a feast of their lifetime.     

Some Ethnic Cuisines of Sikkim

The local cuisines of Sikkim are much beyond the widely popular Momos and Thukpa. If you want to enjoy the famous cuisines of Sikkim during your trip, here are the luscious Sikkim food choices for you.

1. Momos (Dumplings)

Do you need any introduction to this beloved street food in India? Tracing its Tibetan origin and being nurtured by Nepalese cuisine, Momos are undoubtedly a hugely popular street food in Sikkim. It is a type of steamed buns with a filling inside. It comprises an outer cover and a stuffing. While the cover is made up of white flour dough and water, the filling can be of various ingredients such as ground meat fillings, Tofu, Cottage cheese, chopped cauliflower and other such vegetables. You can also add Yeast or baking soda for a fluffy and unique texture to Momos. This popular dish comes with different variations based on people’s choices in recent years. To enjoy the best Momos in Sikkim, don’t forget to visit The Roll House and The Taste of Tibet in Gangtok.     

2. Kinema

This Sikkimese cuisine is made by boiling and fermenting the Soya beans to form a sticky texture. Kinema has a pungent smell, yet it is sought-after in Nepal, Sikkim and Darjeeling. It is enjoyed with Bhat (rice) as a side dish. Kinema is a superb alternative to meat for vegetarians due to its high antioxidants content and low fat.            

3. Dal Bhat

Known as a staple food of Sikkim, Dal Bhat is a delicious combination of Lentil soup and rice. It is usually served with Tarkari (vegetable curry) or meat and chutney. This 3 item pattern of the meal is equally popular in various cuisines of South Asia and is a part of typical food habits of people in this area.

4. Dhindo

Dhindo is prepared by adding a mixture of buckwheat, ground millet and cornflour slowly into boiling water. The mixture is then stirred continuously till a sticky paste is formed in the end. The paste is then made into small balls that are dipped into a lentil soup or chutney to be swallowed easily to avoid the millets from sticking between the teeth. Due to its immense popularity, this vegetarian dish is consumed daily in Sikkim and Nepal.          

5. Thukpa or Gya Thuk

A noodle soup, a part of Tibetan cuisine has found its way into the hearts of the Sikkimese people. You can enjoy both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of this soup based on your food preferences. Thukpa contains a variety of vegetables such as bell papers, cauliflower, spinach, celery and carrots. You can easily find this dish at every local café and restaurant in Sikkim. However, try it from a local vendor or food stall to enjoy an authentic taste and flavour.   

6. Sha Phaley

When you deep fry a semi-circle shaped bread stuffed with ground beef and cabbage, you get a famous Sikkim food known as Sha Phaley. It is crispy outside with a soft and juicy texture inside that gives a heavenly experience to anyone who takes the first bite. The dish has numerous variations based on the taste and preferences similar to those made from Cheese and Tofu. If you love this dish, enjoy them at The Roll House in Gangtok.  

7. Churpi-Ningro Curry

The dish name is derived from local cottage cheese, Churpi, loved by people of Sikkim. It is made with other ingredients but the most renowned is Churpi-Ningro curry. Many edible varieties of wild ferns are native to jungles, gardens and backyards of Sikkim. These wild ferns are known by the local name Ningro. The famous cuisine of Churpi-ningro curry is prepared with a mixture of cottage cheese and wild ferns that are cooked together with chillies, tomatoes, onions and other spices such as chilli powder, turmeric powder and sometimes with bamboo shoot. The dish is commonly consumed by the people of Dzongu in North Sikkim.

8. Phagshapa

Made up of pork fat stewed with radish and dry chillies, the dish is a rich source of proteins. It is spicy and tangy in flavour minus any oil. Get the best Phagshapa in Sikkim at The Golden Dragon hotel in Gangtok and enjoy its unforgettable taste.     

9. Wachipa

A typical food of Sikkim with a bitter taste and roots tracing back to the Kirat Rai community. Wachipa is a dish prepared with minced chicken, rice and a special powder derived from burnt chicken feathers. The vegetarian variant is made with dry fruits plus leaves or flowers of a notable plant called Damlapa with a bitter taste. This famous cuisine is consumed on special occasions or events and treats body aches.           

10. Gundruk

Gundruk is of Nepalese origin and is one of the popular foods in Sikkim. The leafy vegan cuisine is prepared with a blend of leaves from mustard, cabbage or radish and is rich in roughage. This traditional dish is usually made in an earthen pot but with time, the cuisine is now made in various ways and pots. You can find this age-old dish at various places in Sikkim but the real authentic taste is available in village households only. It is beneficial for the metabolism of the body. The primary essence of this dish has not changed even after the years.             

11. Sinki

Another traditional dish that has not changed in terms of the ingredients used or the preparation process. It shares a striking resemblance with Gundruk but the main difference is that it is made from radish taproots. For preparation, the radish roots are first chopped, then placed into bamboo and covered with a straw. The bamboo is further covered with mud and vegetation for a month to facilitate its fermentation. After its month-long preparation process, this Sinki can remain fresh for a year and can be enjoyed with soups and stews. You can also savour its spell-binding taste in the form of a pickle with parathas and other such dishes.       

12. Ghorkhey Chutney

Another famous cuisine of Sikkim relished as a side dish by the locals is Ghorkhey Chutney. The cuisine is prepared by grinding onions, green chillies, tomatoes and spices together to form a paste. This simple yet delicious recipe is sometimes made by adding cottage cheese.  

13. Nakima

Another vegetable belonging to the Liliaceae family is Nakima that is bitter but is exceptionally yummy. This vegetable along with various species of flowering plants are found in different parts of South Asia like South China and Sumatra Ambon Island. It is grown densely in several areas of Sikkim with low temperatures. The vegetable can be cooked in the form of a curry or can be stored as a pickle in a bottle to be enjoyed with rice and rotis.

14. Thenthuk

It is a noodle soup which is of Tibetan origin. Thenthuk is cooked with meat or mutton, wheat flour and vegetables. For vegetarian, vegetable thenthuk is also available. The soup is normally prepared with meat/vegetables or sometimes both where small pieces of dough are included for cooking along with the stew. Thenthuk is generally consumed by Sikkimese people during the time of dinner.      

15. Gya Kho

One of the Tibetan dishes which is inherited as a legacy by the local people of Sikkim who enjoy this tempting cuisine. Also known by the name of Chimney soup due to the shape of the bowl that is similar to a chimney. Gya Kho is made with a lot of piquant ingredients under the pieces of coal.   

16. Bamboo Shoot Curry

Do you know bamboo is edible and can be enjoyed too? Yes, we are talking about Bamboo Shoot that is a fresh bamboo shoot coming out of the earth and can be consumed like any other food item. People of the Sikkim is in love with bamboo shoot curry and use various bamboo shoots to enhance the flavour of the dish. Although processed bamboo is used for the preparation of a delicious gravy but it is not mandatory to follow this norm. The famous cuisine of Sikkim is also known by the local name of Tama curry.

To reduce the bitterness of bamboo shoots and improve colour, turmeric powder is added to the Bamboo Shoot Curry. You can enjoy this delectable dish with a bowl of rice.   

17. Aloo Cheuda

The name of this dish translates into the potato and beaten rice. It is a common street food of Sikkim. This typical potato curry that is best enjoyed with fried beaten rice along with the garnishing of corn flakes, nimkis, green chillies, local Mimi/Mama and onions as per the interest and choice of people.    

18. Ting Momo with Aloo Dum

Made from multi-purpose flour, this Sikkim based dish consists of soft and fluffy steamed buns. You can relish these Tibetan buns with pork/beef curry. Sikkim typically offers Ting momo with Nepali style potato curry, aloo dum and spicy momo chutney.  

19. Sael Roti

It is one of the famous dishes of Sikkim that has been borrowed from its neighbours. Sael roti is a dish that is loved equally in Sikkim as well as Nepal. Sael Roti is prepared with homemade rice flour that is washed, soaked in water and finally blended with sugar, water, cardamom and other such spices. It is an ideal healthy meal and can be modified as per the choice of a food lover.        

20. Laphing

The hot and spicy cold jelly noodles that are consumed with Soy sauce is what defines this Sikkimese cuisine of Laphing. The spicy mung bean noodles can be consumed in dry form or with soy sauce along with the garnishing of coriander, soybean, green onion sauce and chilli.  

21. Masauyra Curry

Hailing from Nepal, this mouth-watering dish contains fermented black gram as its main ingredient. It is loved by the people of Sikkim and is similar to a ball prepared from hot spices. To relish the finest taste of this spicy Masauyra Curry, consume it with cooked rice.  

22. Chambray

The origin of this dish is Nepal and it is prepared with various native varieties of rice and local spices. Chambray is a popular dish of Sikkim that is eaten with fried potatoes.

Some Local Beverages of Sikkim

Not just its luscious food, Sikkim is equally renowned for its local beverages that complement its diverse platter of dishes. These drinks are prepared from various grains like rice, millets, wheat, maize, barley and other such ingredients. Further, these are inspired by various neighbouring countries such as Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.

1. Jaand (Tongba)

It is a local alcoholic beverage that is derived from fermented millets. The drink is consumed through a long bamboo vessel (tongba) and hot water is added into it to leave it undisturbed for some time. The liquid is now ready to drink and is sipped through a perforated wooden straw that acts as a filter at one end. Jaand has a sour and sweet taste and is low in alcohol content.   

2. Chaang

With a sweet tartness flavour, this fermented alcoholic beverage is prepared from rice, millet or barley. Originally from Tibet, Chaang can be consumed hot and cloud depending upon the choice. It is cloudy in appearance with low alcoholic content.   

3. Raksi

A clear, distilled alcoholic drink prepared from millet, it has a strong alcoholic content of around 45%. Raksi has a taste similar to Japanese sake.

4. Bhati Jaar (Rice Wine)

It comes with a strong taste and clear appearance. Bhati jaar is prepared simply with a combination of fermented rice and yeast.      


With a delectable and lavish spread of cuisines from different parts of Sikkim, it is hard to resist the temptation of this food festival. If you are visiting Sikkim for a leisure trip, don’t forget to indulge in these mouth-watering delicacies that are a heavenly treat for any gastronome. Enjoy the beautiful scenic beauty of this north-eastern state and try out these yummy treats for an unforgettable experience. Come and explore the wonderful Sikkim through the taste buds of a food lover.  

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