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Ladakhi  Cuisines
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Cuisines of Ladakh are based on the agricultural practice and the availability of crops in the high altitude land. The crops that are grown by the local people enable them to maintain a distinct food habit.

Several kinds of beverages are quite popular amongst the Ladakhis. One of the most famous and favourite such beverage of the Ladakhis is `chang.` Another drink that has gained popularity among the local people is `gur-gur` tea, the butter-tea consumed in one form or another by all the Tibetan peoples. The Ladakhis are particular about using fresh, not rancid butter. This is added with salt and milk to a well-boiled infusion of tea to which a little bicarbonate of soda has been added. The mixture is then churned in a churn or `gur-gur` (the word is onomatopoeic) till all the ingredients are well blended. `Gur-gur` tea is made in bulk, can be kept hot, traditionally in a decorative copper pot on a charcoal brazier and more often in the prosaic thermos. This special kind of tea is drunk in enormous quantities by the Ladakhis, thirty or forty cups a day being quite a normal quota. It is both warming and nourishing, particularly when mixed with `tsampa` and is altogether a comforting drink in a cold climate.

As per the Ladakhi tradition, the guest in a Ladakhi house is offered either `chang` or `gur-gur` tea. Etiquette demands that the host should never let the guest`s cup be less than full; conversely, it is polite on the guest`s part to refrain from drinking until the host is ready to give her a refill. Accordingly, the guest does not touch her drink until the attendant returns with the jug and urges the guest on. It is as well for the visitor who is hoping for an entree into Ladakhi homes to acquire a taste for these two beverages.

Apart from these drinks, the vegetables grown by the Ladakhis such as potatoes, pumpkins, beetroots, and beans are cooked in different ways. The Ladakhis also prefer to consume meat dishes and are included in the list of the cuisines of Ladakh. Different types of soups are also part of the popular cuisines of Ladakh. The foods are prepared in a way that they incur a mild taste. `Thukpa` is one of the favourite cuisines of Ladakh, which is a thick soup with vegetables that provides a complete meal. Moreover, the Ladakhis prepare delicious `Momos` or steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables consumed with a sweltering chili sauce. The staple foods of Ladakh are `Sku`, `Thukpa`, `Pava`, `tsampa`, or parched barley flour and `khambir`. `Thukpa` is made of wheat flour, `Pava` is made of `sattu` and `khambir` is the local bread. The people of Ladakh relish the breads with Apricot Jam. In recent times, the cuisine of Ladakh is influenced by several other regions and the dishes are the blend and modification of the foods of other territories. The Ladakhis use the spice like `thangyar`, the yellow chilli from Manali which is first fried and then coarsely pounded, and `kurnyot` or caraway seeds of Ladakh. Soups are made with a sprinkle of `Kurnyot` which is used in the place of cumin, and that adds a surprisingly Western flavour to soups. Apart from these, the Ladakhi people enjoy vegetables pickled like `Korean kimchi`, butter tea and Mutton sausages. The people of Ladakh often make pickles that are made of white radish, dressed with unheated mustard oil, salt and chilli powder.

Though the cuisine of Ladakh has a distinct characteristic, globalization has enabled the Ladakhis to blend their art of cookery with that of other regions and this has given rise to a new style of cooking habit.
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