Sel Roti

These are flat round bread doughnuts made from rice paste and then deep-fried. Commonly prepared at local homes during private functions or parties, sel roti is usually served with butter, cheese or chutney. This roti is sweet in taste, and is prepared in large quantities during the festivals of Dashain and Tihar, widely celebrated in the town of Darjeeling.

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Sel Roti

Chang and Thomba

Chang, also known as chhaang, and thomba are local brews made with barley, millet or rice grains by fermenting them with yeast. These drinks are served in a bamboo-made glass and are traditionally consumed with a bamboo pipe. While it is consumed at room temperature in summer, it is served piping hot during winter, and used to ward off the cold.

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Chang and Thomba

Tibetan Tea

Tibetan tea, known as po cha in Tibet, is perhaps the most preferred beverage in the cold parts of India, especially the Northeast and the Himalayan regions.

This delicious and indulgent drink, make with long tea leaves that are kept in tea bags to preserve their fragrance and flavours, with a dollop of home-made butter mixed in, will help you keep the cold at bay. It is also salty rather than sugary, setting it apart from sweeter contemporaries. Another version is the lemon tea made with ginger and honey.

Tibetan Tea

Momos

Momos are probably the most popular snack in Darjeeling. These delicious dumplings are usually made with flour dough and stuffed with either meat or vegetables and can be steamed or fried. The non-vegetarian momos have either chicken or pork as stuffing while the vegetarian ones have cabbage, cheese and other vegetables. Momos are served with a clear soup and sometimes achaar (pickles).

The history of the momo can be traced back to Newar community, who used to travel to Tibet often for trade. They learnt of these quirky dumplings and brought them back to India. While they�re still most popular in the Northeast, momos have now made their way to the rest of the country, with momo sellers setting up stalls and, in some cases, even large franchises based on this humble yet utterly delicious food.

Momos

Sha Phaley

Sha phaley is a type of Tibetan potsticker that is stuffed with meat (usually beef or pork in the Northeast). It is served best with any curry or even with chutney or vegetables. A popular accompaniment to sha phaley is tsampa (roasted barley) that is served with cheese or butter. You can also have it with a basic rutang soup, creating a healthy, delicious and filling meal.

Its preparation is quite simple  minced ginger, garlic, bok choy, green onion and other vegetables are mixed together with the main protein, along with soy sauce; the dough is then stuffed with this mixture and lightly fried.

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Sha Phaley

Thukpa

Thukpa is a Tibetan hot noodle soup cooked with meat, eggs and vegetables, and served in a large bowl. It is a lip-smacking comfort food, filling and healthy. Extremely popular in the Northeastern states of India, this soup is the perfect meal in winter, warming you up from the inside out.

There are a number of variants of thukpa, and while the traditional recipe calls for meat (usually chicken or pork), a number of vegetarian options have also been introduced in restaurants across the board. You can use mushroom, spring onion, carrot, cabbage and other vegetables, along with a vegetable broth, and then add a medley of your favourite spices (predominantly chili powder) and have a yummy, nutritious and soul-satisfying feast.

Thukpa