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An Affair with Local Food and the Himalayas at Kausani

It was Diwali and a long weekend when I visited Kausani in Uttarakhand. It was a four days’ off, so I planned to head towards Himalayas.

I’d always wanted to explore Uttarakhand as Dhanaulti and Munsiyari in the state have always fascinated me. These are some offbeat hill stations to visit. I started with Kausani, Mahatma Gandhi called it the mini Switzerland of India and now I know the reason.

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It’s a small, peaceful village and a hill station situated in Bageshwar district. As they say, “The real Beauty is in Simplicity”, Kausani is the example for it. I had stayed there for two days. The first day I just sat staring at Himalayas from my Hotel Room’s window and took a walk around the hotel.

Oh! I forgot to tell you. Kausani’s sunrise and sunsets are quite famous, so on the second day, I woke up much early to see the sunrise. Since it was foggy and cloudy, I just got to get a glimpse for 15 minutes 😀 . Then I headed to local market. There’s nothing much to buy but there are government-associated Kausani woolen shops and the store for Himalayan tea, jams and Buransh flower’s juice.

Second day and I started with the Kausani tea estate. One doesn’t need to take permission to visit the tea garden there. Anyone and everyone can visit between 9 am to 4 pm. Since, there was no one to talk about the tea estate – it belonged to the Uttarakhand government – I just clicked random pictures and headed to Himalayan View Point, a restaurant just opposite to the tea garden.

Spot on! I got what I was looking for -the Local Food of Kumaon Region! The stars of the day were Madua ki Roti, Badee ki Sabzi and Bhatt ke Dupke at the restaurant. After enquiring about the food, I started to talk about the speciality and how it’s made with one of the waiters. He was kind enough to tell me the main ingredients of all three cuisines, and a bit of how they are made. Now it’s the food time; at 11 am I was having lunch 😀 😀 . I’m sure, it wasn’t a brunch; all the three form a heavy meal.

The aroma made me to eat much although one Madua ki roti was enough to fill the stomach.

Madua ki Roti – It’s made with Madua flour. A simple roti with lots of pure ghee on it. Yummm!

Bhatt ke Dupke – I thought it was a kind of sabzi. But no. It was a dal (lentil). The flavors of the spices were infused in it. The dal had a distinct flavor which made it more tasty, otherwise, it was cooked in the normal onion, tomato masala.

Badee ki Sabzi – The veggie made of Badee or Bari. The Badee was made with a mix of urad dal, lauki (bottle gourd) and a few spices, and then cooked in onion, tomato curry.

A treat to stomach! I thanked the waiter and headed towards the Kausani tea store. They keep Buransh juice too, I had 1 small glass; the cost was just Rs. 10. In such a painstakingly expensive world, I got a Rs. 10 organic juice, what more I had wanted for! It was slightly tangy with sweet flavor.

After that I headed to Anashakti Ashram – Mahatma Gandhi had spent a few days there – and then I went back to my hotel room. Luckily it rained in evening that day and the next morning before I left this beautiful place, I got to see the entire Himalayan Range. It’s exotic!

— Shared by Sara Khan

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