Culture

The Mountain Walker Diaries: The Food We Eat

Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India, 27 January 2017, 1005 hours:
The best diet here is a hot liquid diet – soups, dal, stews, hot water, lean cuisine. Oddly enough, that’s what I eat back home (when am cooking, that is). 
The Tserings are very good hosts, the family has been taking the trouble to ensure the food is suitable to the palate from the plains/cities. I have thoroughly enjoyed the parathas and heavy food – and they do give a sense of satisfaction. But as a regular diet, it leads me to gluttony, takes a toll by way of putting my systems into stress, cuts productivity to a third and puts me into a state where I am slave to my digestive system – living to eat. 😈
It took me some time to convince Tsering Bodh to let me partake of their regular family fare – they were worried I wouldn’t like the taste. The winter diet in Spiti is driven by home-grown potatoes, milk, curd, home-butter, some Yak meat, available vegetables and Sattu, which is a dark-brown flour that is made from Jeau (barley). They use Sattu to make Thukpa, mix it with water to make Sattu balls for plain consumption, among other manners of consuming it. Sattu provides a lot of energy, increasing stamina, well-being, and strength, while also keeping the body warm.
Sattu actually is also the staple in some other states in India – such as Bihar – though the grain maybe different, but the manner and purpose of use is similar.

The last few days have been great since am back to light breakfast and one primary meal a day – and these comprising Thukpa, noodles, light meals, soups and liquids. 
And guess what the local diet pattern looks like? Light breakfast and dinner.

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