Mandi Dham || A Special food preparation process during various celebrations in Mandi region of Himachal Pradesh, INDIA

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

 Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about it.

First photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasions.

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

This is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. 

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO.  Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.

Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. 

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containers. 

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

Usually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparation.

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

These bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiously.

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

When food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.

These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate.

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

 Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

Today we are sharing some of the clicks from temporary kitchen built during some special celebrations in most parts of Himachal Pradesh. This Photo Journey will take you through various preparation steps of 'Mandi Dham'. 'Dham' is lunch which is served during special occasions. Let's check out  this Photo Journey to know more about itFirst photograph of this Photo Journey shows main utensils used to cook food in Himachali Marriages or other special occasionsThis is how Dham Kitchen looks like. Above photograph shows a row of containers which are used for cooking and vegetables in foreground. The preparations for Dham begin a night before when all these containers are collected from people in the village/town. This temporary kitchen is built with bamboo sticks as main pillars and steel-sheets as roof. Usually built outside the main house, but not too far. These chefs prefer it to be open unless there are rains or windy weather. Dham is prepared by Botis, who are Brahmin chefs in Himachal and have been in this profession for generations. Botis can usually be seen in dhoti and bare feet. No one is allowed inside the kitchen with footwear. It's a big NO. In fact while serving food, they don't wear anything. Everytime they enter into the kitchen, they clean their hands.Most of the utensils used for cooking food in dhams are copper or brass. Mostly every house in a village/town has such utensils and they are collected in this temporary kitchen, one day before. Above photograph shows all big containers on right which are used for cooking. One of the chefs moving around the place and busy with settling down things and the second one if having some rest. On the extreme left of the photograph, one of the villager is pouring in butter-milk into a big container. During morning, every villagers brings milk & buttermilk to this kitchen, as most of them have these things in abundance at home. A closer look into the kitchen where chef is putting some onions into one of these copper containUsually this day starts with all villagers come together and help these chefs in cutting vegetables and arranging other stuff like spices etc. It's usually a session of 2-3 hrs when everyone keep raw material in place for chefs to do their job in better way. Most of the folks are trained and can take care of this work independently. Many times, some of the vegetables are arranged within the villages, depending upon the season. Pumpkins are used is some of the dishes and mostly fresh out of village-farms. Various other fresh vegetables are used in this preparationThese bananas are also used in preparations as times. There were times, when every villager used to be cautious about planning various marriages in village and save such stuff accordingly. Still many of these things are followed religiouslyWhen food is ready, it is served in courses to people who sit on floor. Leaf plates are utilized to serve the food, although plastic plates are also being used these days. Dishes include plain rice, Madra (Sepu badi or Mukand badi, kidney-beans, White grams, Paneer etc), Palda (a curd based dish or curry), jhol (curd rice), mustard based raita or pulses, pulses and sweet rice or Mithdee (made of boondi, Bread crumbs etc). Dishes vary from one region to another as per local culture. Dhule maah (dhuli Urad dal) cooked in desi ghee is a specialty of Mandi Dham while Chambayali Rajmah is the specialty of Chamba dhaam and Kaale chane ka khaata (Sweet and sour sauce) of Kangra dham.These huge containers are known as 'Charoti' or 'Batloi', and various other names specific to regions & language.The deep line with fire is called as 'Char' or 'Tiun' and have various other names. Wood-fire is used for cooking dham and dry wood is arranged few weeks in advance. This is another activities where almost every family in the village participate Mostly rice is servced in dhams and there is hardly any arrangement for bread(rotis). Above photograph shows the container made up of bamboo, which is used for serving hot rice.

10 comments:

sangeeta said...

Such a warming post. Loved those cooking Batlois, the food cooked in those narrow necked vessels is out of this world :-)
Lovely pictures :-)

VJ Sharma said...

Thanks a lot Sangeeta ! Somoehow I had a feeling and you will like it :)

It's an awesome experience and I can better appreciate it while in delhi :)

Vibha said...

Awesome post Vj...this system of cooking is so simple compared to the flambouyance of city weddings..

Anonymous said...

Very nice........ delicious foood

B S Rana said...

Dear I was there in Mandi on 26th.The hot delicious dham was prepared and served on net. You have not mentioned the occasion.Do visit here in Sundernagar if you are around.

Kamal Thakur said...

Bahut badhiya maraaj :)

Ramit said...

Fantastic post and photos! Just one additional comment (or maybe you already have it and I missed it) - You are not allowed to cross the path of the boti when he is serving. I remember getting scolded many times for it!

neha sharma said...

I miss my home town n above all mandi ki dhaam specially sepu badi n kaddu ka khatta yummmy .

Sonu harnot said...

this is really grate pahari custom. i love this way of cooking and eating on fig leaf is a wonderful experience. pls do share some of authentic himachali cuisine and recipes.

Beli.ram 152 Thakur said...

Great
I love धाम

.

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