Kangana Ranaut recently uploaded an Instagram story featuring the Himachali delicacy Siddu and this is a dish you don’t want to miss out on. This wheat-flour based snack is usually enjoyed by the people of Kullu and Manali but can be found throughout the state of Himachal. The stuffing usually differs from place to place or depends upon your personal taste. Since it is yeast-based, do not expect it to be ready in minutes. Cooking Siddu is definitely a labour of love, but totally worth the wait!
Siddu is probably the most loved bread from Himachal. Based on the stuffing used, it can be both sweet and savoury. Sometimes, the taste may even have a touch of Tibetan, Rajasthani or Punjabi influence, but most of the times, it leans towards the local palate. The simple stuffing of Siddu, paired with a crispy outer layer makes it quite an enjoyable snack amongst the locals. When you visit Himachal, a plate of Siddu even makes for a hearty breakfast to fuel your energy for a long day of trekking.
Just like our beloved momos, Siddu is steamed and served with chutney, but unlike momos, it can even be enjoyed with just ghee. Widely prevalent in Kullu, Manali, Shimla and Mandi, the local recipe calls for fermenting wheat flour dough. Yeast is used to get that delicious bun-like texture, but the key is to let the dough rest for at least a few hours, sometimes even overnight during cold winters. It is very essential for the dough to rise for the perfect texture. The sweeter version of the dish uses jaggery and poppy seed paste, while savoury Siddu is stuffed with lentils, chilli, peas, fenugreek and numerous spices. Both the fillings may even have groundnuts, walnuts and almonds for an added kick of taste. They are traditionally par-cooked on direct bonfire flame and later steamed, but you can even complete the whole process of cooking by just steaming them for around 20 minutes. Sweet Siddu is served hot with ghee poured over it and the savoury ones are enjoyed with mutton or dal.
Siddu tastes heavenly with a cup of tea and is even enjoyed with lassi as well. It is much more than a snack for the people of Himachal. They take Siddus with them when they visit their family or friends as a token of their love. The cooking style varies, but the end result will always be delicious.