If you visit Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India, try three local breads, siddu, luchi and big kachori that are consumed in breakfast and / or as a snack.
Dal siddu, steamed stuffed bread, is easily available in the town. The bland bread, made from wheat flour and dal, is served with hot and salty green and red chutnies, and tomato sauce. The fermented siddu is soft and spongy in texture.
Luchi, white deep fried bread made from maida, resembles a bhatura in taste and somewhat in color also. However, luchi is very thin, whereas bhatura is thick. Luchi puffs up partly, but a well-prepared bhatura puffs up fully.
Luchi, the oily bread, tastes bland. The bread is served with chole and aloo (gram and potato) curry. A piece of luchi costs INR 12 only. You have to pay extra INR 8 for a small bowl of the curry. But, all eateries may not serve both chole and aloo.
The kachori of Mandi is bigger than the Rajasthani kachori. The taste of the two is also quite different. The big kachori made from refined wheat flour, red chilies and urd dal (black gram) is served with mixed pickles to enhance the taste. You can sample piping hot big kachoris at traditional snack shops and eateries in the town. The traditional eateries are small and dark. However, they are clean and popular among locals. You will find signboards reading “Kachori and chai (tea)” in front of many eateries. Savor the kachori with hot tea.
We enjoyed kachoris at an eatery in Bhootnath Bazaar. The price of stomach filling deep fried Indian “bread” (kachori) is just INR 15. The bread puffs up and is fried until golden brown.