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Lal Bazaar, Gangtok: A glimpse of Sikkim’s Kitchen

Fresh trout from the nearby streams and Teesta river
Fresh trout from the nearby streams and Teesta river
Bamboo shoot is one major food all over North-East India
Bamboo shoot is one major food all over North-East India
This local plant is a much priced delicacy
This local plant is a much priced delicacy
Squash is one of the most abundantly found vegetables in North-East India
Squash is one of the most abundantly found vegetables in North-East India
Ghee made from Yak milk
Ghee made from Yak milk
Cherry pepper or the round chilly features in most Sikkimese dishes
Cherry pepper or the round chilly features in most Sikkimese dishes
The interior of Lal Bazaar
The interior of Lal Bazaar
A vegetable seller at Lal Bazaar in Gangtok
A vegetable seller at Lal Bazaar in Gangtok
Lal Bazaar building at Gangtok
Lal Bazaar building at Gangtok

Lal Bazaar is the soul of Sikkim’s kitchen. It is where local women do their shopping and churn out recipes for their daily meals. Wandering through the vegetable market you are unconsciously taking a peek into Sikkim’s kitchen. Fresh vegetables and all sorts of items are being brought from all over Sikkim to be sold here. Lal Baazar is more like a flea market where you get almost everything from apparel to eatables. It is just few steps down from the dashing M.G Marg, which is the posh shopping area in Sikkim. Most goods other than the vegetables and food items are shipped from Siliguri, so it doesn’t lend a distinct character. But the vegetable (sabzi) market on the first floor looked exotic and unique. As I wandered through the market I was like a little child, on a quest to discover new plant species and eatables all along the way. For an outsider their priciest vegetables and food looked strange. It is also a nice place to interact with the locals who know a lot more about local plants and food. You’ll get some of the finest Yak ghee and mushroom here. Outside I was intrigued by a man who sold fresh trout caught from the nearby streams and Teesta River. Usually a walk through the food market can teach a lot more about people’s customs; things you’ll never learn elsewhere.

One Response to “Lal Bazaar, Gangtok: A glimpse of Sikkim’s Kitchen”

  1. Surjit Singh says:

    Very good market

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