Food Culture

Food and Cuisine of Gilgit Baltistan

There are several unusual meals that I have never encountered anyplace else in Baltistan’s traditional cuisine. Gilgit-Baltistan is a region that is autonomous inside Pakistan’s borders and is a location of enchanted beauty. It was an honor to travel to this magnificent location, and the hospitality there was outstanding. I’m going to share this delicious meal with you in this article, I Mehwish from will be concentrating primarily on Balti traditional cuisine. Nonetheless, I must admit that the overall travel experience was among the most heartwarming of my life when mixed with the extraordinary kindness of the locals.

The traditional cuisine of Gilgit-Baltistan is a varied and exceptional phenomenon in and of itself. These cuisines come in a wide diversity and each has a unique flavor. Chapshoro, Dawdoo, Chamus, Mamtu, Sharbat, Harissa, Molida, Garma, Berikutz, Harissa, Diram, Mull, Gooli, Suppra, and Khamuloot are some of the most well-known traditional dishes of Gilgit-Baltistan.


Chapshoro is a popular meat-filled pastry dish that is native to the Gilgit-Baltistan region. It is a delicious and filling meal that is perfect for cold winters and high-altitude treks. The dish is made with a combination of minced beef or mutton, onions, tomatoes, and a variety of spices, including cumin, coriander, and red chili powder. The mixture is then wrapped in a handmade dough made from flour, salt, and water. To prepare chapshoro, the dough is rolled out into a thin sheet and then filled with the meat mixture. The dough is then folded over and sealed, forming a triangular or rectangular-shaped pastry. The pastry is then baked in a clay oven or on a griddle until it is golden brown and crispy. Chapshoro is often served with a side of chutney or yogurt sauce and is a popular street food in Gilgit-Baltistan.


It is also known as “Daoud Bhatt” or “Daoud Pheeth”. The dish is made with a mixture of different lentils, including black lentils, yellow lentils, and kidney beans. These lentils are soaked overnight and then cooked in a large pot with water, salt, and sometimes baking soda to help soften the lentils. The mixture is then mashed and cooked further with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and a blend of spices, including cumin, coriander, red chili powder, and turmeric. Once the lentils are cooked to a thick consistency, the dish is usually served with a dollop of clarified butter or ghee on top, along with some fresh coriander and green chilies for garnish. It is typically eaten with a type of bread called “chapati” or “roti”.


It is a hearty, warming soup made with a variety of lentils and beans, along with vegetables and spices. The exact recipe for Chamus can vary depending on the region and the preferences of the cook, but it typically includes a mix of different lentils and beans such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, and split peas. These are soaked overnight and then cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Once the lentils and beans are fully cooked and tender, the soup is typically blended to create a smooth and creamy texture.


Mamtu is a popular dish in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is similar to dumplings or steamed buns and is usually filled with minced meat and spices.


 Another stimulating food from Gilgit-Baltistan is sharbat. It is cooked by the locals using wheat and butter. It is very protein-rich and is typically served during wedding festivities.


 Wheat, beef, and butter are used to prepare it. The meal is highly protein-rich and requires several hours of continual cooking. It has a great flavor and scent. It is served during celebratory events like weddings and festivals.

Balingi Chai:

 Black tea leaves and walnut shells are boiled in water. After that, let the tea boil for a few minutes to bring out the flavors of the black tea and walnut shells equally. Before serving, filter it and, if desired, add milk.


Garma is a type of meat stew that is often made with mutton or beef. The dish is typically cooked slowly over low heat, allowing the meat to become tender and flavorful.


 Diram Fiti is a naturally sweet bread prepared from sprouted wheat flour. Locals top it with a butter, almond, or apricot oil mixture.


It is a flatbread made using whole-grain flour. The locals serve it with butter sprinkled over it and are known for its high vitamin B-17 content. They typically make it on the eve of Ganoni and serve it with salty tea for breakfast. Gilgit-Baltistan typically substitutes salt for sugar while brewing tea. According to them, adding ginger and black pepper to the tea makes it more savory.


One popular dish from this region is called “Suppra,” which is a type of bread made from wheat flour and served with a variety of side dishes.


A traditional meal from Gilgit-Baltistan called shopan is made especially for Nasalo. It is known as haggis and is the national dish of Scotland. Ingredients for the filling include minced beef (particularly fatty flesh gives it a rich taste), secum from cows or oxen, or sheep or goat stomach. Salt, red crushed pepper, mint, coriander, onion, buckwheat flour, cooking oil, chopsticks, and thread to seal.

Gilgit-Baltistan cuisine is known for its versatility because it is influenced by the diverse cultures and geography of the region. Gilgit-Baltistan is located in the northernmost part of Pakistan and is surrounded by high mountain ranges, including the Karakoram and Himalayas. The region has a unique climate and geography that has led to the development of distinct culinary traditions. The cuisine of Gilgit-Baltistan reflects the cultural diversity of the region, which includes Shina, Balti, Burushaski, and Wakhi cultures. Each culture has its own unique culinary traditions that have contributed to the rich and diverse cuisine of Gilgit-Baltistan. Furthermore, the region’s cuisine is influenced by neighboring countries such as China, Afghanistan, and India, as well as the historical Silk Road trade route that passed through the region. This has led to the incorporation of spices and ingredients from different parts of Asia, making Gilgit-Baltistan cuisine a fusion of different flavors and culinary traditions.