Cereals, vegetables and fruits are all grown organically here and the
nutritional value is very high. Kothiyan is dominated by pine vegetation
making the soil dryer than usual, but the use of traditional irrigation
and farming practices such as terrace farming can be observed in their
full utility here.
The cuisine is simple and mainly vegetarian, except for the occasional use of mutton. Rice is an essential part of almost every meal, with varying accompaniments, including Aloo ka Gutka (potato cubes with a Tibetan herb called jumboo, red chillies, cumin seeds and hing), homemade chappatis, chutneys of apricots, green chillies or pomegranates, and dal. A black soya bean called bhatt, and a rust brown lentil called gahat, are typical pulses of the Kumaon region. Buckwheat, known as madua, is used in the interior parts of the region. Semolina based halwa, pooas, and singhals are traditional sweets, usually made for festive occasions. Food is cooked usually in iron pots, over a charcoal or wood fire in the centre of the kitchen, although LPG stoves have more or less become the usual order.
Locally speciality food products including jams, pickles and juices (the pomegranite squash is particularly tasty) are availbale at most hanidicraft shops.
If you have time bewteen feasting on this multitude of tastes, why not try it for yourself and learn some basics of Indian home cooking such as making chapatis, and preparing pulses and vegetable dishes. The homestay owner can arrange a session in his own house on request.