South Sikkim Food Journey/Bhutia cuisine in Kewzing | Organic Temi Tea Garden Visit

After our mesmerizing stay at Dzongu, we are heading to the South of Sikkim to explore the prevalent gastronomic canvas of this region, primarily in the serene setting of Kwezing village near Ravangla that is inhabited by the Bhutia community. Our final destination here was Lungchok Farmstay in Kewzing.

We started from Dzongu at 11 am in morning with our driver cum guide Ashish Bhai. It's a five-hour-long journey through the beautiful mountainous stretch that has so much to offer. The magnificent verdant mountains, the cascading waterfall, the gushing rivers, the cold mountain air, the delightful flora and fauna all around, the meandering roads that cut through this landscape, the sparsely populated localities, and the genial and industrious populace left us overwhelmed and awestruck. For the most part of the journey, we were engrossed in this splendor barring those few instances of distress when we had to negotiate poor road conditions. Damaged roads due to rockslides, landslides, and heavy rain are common in such mountainous terrains. With the cautious Ashish Bhai behind the wheels, we felt safe and somewhat unperturbed.

Our first pitstop en route to Kewzing was Sherwani, a town center where the travelers halt for refreshment and basic provisions. We halted for lunch. The simple Sikkimese style spread at the Sherwani Tourist cafeteria was a revelation. The food was very flavourful and as fresh as it could be. While eating it, it suddenly began to rain. The heavy downpour left us anxious about the journey as it posed a threat of landslides and rockslides.

Just as it declined a bit we decided to start for our next stop Temi Tea Garden, a popular tourist destination in this part of the state. The road leading to Temi was breathtakingly beautiful. And you can never get enough of the sight and smell of the lush green carpet over the rolling hills and the fresh and crisp mountain air. The beauty of this estate was unmatchable. We met one of the supervisors who took us around this stunning landscape, briefing us about the produce, history, and heritage. It's a 100 percent organic tea estate that is much coveted in the global tea market. Sipping a cup of their popular Orthodox tea amidst the lush green carpet was a moment to cherish.

Soon after we resumed our journey to Kewzing. As we reached Ravangla, another popular town in this part. The temperature and the visibility both had declined sharply. The drive on this particular stretch was quite unsettling due to dense fog and poor road conditions.

On reaching the farm stay we were welcomed by our genial host Ms. Mingma. The place was tranquil and cozy. Without wasting any time we went to the kitchen to find out more about the local food scenario. She gave us a detailed idea of the common ingredients and the popular dishes of the Bhutia cuisine. We were excited to try the Khapse cookies, Gyuma, Nettle flower soup, Nakima, and many more things that were prepared with so much warmth. She also made us try some homemade plum wine. The next morning we indulged in the most gratifying breakfast where everything was sourced from the farms themselves. Thereafter we left for a tour of her beautiful farm full of a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and flowering trees, cows, and hens. There was so much activity all around. This gastronomic journey was indeed special.

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