Kashmiri cuisine is known for its rich and aromatic flavours, with a unique blend of spices and herbs. The cuisine of Kashmir, a region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, is influenced by Central Asian, Persian, and North Indian culinary traditions.
It is a rich and diverse tradition that reflects the region’s cultural heritage, climate, and availability of ingredients. It often characterized by the use of unique spices and cooking techniques.
Here are some of the famous dishes of the heaven itself:
Kashmiri tea, known as Kahwa, is a popular beverage in the region. It is a green tea preparation infused with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, along with almonds and saffron. Kahwa is made by boiling water with tea leaves including saffron, crushed cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, grated ginger, and dried rose petals. It is served with sugar or honey along with crushed nuts, usually almonds or walnuts. Serve the Kahwa immediately while it’s still warm. Enjoy the aromatic and soothing flavours of this traditional Kashmiri tea.
Origin of Kahwa: The word “kahwa” is derived from the Arabic term “qahwa,” meaning coffee or wine, indicating the beverage’s Middle Eastern influence.
Wazwan is a traditional multi-course meal that is central to Kashmiri cuisine. It is often served during special occasions and celebrations. The meal consists of various dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and can include up to 36 different items. Some popular Wazwan dishes are Rogan Josh, Yakhni, and Dum Aloo. It’s preparation is considered as an art and is very significant for Kashmiri people and their culture.
Origin of Wazwan: The origins of Wazwan can be traced to historical and cultural influences that have shaped the cuisine of Kashmir over the centuries. The term “Wazwan” is of Persian origin, and it literally translates to a feast.
Yakhni is a yogurt-based curry, often prepared with meat, usually chicken or lamb. It is seasoned with saffron, fennel seeds, and other spices, giving it a subtle and delicate flavour. Few of its variants are; Yakhni Pulao, Yakhni soup etc.
Origin of Yakhni: It was originated as a medieval Iranian cuisine. The meaning of this Persian word Yakhni is, ‘Store of food.’
Goshtaba is a traditional Kashmiri dish that is part of the elaborate Wazwan, a multi-course meal served during special occasions and celebrations. Goshtaba consists of seasoned and spiced meatballs cooked in a rich yogurt-based gravy. It is minced mutton often in the shape of balls and is mainly cooked in yoghurt and spices. It is known for its unique flavours and the use of traditional Kashmiri spices.
Sheermal is a traditional flatbread that is popular in Kashmiri cuisine, as well as in other parts of South Asia, Iran, and Central Asia. It is known for its slightly sweet taste and is often enjoyed with various savory and sweet dishes. It is a meal in itself and is meant to melt in your mouth when you’ll bite it. Its main ingredients are Maida, Saffron, Ghee and Milk. It is kind of Naan but mildly sweet due to sugar mixed with it.
Origin of Sheermal; The word “sheermal” itself is of Persian origin, with “sheer” meaning milk and “mal” meaning bread. It’s a traditional flatbread eaten in Iran and Central Asia.
• Dum Aloo
Kashmiri Dum Aloo is a flavourful and aromatic dish that hails from the Kashmiri cuisine. It typically features baby potatoes cooked in a rich, spiced yogurt-based gravy. The use of unique Kashmiri spices gives it a distinct taste. It is mainly a part of Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. Dum aloo is widely cooked in all over the India now.
Origin of Dum Aloo; The origin of Kashmiri Dum Aloo is rooted in the cultural and historical context of the Kashmir Valley. It has evolved over centuries and is widely liked by people all over the country.
Kashmiri Modur Pulav, also known as Kashmiri Pulav. It is a traditional rice dish from the Kashmiri cuisine and is known for its unique blend of aromatic spices and the inclusion of dry fruits. It is basically sweetened Kashmiri rice prepared using saffron, milk, ghee, cinnamon, cashews, almonds and cardamom.
The food culture of Kashmir is very diverse as it has veg, as well as non-veg dishes with various kind of flavours, spices and recipes. So go, prepare some Kashmiri food and enjoy its amazing taste with your loved ones.