Today I shall enlighten about one of my most favorite spots in India which is popularly known as the ‘heaven on earth’, a prominent, gorgeous, stunning, and wonder piece of land called Jammu and Kashmir. This state of India is located in the northern most part of the Indian subcontinent.
Kashmiri cuisine has evolved over hundreds of years and is highly influenced by the food of the Kashmiri Buddhists and Pandits, the Hindu community of the valley. Apart from this, it is also strongly influenced by the cuisines of Central Asia, Persia and the North India Plains. It is a wonderful state for people who love good, delectable and scrumptious food. This cuisine offers a variety of exotic Kashmiri vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
Wazwan cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines of this state. It is traditionally a 36 course rich spread of delicacies mainly consisting of meat preparations like Rogan josh, Tabak maaz (Fried Lamb rib), Methi, Rista and a variety of Kababs and vegetable dishes. The meal concludes with the exotic Gustaba dish which one would never refuse and then Phirni, a luscious sweet dessert and a cup of Kahwah, green tea flavoured with saffron, cardamom and almonds.
Kashmiri’s extensively use spices like asafoetida, aniseed (saunf), saffron and other additional and aromatic spices in preparing their dishes. The food is often cooked in mustard oil, which spices the food and helps to keep the body warm in the cold climate. Kashmiri delicacies are a real delight to the palate as most of the dishes are adorned with lots of dry fruits, which are especially added in preparation of curries, gravies and pulaos.
Kashmiri’s also use lots of ghee to cook the dish to make it rich, aromatic and delicious to taste. Mutton, being the most notable ingredient in the Kashmiri cuisine has more than 20 varieties of dishes. Kashmiri Pandit cuisine is quite popular all over Kashmir and is elaborate, gives out the ethnic identity of the Pandits. Their food is usually prepared in lots of yogurt, oil and spices. Mostly chicken, mutton, onions, garlic and tomatoes are avoided in the preparation of their dishes.
Kashmiri rice is very aromatic and light, popularly known as Kashmiri pulao which is well liked by one and all. This cuisine is truly unique and traditional. Typical Vegetarian dishes from the cuisine of Kashmiri Pandits include: Ladyar Tsaman (Indian cheese in turmeric), Veth tsaman (Indian cheese cooked in oil and Kashmiri spices), Dama Oluv (potatoes), Nadeir yakhean (lotus stem), Choek vangan, Nadier Palak and the Razmah goagji (Rajma with turnips).
The non-vegetarian dishes are similar to the Muslim dishes but vary in taste as it’s influenced by the Pakistani Muslim food. They include dishes like Rogan Josh, Chamani Qaliyan, Matshgand, Kabargah,Gushtaba , Aab Gosht, Shab Deg Kashmiri Yakhni and Gaad (fish cooked with nadur or monju or mooli).
Popular lip smacking desserts from the Kashmiri cuisine are the Phirni, Shufta, Panjeeri, Shakar Pareh, Kasaar, Sevaiyyan and many more. Rajma Chawal, Aloo Dum, Kashmiri Pulao and Patisa are the prominent dishes that have a special and mouth watering taste among most of the tourists visiting this state.
Pickles of Kasrod, Girgle, Zimikand, Tyaoo, Seyoo, and Potatoes are also made. Jammu is famous for Gol Gappas, Kachaalo, Gulgule, Rajma Kulche and paneer dishes etc. To talk about some of the most famous Kashmiri recipes are: Mutton Rogan Josh Mutton Rogan josh is a delicious recipe of Kashmir and it is a treat to the taste buds.
The flavours of spices blend well in Mutton Rogan josh.A delectable delight, rogan josh is best suited for special occasions. With rich aromatic gravy, rogan josh is well worth the effort.
Lamb Leg Roast Curry – Raan E Khaas A whole leg of lamb is marinated with Indian flavours cover it with silver foil and cooked in a oven in slow cooking process because meat normally takes long time to cook by cooking in this method it cooks evenly and remains juicy
Kashmiri Mutton Curry Aab Gosht This dish is made in several ways but the two popular versions are Kashmiri and Iranian. The authenticity of this dish is because of the gravy that is made with milk or coconut milk and all the flavorful spices.
Lamb Gustaba Gustaba is a popular meat balls recipe. It is a mutton delicacy prepared with minced meat and a blend of spices. Gustaba is one of the best of meat balls recipe. The succulent flavours melt in the mouth and give you a wonderful experience. Gustaba is one of the most popular non-vegetarian Kashmiri recipe. This Kashmiri recipe is primarily white in colour due to the curd and macadam used in it. The essential creamy nature of this Kashmiri recipe is simply irresistible.
Try making gustaba with this easy meat balls recipe. Dum Aloo Kashmiri Dum aloo Kashmiri is an extremely delicious main course dish which is actually potatoes cooked in rich spicy yoghurt gravy.
Zafrani Pulao (Saffron Rice) Zafrani Pulao is a mix of rich ingredients - Basmati rice cooked in a sweet and rich blend of spices and nuts.
Kashmiri Pulao Kashmiri pulao is like the essence of Kashmir served on a plate, a heaven to relish! This rice preparation is an authentic Kashmiri delicacy and each and every grain of this pulao is awe strikingly infused with the delicate flavour of fresh cream and mild aroma of the spices.
Adorned with a blend of fruits and nuts, can be eaten on its own or accompanied with a mild raita. Badam Phirni Phirni is a traditional Indian dessert basically a rice pudding to be precise, made with milk, sugar and rice. The Phirni dish had been introduced to Indian cooking by the Mughals. As origin of Kheer is Pakistan the Phirni is Indian. Though the original is always the Kesar Badam Phirni, there are a number of variations which includes Pistachios, Gulab (Rose), Chocolate, Mango, Apple and Banana Phirni.
To sum this up, Kashmiri cuisine holds its uniqueness to other cuisines and probably is one of the most sought after in India, but because of its complexity and long preparation hours, Kashmiri food is not available in most restaurants. But if you really love eating Kashimiri food and have an appetite for rich and aromatic feast, then this is an ultimate gastronomic affair that you should not miss to try. So do try cooking it yourself and enjoy making and eating of these dishes from this wonderful state which is commonly known as the “Switzerland of India”.
To try your favourite Kashmiri foods, then just hit at: https://www.vahrehvah.com/jammu-amp-kashmir
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Enjoy Cooking! Keep Smiling…