Kashmir is heaven, not only in terms of landscapes but for foodies too. Everyone should not only visit Kashmir but also try Kashmir Food once in their lifetime. Kashmir cuisine is varied and flavorsome. Not only will you find the influence of Mughals and Arabs in the dishes but many of the dishes have a signature of Kashmiri pundits on them. If you are a meat lover, you have more advantage than vegetarians because Kashmiris know 30 different ways to make mutton. Though this does not mean Kashmir food has nothing to offer to vegetarians. When you go through the list, you will find yourself drooling over your screen.
The snow clad mountains, enchanting valleys and pristine, almost holy environs, all make Kashmir what it is rightly called, ‘Paradise on Earth’. But the gorgeous state is not just about its angelic beauty but something much more tantalizing. Yes, you guessed it right. It’s Kashmiri Food that steals the show, at least for all the food lovers and foodie travelers out there. Just as its people, culture and landscape, Kashmiri Food is also rich yet simple and diverse yet evincing a distinct identity.
The Kashmiri cuisine is based on vegetables, meat and rice, makes use of lots of yogurts, cardamom, cloves and fennel powder to flavor their fragrant dishes. The use of mustard oil as their cooking medium and Kashmiri red chilli powder which gives off that distinct deep red hue to the Kashmiri Food is simply outstanding to say the least. So, before the drool seeps out and wets the carpet, lets quickly learn about the various delicious Kashmiri dishes that you must indeed taste at least once in your life.
Kashmir food is varied and vibrant. Here are the names of Kashmiri food dishes that will introduce you to Zaika-e-Kasmir. Do try the popular food of Kashmir on your vacation to make the most out of it and to satiate the foodie in you!
Authentic Kashmiri Foods
Kulcha – Among the best Kashmiri Foods
What better way to begin your gastronomical journey in the valleys of Kashmir than with its breakfast staple of kulcha. Nope. It is not the regular kulcha that you find almost everywhere in Northern India, but is an exclusive creation only found in Jammu & Kashmir.
This Kashmiri cuisine is made from a mix of wheat flour and refined flour, it is a baked goodies, that is cooked in a traditional kiln. Dum Aaloo Crunchy on the outside, it has a soft interior that is best eaten smeared with butter and with an accompaniment of kaahwa or sheer chai.
The Kashmiri sibling of the common Indian saag or green leafy vegetable preparation, Haakh is a common term used for all kinds of saag but most popularly the leafy portion of maunj or Knol Knol. Another light dish, this Kashmiri Food is a welcome change for the tongue, frustrated with the usual overdose of spices and oil. This extraordinary Kashmiri cuisine can be served along with boiled rice and plain yoghurt of tea for everyone pun intended.
Roth has a special place for itself in the traditional Kashmiri Food. It is made on the auspicious time of Kashmiri New Year, even so as a ritual among the Kashmiri Pundit community. Roth is a sweet flatbread, prepared with flour, sugar and clarified butter or ghee.
Kashmiri Dum Aaloo
Be it birthdays, festivals or any day calling for a sumptuous treat, Kashmiris always rely on these oh so yummy comfort food. Boiled and fried to a golden crisp covering, potatoes are then cooked with a smooth red gravy to prepare the very popular Kashmiri dum aloo that is enough to make any home smell nonintoxicating good. The Kashmiri Dum Aloo is one of the most famous Kashmiri dishes. The other version of this Kashmiri Food is with a yogurt gravy. Of course, the potatoes are not the small miser sized as popular for dum aaloo, but hearty big ones, just like their connoisseurs.
Rogan Josh is one of the most famous Kashmiri dishes which is a certainly a treat for the taste buds. However, it isn’t the kind of Kashmiri Food you will find anytime, but only elaborate occasions call for its elaborate preparation. This Kashmiri cuisine that looks and tastes equally royal, is made with lamb cooked with onions, garlic, cardamom and Kashmiri red chili powder is concocted in oodles of aromatic ghee and love.
A stirring alternative to the regular Indian tea, Kaahwa is one beverage no Kashmiri can live without. Lighter than its milk counterparts and sweeter too, this beautiful golden brown drink is made by boiling special Kashmiri green tea in water for just a few minutes, not longer, to get the perfect color and taste. With a hint of cardamom and cinnamon, and a helping of crudely ground almonds, this lovely tea is one Kashmiri Food you can very well enjoy at your home.
With a unique twist on the usual rich gravies of onion, tomatoes and cream, Chaaman is a wonderful cottage cheese (paneer) dish popularly cooked in Kashmiri homes. This yellow paneer curry, is among the few Kashmiri savoury Foods that uses turmeric. The golden fried cottage cheese cubes are boiled in a pot of water consisting of different spices such as cloves, cardamom, fennel powder and saunth or dried ginger powder, which translates the humble paneer into a lip-smacking curry that is best eaten with a platter of steaming basmati rice.
Another refreshing beverage from the land of snow, Sheer Chai or noon chai (noon = salt), is unique and indispensable part of the Kashmiri Food scene. Made with a special kind of tea leaves, this brew is made with milk, water, a pinch of baking soda and dry fruits like pistachios and almonds. The natives savour this tea with a special thin noodles called feni dipped in the concoction. This delicious Kashmiri dish, being savory, this tea is not the cup of tea for everyone *pun intended.
Tehar is a type of Kashmiri rice preparation, which is reserved for celebratory occasions, like festivals or birthdays. This simple yet delicious Kashmiri rice dish is made with a little turmeric that gives it its lovely color, though it is sometimes even made with saffron strands. It is mostly served with other festive Kashmiri Foods like Dum Aaloo or Chaaman.
Tabak Maaz is a very simple but utterly luscious dish which can be thought of as the Indian match for the British or American mutton chops. This Kashmiri Food is basically deep fried chunks of mutton that are flavoured with salt and a generous helping of Kashmiri red chilli powder. Eaten as a side dish, this lovely rich Kashmiri dish has potential enough to become the main course and make you forget everything else.
Another heavenly offering from the impressive Kashmiri cuisine, Yakhni is a mutton cooked in a yogurt based gravy. This dish is made by marinating the pieces of mutton in curd and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, fennel etc. and then cooked with some more of the good stuff in mustard oil. One of the best things that could have happened to the world gastronomy, Yakhni is a Kashmiri Food that’s both a distinct recipe and a tantalizing treat for the senses.
The vegetarian equivalent of the above delight, this lovely Kashmiri dish that consists of bottle gourd or lauki as the primary ingredient, is a frequently made in all Kashmiri homes. The shallow fried disks of gourd, dunked in a flavorsome curry of curds, fennel, cardamom and saunth, impart this Kashmiri Food such a rush of piquant appeal that it is hard to believe it’s made with the detested lauki!
Goshtaba is one Kashmiri Food you must not miss on your trip to the valleys. Often considered as a royal treat, it is indeed a dish with a royal taste. Made with minced meat and a gravy of yoghurt and choicest of Kashmiri spices, it is in fact a kind of western meat balls, only with a desi tadka and a better taste.