Kashmiri CuisineBYAmartya Dutta
Kashmir, also called Paradise on Earth and an inspiration for art, music an poetry, is set in the lap of dazzling snow-capped Himalayas, like a crown Jewel on the map of India, changing its magnificent colours with the all four seasons.
History of Kashmir is intertwined with the history of a larger region, comprising the areas ofCentral Asia,Afghanistan,India,Pakistan,Tajikistan,Tibet,China. In the first half of the 1st millennium, the Kashmir region became an important center of Hinduism and later of Buddhism; later still, in the ninth century, Kashmir Shaivism arose. Islamicization in Kashmir took place during 13th to 15th century and led to the eventual decline of theAbsolute monothiesm in Kashmir. However, the achievements of the previous civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the newIslamicpolity and culture which gave rise toModern Kashmiri Sufi Mysticism.Past:
Influence of historyKashmiri cuisine (has evolved over hundreds of years. The first major influence was the food of the Kashmiri pundits, the Hindus of the valley. The cuisine was then influenced by the cultures which arrived with the invasion of Kashmir by the Timur from the region of modern Uzbekistan.
Subsequently, Kashmir and its food has been strongly influenced by the cuisines of Central Asia, Persia, Middle east and Afghanistan.The most notable ingredient in Kashmir cuisine is Mutton, of which there are over 30 varieties.
Where is Kashmir
Kashmir is in the northwestern region ofSouth Asia, north of India.Kashmir denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir (which consists of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh), the Pakistan-administered territories of Kashmir and GilgitBaltistan, and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.
Kashmiri cuisineKashmiri cuisine that we have today in the restaurants has evolved over the years. Highly influenced by the traditional food of the Kashmiri pundits, it has now taken some of the features of the cooking style adopted in Central Asia, Persia and Afghanistan.
Adopting all the cultures and ethnicity of the people came to Kashmir especially food.
The cuisine of Kashmir is as decorated and colorful as the marvelous gardens of the valley. This cuisine is characterized by its richness and aromatic flavors. Kashmiri cuisine is well-known for the ample use of spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, etc. Saffron is the signature spice of Kashmir, which provides a heavenly flavor to any dish. Exotic dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, apricots, peanuts, raisins, cashew nuts, chest nuts, dates, etc. are used graciously in the cuisine of the valley.
14.Coriander (hara Dhania)15.cumin (jeera)16.Curry tree (Kadipatta)17.fennel (saunf)18.Garam masala (Kadha Masala)19.Garlic (lahsun)20.ginger. (adrak)21.Green cardamom (Chhoti Elaichi)22.mint. (pudina)23.saffron (kesar)24.carom (ajwain)25.turmeric (haldi)26.holy basil (tulsi)
01.Asafoetida (Hing)02.Red chili (laal mirch)03.cardamom ( Elaichi)04.Black cardamon 05.Black pepper(kali mirchi)06.white pepper (white mirchi)07.Black Cumin (Shah Jeera)08.celery (ajmud)09.charoli (chironji)10.Indian bay (tej patta)11.cinamon(dalchini)12.cloves (laung)
Spices in Kashmiri preparations
Staple Diet The food of Jammu and Kashmir differs from region to region with the Hindus Dogras of Jammu being vegetarian; eating a staple diet of rice, wheat and beans.Being rice is the staple diet regardless of ethincity.
The Ladakhis eat rice, wheat, millet, locally produced vegetables and fruits, goat meat and dairy products made from yak milk.
The Kashmiri cuisine is essentially meat-based, while the eating habits of the Hindu and Muslim Kashmiris differ in its use of certain spices and the prohibition of beef for the Hindus.
Popular Delicacies Wazwan: Wazwanis a multi-course meal, the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Kashmiri Muslim culture and identity. Almost all the dishes are meat-based using lamb or chicken.
The prerequisite of wazwan is that freshly slaughtered meat is used and should be only of lamb. The first thing that waza do is to sort out the meat according to the dishes that are to be prepared like rib cage is used to make tabakh maaz, the bone less meat is sorted out to make kebab, rista and gushtaba. Similarly for every dish waza sorts the meat of a particular part of lamb and other wazas start mincing meat. The entire wazwan is cooked on the fire wood called Wir in Kashmiri and no gas stoves are used. Many dishes are spicy but the spices are not directly added to dishes to retain the fineness of the food.
Maithi maazRista(meatballsin a fiery red gravy)Lahabi Kabab or Moachi Kabab(flattened mutton kababs cooked in yogurt)Waza Kokur(two halves or two full chicken cooked whole)Daeni Phoul(mutton dish)Doudha Ras(mutton cooked in sweet milkgravy)Rogan Josh(tender lamb cooked with Kashmiri spices)Tabak Maaz(ribs of lamb simmered in yogurt till tender, then fried, can be served as a snack/side-dish)Daniwal Korma(a mutton curry with lots of coriander)
Waza Palak(green spinach cooked with small pounced mutton balls known as Paliki Riste)Aab Gosh(lamb cooked in milkcurry)Marchwangan Korma(an extremely spicy lamb preparation)Kabab(minced meat roasted on skewers over hot coals)Gushtaba(this is a velvety textured meatball in white yogurt gravy, a specialty)Yakh'n(delicately spiced yogurt curry)Ruwangan Chhaman(cheese squares with Tomato gravy)Dum Aelva(potatoes cooked in yogurt gravy)Muji Chetintin(a sharp radish and walnut chutney)Phirni(a milk pudding thickened withsemolinaor ground rice, flavored with cardamom and optionallysaffron, and set in individual bowls/cups with slivered nuts)
Waza(special chef) preparing Waziwan ans a complete wazawan plate
Kahwah is usually served to guests or as part of a celebration dinner, and saffron is added to the kahwah for special visitors. It is often served in tiny, shallow cups. Kehwa in Kashmir is also commonly served afterWazwanand elaborate family dinners.
The tea is made by boiling green tea leaves withsaffronstrands,cinnamonbark,cardamonpods and occasionally Kashmiri roses to add a great aroma. Generally, it is served withsugarorhoney and crushed nuts, usually almondsorwalnuts. Some varieties are made as an herbal infusion only, without the green tea leaves.
Traditionally, kahwah is prepared in a brass kettle known as aSamovar. A samovar consists of a "fire-container" running as a central cavity, in which live coals are placed keeping the tea perpetually hot. Around the fire-container there is a space for water to boil and the tealeaves and other ingredients are mixed with the water