I’d like to admit that though I am a foodie, my love for food takes a backseat on my travels. Until a year ago, I didn’t focus too much on food. I just ate when I was hungry and I usually stuck to my own kind of food. But, when I wrote 9 Travel Mistakes I have Made, I resolved to try new cuisines in each place that I visit.
Kashmir: A non-vegetarian’s paradise
After tasting Sikkim, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka, I made it a point to discover Kashmir’s food culture, too. To begin with, Kashmir is a non-vegetarian’s paradise. A typical meat platter in Kashmir comprises both chicken and mutton (of both goat and sheep). If you are a non-vegetarian, you must try Kashmiri Wazwan, which is a highly relished traditional dish of Kashmir. It’s a huge platter of rice with mutton, sheep balls and Rogan Josh. If you order a full platter in a restaurant like Mughal Darbar, it would cost you around INR 2200. Since I don’t enjoy meat that much, it was difficult for me to finish even a quarter of the Wazwan platter.
Anyway, what I truly enjoyed was the street-side restaurant food in Srinagar – I tried a variety of Kebabs, tandoori rotis and naans. They mix besan (gram flour) in the dough for tandoori rotis, which gives it a beautiful yellow colour.
Besides the abundance of meat dishes, Kashmir has a prominence of bakeries, too. You will find bakeries almost everywhere in Srinagar. I particularly loved their plum cakes and Kashmiri breads, which go very well with tea.
Also read It’s Easy To Fall in Love With Srinagar
Kahwah and Nun Chai
And yes, how could I miss out on Kahwah and Nun Chai? Kahwah is a dry-fruit rich, sweet tea, served without milk, while the Nun tea is made with milk and is salty in taste. Quirkily, the usual tea is called ‘Lipton’ by Kashmiris. I must say that when you are in Kashmir, you can enjoy a cup of zaikedaar chai anywhere. Kashmiris simply don’t know how to make bad tea.
Room for vegetarians, too
Although Kashmiris love meat, they prepare green leafy veggies also with a lot of diligence. I had a nice Karam saag dish at Ahdoos Restaurant. Besides, I enjoyed Malai kofta with Kashmiri naan at Mughal Darbar. A Kashmiri naan is sweet in taste. The naan that I had was garnished with pineapple.
The way Kashmiris eat and drink shows their passion for taste and richness. Food is truly a celebration for them.
Have you tasted Kashmiri food? What did you really enjoy?
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