Friday, 10 July 2015

My Food Trail In Kashmir

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.

Bakeries

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. 
  


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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21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I hope you taste the real food soon!

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  2. Yes, once I have enjoyed Kashmiri tea but not in Kashmir.. somewhere else which I dont remember, It was pink in color.
    Re.: your photos
    Getting better and better day by day. Great.
    Plum Cakes I want right now. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Tushar! Yes, the plum cake was yum. :-)

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  3. Mouthwatering post..

    http://zigzacmania.blogspot.in/

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  4. Mouthwatering post. I am hungry now.

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    Replies
    1. :-) Hope you get to taste Kashmiri food soon!

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  5. Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Niranjan!

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  6. Did you try the Waswan? Kashmiris also make very nice rajma...

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  7. Not a good idea reading about food in the night - your post made me feel so hungry! :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha! Read it again in the morning ;-)

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  8. Great post !

    My favorite restaurant for non veg is Shamiyana on Boulevard road & for veg Krishana.

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  9. Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Samanvay :-)

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  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE Kashmiri and Muslim Indian food! So much of this looks like what I get served in Pakistan <3 and Kashmiri tea is to die for :D

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    Replies
    1. Right! Kashmiri tea is pure heaven!

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