Kashmiri cuisine

Kashmiri cuisine is the cuisine of the Kashmir Valley region of India. Rice is the staple food of Kashmiris and has been so since ancient times.[1] Meat, along with rice, is the most popular food item in Kashmir.[2] Kashmiris consume meat voraciously.[3] Despite being Brahmin, most Kashmiri Hindus are meat eaters.[4]

Kashmiri cuisine

Some noted Kashmiri dishes include:

  • "Tabakhmaaz" (Kashmiri Hindus commonly refer to this dish as Qabargah)
  • Shab Deg: dish cooked with turnip and meat, left to simmer overnight.[5]
  • Dum Olav/Dum Aloo: cooked with yoghurt, ginger powder, fennel and other hot spices.
  • Aab Gosh
  • Goshtaba
  • Lyader Tschaman
  • Runwagan Tschaman, Cottage cheese in Tomato Gravy
  • Riste Meat balls in a delicious curry
  • Nader ti Gaad, Fish cooked with lotus stem, a mouth watering deliciacy cooked on festives like Herath, Novroze among others
  • Machwangan Kormeh, meat cooked with spices and yogurt and mostly using kashmiri red chillies and hot in taste
  • Matschgand, lamb meatballs in a gravy tempered with red chillies.
  • Waazeh Pulaav
  • Monje Haakh kholrabi being a deliciacy
  • Haakh(wosteh haakh, haenz haakh among others) collard greens is enjoyed by kashmiri people and they have their own versions of cooking the same with cottage cheeze, mutton or chicken.
  • Mujh Gaad, a dish of radishes with a choice of fish.
  • Daniwal Kormeh Lamb cooked with coriander or parsley is a yum.
  • Rogan Josh, a lamb based dish, cooked in a gravy seasoned with liberal amounts of Kashmiri chillies (in the form of a dry powder), ginger (also powdered), asafoetida or onion, garlic and bay leaves among other ingredients. Due to the absence of onions, yoghurt is used as a thickener, and also to reduce the heat and marry the spices in the gravy.
  • Yakhni, a yoghurt-based mutton gravy without turmeric or chilli powder. The dish is primarily flavoured with bay leaves, cloves and cardamom seeds. This is a mild, subtle dish eaten with rice often accompanied with a more spicy side dish.
  • Harissa is a popular meat preparation made for breakfast, it is slow cooked for many hours, with spices and hand stirred.

Other foods

The Kashmir Valley is noted for its bakery tradition. On the [Dal Lake] in Kashmir or in downtown Srinagar, bakery shops are elaborately laid out. Bakers sell various kinds of breads with a golden brown crusts topped with sesame and poppy seeds. tsot and tsochvor are small round breads topped with poppy and sesame seeds, which are crisp and flaky, sheermal, baqerkhayn (puff pastry), lavas (unleavened bread) and kulcha are also popular. Girdas and lavas are served with butter.

Kashmiri bakerkhani has a special place in Kashmiri cuisine. It is similar to a round naan in appearance, but crisp and layered, and sprinkled with sesame seeds.[6] It is typically consumed hot during breakfast.[7]


Wazwan majma
A complete Wazwan

A Wazwan is a multi-course meal in the Kashmiri Muslim tradition and treated with great respect. Its preparation is considered an art. Almost all the dishes are meat-based (lamb, chicken, beef, but never fish). It is considered a sacrilege to serve any dishes based around pulses or lentils during this feast. The traditional number of courses for the wazwan is thirty-six, though there can be fewer. The preparation is traditionally done by a vasta waza, or head chef, with the assistance of a court of wazas, or chefs.

Wazwan is regarded by the Kashmiri Muslims as a core element of their culture and identity. Guests are grouped into fours for the serving of the wazwan. The meal begins with a ritual washing of hands, as a jug and basin called the tasht naèr (tasht-e-naari in urdu/persian) is passed among the guests. A large serving dish piled high with heaps of rice, decorated and quartered by two seekh kabab, four pieces of meth maaz, two tabak maaz, sides of barbecued ribs, and one safed kokur, one zafrani kokur, and a mutton dish consisting of a piece known as Danni phol, sprinkled over with some coriander and Musk Melon seeds,followed by other dishes like Risteh, roganjosh, aab gosht, runwangan tchaman, marchwangan kormeh, aloo bukhara gosht, wazz palak, hindi roganjosh and last but not the least Gushtaab/Gushtaba including others. The meal is accompanied by yoghurt garnished with Kashmiri saffron, salads, Kashmiri pickles and dips. Kashmiri Wazwan is generally prepared in marriages and other special functions. The culinary art is learnt through heredity and is rarely passed to outside blood relations. That has made certain waza/cook families very prominent. The wazas remain in great demand during the marriage season from May–October.

Kashmiri street food

Kashmiri street food (8139530127)
Puris (Kashmiri Fried Bread) with Vendor - Old City - Srinagar - Jammu & Kashmir - India (26564862530)


Kashmiri Chai, Noon Chai, or Sheer Chai

Kashmiris are heavy tea drinkers. The word "noon" in Kashmiri language means salt. The most popular drink is a pinkish colored salted tea called "noon chai."[8] It is made with black tea, milk, salt and bicarbonate of soda. The particular color of the tea is a result of its unique method of preparation and the addition of soda. The Kashmiri Hindus more commonly refer to this chai as "Sheer Chai." The Kashmiri Muslims refer to it as "Noon Chai" or "Namkeen Chai" both meaning salty tea.

Noon Chai or Sheer Chai is a common breakfast tea in Kashmiri households and is taken with breads like baqerkhani brought fresh from Qandur, or bakers. Often, this tea is served in large samovars.


At marriage feasts, festivals, and religious places, it is customary to serve kahwah - a green tea made with saffron, spices, and almonds or walnuts. Over 20 varieties of Kahwah are prepared in different households. Some people also put milk in kahwah (half milk and half kahwah). This chai is also known as "Maugal Chai" by some Kashmiri Hindus from the smaller villages of Kashmir. Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Hindus from the cities of Kashmir refer to it as Kahwah or Qahwah.

See also


  1. ^ Bamzai, Prithivi Nath Kaul (1994). Culture and Political History of Kashmir. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd. p. 243. ISBN 9788185880310. Rice was, as now, the staple food of Kashmiris in ancient times.
  2. ^ Kaw, M.K. (2004). Kashmir and It's People: Studies in the Evolution of Kashmiri Society. APH Publishing. p. 98. ISBN 9788176485371. But perhaps the most popular items of the Kashmiri cuisine were meat and rice.
  3. ^ Press, Epilogue. Epilogue, Vol 3, issue 9. Epilogue -Jammu Kashmir. Since Kashmiris consume meat voraciously and statistics reveals that on an average 3.5 million sheep and goat are slaughtered annually for our consumption, the skin can be utilised for production.
  4. ^ Dar, P Krishna (2000). Kashmiri Cooking. Penguin UK. ISBN 9789351181699. Though Brahmins, Kashmiri Pandits have generally been great meat eaters.
  5. ^ Kashmiri Meat Shabdeg
  6. ^ "Culture of Anantnag". District Anantnag J&K. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Kashmir has special confectionary". Thaindian.com. 13 March 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Shier Chay". Archived from the original on 21 May 2012.

Further reading

  • "Chor Bizarre". Wazwan. Archived from the original on 23 December 2005. Retrieved 16 December 2005.
  • "Kashmiri Cuisine". Kashmiri Cuisine- food and recipes:Mumbai/Bombay pages. 9 September 2000. Retrieved 16 December 2005.
Aloo gosht

Aloo gosht (Urdu: آلو گوشت‎, Bengali: আলু গোস্ত) is a meat curry, originating from the Indian subcontinent, and popular in Pakistani, Bangladeshi and North Indian cuisine. It consists of potatoes (aloo) cooked with meat (gosht), usually lamb or mutton, in a stew-like shorba gravy. The dish can be served and eaten with plain rice or with bread such as roti, paratha or naan.

Aloo paratha

Aloo Paratha (Bengali: আলু পরোটা, Hindi: आलू पराठा, Sylheti: ꠀꠣꠟꠥ ꠙꠞꠐꠣ, Urdu: آلو کا پراٹھا‎; "potato paratha") is a bread dish originating from the Indian subcontinent;. The recipe is one of the most popular breakfast dishes throughout western, central and northern regions of India as well as in Pakistan. Aloo parathas consist of unleavened dough stuffed with a mixture of mashed potato and spices, which is rolled out and cooked on a hot tawa with butter or ghee. Aloo paratha is usually served with butter, chutney, or Indian pickles in different parts of northern and western India.


Bakarkhani or Baqarkhani (Bengali: বাকরখানি), also known as bakar khani roti, is a thick, spiced flat-bread that is part of the Mughlai cuisine, originating in Old Dhaka, East Bengal (now Bangladesh), and now eaten throughout the rest of the Indian subcontinent. This Mughali bread travelled from Central Asia during the time of the Mughals. Bakarkhani is prepared on certain Islamic religious festivals and is now popular as sweet bread.Bakarkhani is almost biscuit-like in texture, with a hard crust. The chief ingredients are flour, semolina, sugar, molasses soaked in saffron, poppy or nigella seeds, salt, and ghee (clarified butter). Bakarkhani is part of Awadhi cuisine, Kashmiri cuisine, Mughlai cuisine, as well as the wider Indian cuisine, Pakistani cuisine, and Bangladeshi cuisine.

Balti (food)

A balti or bāltī gosht (Urdu: بالٹی گوشت‎, Hindi: बाल्टी गोश्त) is a type of lamb meat or goat meat curry served in a thin, pressed-steel wok called a "balti bowl". It is served in restaurants throughout the United Kingdom. The name may have come from the metal dish in which the curry is cooked, rather than from any specific ingredient or cooking technique. Balti curries are cooked quickly using vegetable oil rather than ghee, over high heat in the manner of a stir-fry, and any meat is used off the bone. This combination differs sharply from a traditional one-pot Indian curry which is simmered slowly all day. Balti sauce is based on garlic and onions, with turmeric and garam masala, among other spices.Balti gosht is eaten in Pakistan and northwestern India, as well as other parts of the world, such as Great Britain. The food seems to have arrived in England in Birmingham in 1971; sources suggest it originates from Baltistan in northern Pakistan.

Dum Aloo

Dum Aloo (also spelled as Dam Aloo) or Alu Dum (Hindi: दम आलू) is a potato based dish, it is a part of the traditional Kashmiri Pandit cuisine, from the Kashmir Valley, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The potatoes, usually smaller ones, are first deep fried, then cooked slowly at low flame in a gravy with spices. Dum Aloo is a popular recipe cooked throughout India. In Bengal, it is a specialty dish eaten mostly with Luchi and is known as "Aloor dum".

Gulab jamun

Gulab jamun (also spelled gulaab jamun) is a milk-solid-based sweet from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India, Nepal (where it is known as gulab jamun), Pakistan, the Maldives (where it is known as gulaabujaanu), and Bangladesh (where it is known as golap jam), as well as Myanmar. It is also common in Mauritius, Fiji, southern and eastern Africa, Malay Peninsula, and the Caribbean countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica. It is made mainly from milk solids, traditionally from Khoya, which is milk reduced to the consistency of a soft dough. Modern recipes call for dried/powdered milk instead of Khoya. It is often garnished with dried nuts such as almonds to enhance flavour.


Harees, Jareesh (Arabic: هريس‎) or Harissa (Armenian: հարիսա, romanized: harisa) is a dish of boiled, cracked, or coarsely-ground wheat, mixed with meat and seasoned. Its consistency varies between a porridge and a dumpling. Harees is a popular dish known in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, especially in the month of Ramadan, while 'Harissa is an Armenian dish from the Ararat plain.


Kahwah also transliterated (qehwa, kehwa, or kahwa) is a traditional green tea preparation consumed in India the Western Ghats, the Malabar region, and Kashmir, from where it spread to Central Asia.


Kulcha is a type of mildly leavened flatbread that originated in the Indian subcontinent.

Nadur Monji

Nadur Monji is a fried snack (fritter) prepared from lotus stem (Naduru) and gram flour. With its origins in Kashmir it is found across South Asia.

Noon chai

Noon chai, also called sheer chai (from Persian, meaning 'milk tea'), gulabi chai, Kashmiri tea or pink tea, is a traditional tea beverage, originating from Kashmir Valley, made with gunpowder tea (green tea leaves rolled in the shape of gun powder), milk and baking soda.

North Indian cuisine

North cuisine is a part of cuisine, from the region of Northern India which includes the Pakistani provinces: [[]], AJK and Indian states and union territories: Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh . This is also a major cuisine in the Northern-Eastern regions like western Bihar (especially [[Bhojpuri cuisine]te]), excluding cuisine of Mithilanchal) as well as central regions test like Madhya Pradesh.

North Indian cuisine:

Awadhi cuisine

Bihari cuisine

Bhojpuri cuisine

Himachali cuisine

Kashmiri cuisine

Kumauni cuisine

Mughlai cuisine

Punjabi cuisine

Rajasthani cuisine

Cuisine of Uttar PradeshNorth Indian cuisine has strong Central Asian influences as compared to its southern or eastern counterparts.


Pakora (pronounced [pəˈkoːɽaː]), also called pakoda, pakodi, fakkura, bhajiya, bhajji, bhaji or ponako, is a fried snack (fritter), originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is a popular snack across the Indian subcontinent, where it is served in restaurants and sold by street vendors. It's also often found in Indian restaurants as well as South Asian restaurants in the Western world.


A paratha (parāṇṭhā) is a flatbread that originated in the Indian subcontinent, prevalent throughout areas of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh where wheat is the traditional staple. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words parat and atta, which literally means layers of cooked dough. Alternative spellings and names include parantha, parauntha, prontha, parontay (in Punjabi), porota (in Bengali), palata (pronounced [pəlàtà]; in Burma), porotha (in Assamese), forota (in Sylheti) and farata (in Mauritius, Sri Lanka and the Maldives).

Rogan josh

Rogan josh (British English /ˌrəʊɡən ˈdʒəʊʃ/, American English /ˌroʊɡən ˈdʒoʊʃ/), (Hindi: रोगन जोश) (Urdu: روغن جوش‎) also written roghan josh or roghan ghosht, is an aromatic meat dish of Persian or Kashmiri origin. It is made with red meat, traditionally lamb or goat. It is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine.


A samovar (Russian: самовар, IPA: [səmɐˈvar] (listen); literally "self-brewer") is a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in Russia. Additionally, the samovar is well known outside of Russia and spread through the Russian culture to Eastern Europe, South-Eastern Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir India, the Middle East, Vietnam, and is also known in some parts of Central Europe. Since the heated water is typically used to make tea, many samovars have a ring-shaped attachment (Russian: конфорка, konforka) around the chimney to hold and heat a teapot filled with tea concentrate. Though traditionally heated with coal or charcoal, many newer samovars use electricity to heat water in a manner similar to an electric water boiler. Antique samovars are often prized for their beautiful workmanship.

Shami kebab

Shami kabab or shaami kabab (Urdu: شامی کباب‎, Hindi: शामी कबाब, Bengali: শামী কাবাব) is a local variety of kebab, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is part of the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent and a popular dish in modern-day Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines. It is composed of a small patty of minced meat generally beef, but occasionally lamb or mutton, with ground chickpeas, egg to hold it together, and spices. Shami kebab is eaten as a snack or an appetizer. Shami Kebab is served to guests especially in the regions of Dhaka, Deccan, Punjab, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Sindh.

Shami kebabs are a popular snack throughout Indian subcontinent. They are often garnished with lemon juice and served with sliced raw onions as a side salad, and may be eaten with chutney made from mint or coriander. They are also served along with sheer khurma during Eid celebrations.

Tahri (dish)

Tahri (also tehri, tehari or tayari) is a yellow rice dish in Awadhi cuisine. Spices are added to plain cooked rice for flavor and colour. In one version of Tehri, potatoes are added to the rice. However, in many areas of Bangladesh and Pakistan, red meat is also added to the rice to give more flavour, aroma and texture to the dish. This dish is most popular in Bangladesh, Pakistan and North India.

Tehri and tehari are variants on the name given to the vegetarian version of biryani. It was developed for the Hindu bookkeepers of the Muslim Nawab rulers in South Asia. Tehri became more popular during the Second World War when meat prices increased substantially and potato became the popular substitute in biryani. It is prepared by adding the potatoes to the rice, as opposed to the traditional method of preparing biryani, in which the rice is added to the meat. In Kashmir, tehari is sold as street food.


Wazwan(Kashmiri: وازِوان) is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Kashmiri culture and identity. Almost all the dishes are meat-based using lamb or chicken with few vegetarian dishes. It is popular throughout the Kashmir. Moreover, Wazwan is also served internationally at Kashmiri food festivals and reunions.

Indian diaspora


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