An excerpt of ‘Shahiness’- Jammu and Kashmir’s exotic cuisine

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By Citizen Journalist Amaya

Boundless landscapes, magnificent valleys, a home to several rivers, versatile culture, simlplicity, warmth and all of this garnished with an exotic pinch of peculiar spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, saffron etc. So Jammu and Kashmir offers a palate with exquisite essence, enough aromatic to make you forget the rest of the world. Adorn your trip with this mouth watering foodilicious account from the divine jammu and kashmir and every nook of leh and ladakh-an account of delicious delicacies delievered straight from the heaven.

1. WAZWAN

A generous use of royal spices like saffron and cardamom,this multi-course ethnic cuisine is a work of art as well as pride for the natives. Served with Yogurt and Chutney in small earthen pots it has 36 courses, many of which are cooked overnight by the zesty wazas. The traem arrives heaped with rice, seekh kababs,chaman, methi korma, tabak maaz, hak, safed kokur, zafran kokur, yakhni, rista, rogan josh, aab gosh, gushtaba and the rest of the story would taste best if dicovered on your own.

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2. DUM ALOO  

The grand feasts of kashmiris have a less share of vegetarian dishes, Dum aloo being the most loved one among them is a luscious part of the cuisine. Potatoes,deep fried and then cooked on a subtle flame in a curd-based sauce. This has made a mark in the whole of india now, though varying a bit in preparation and taste But an undoubted taste of the shahi culture.

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3. LOCAL SNACKS

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In addition to Patties and pastries the bakery collection of kashmir comprises of sheermal and baqerkhani without which their breakfast is incomplete. Tsot and Tschvoru are variety of small roundbreads topped with aromatic sesame and poppy seeds. So give yourself a new experience of delving into extensive melt-in-mouth sweet and savoury dishes seldom found anywhere else.

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4.KASHMIRI PULAO

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This rice dish with added flavours of ethnic spices and assorted dry-fruits will enrich your taste-buds like anything. Its not spicy but a little sweet in taste and is sometimes served with an addition of fresh fruit in it.

 

5. FIRNI

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Desserts are not a major part of kashmiri cuisine but this delicate sugary porridge adds to the royal taste of the poeple here. Topped with a gracious share of dry fruits mainly almonds and pistachios this is an exclusive bowl of bliss.

6. KAHWAH

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Tea drinking is a vital part of the culture here. Sheer chai and kahwah are one of the most loved drinks here for any occassion. The essence of added saffron, spices, almonds and walnuts  will let you have a sip of  the beautiful state binding you in the air filled with alluring aroma.

7. MADRA

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The most loved recipe of the dogra cuisine is Madra-This vegetarian delicacy is cooked using milk and dry fruits. The aroma of cardamom and fennel seeds will force you to dig a spoon in a bowl full of ecstatic richness of originality.

8. KHATTA MEAT

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This tingling dish is not to be skipped if you are here. Mutton cooked with lime juice is a sour and tangy dish soaked in mustard oil and you better be ready for some finger licking now!

9.RAJMAH

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Now you might think you have had them before but when you try them here in jammu you will be put to wonder if you have really had this flavor before. You might be in danger if you think of questioning the exclusivity of rajmah here. So without any doubt in your heart Have them with hot rice and let your taste-buds go on a happy ride.You would soon admit that nothing beats the original!

 10.KALADI

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This traditionally ripened cheese is exclusively available in the hills of J&K and nowhere else. Extremely soft , ubiquitous and spellibinding must-have,if you are roaming on the local streets you might bump into a loal vendor serving it with breads or kulchas. It will beat the variety of cheese you have had in lavish restaurants before 😉 !

11. MOMO

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Kin to the chinese dumplings this is the most common food in ladakh. A plate of Steaming balls stuffed with chopped vegetables and meat, served with a variety of sauce is enough to make a good day.

12.THUKPA

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This sapid bowl of noodle soup will help keeping you warm in the chilly evenings of ladakh. My undoubted favourite on the list,this is a dish derived from tibet and now much popular in states like himachal pradesh as well. Noodles mixed in vegetable soup , accompany it with a fiery red chilli sauce and you will suddenly be a little more in love with the place.

 13.CHAANG

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This local brew, originally a nepali drink but quite popular with people here in Ladakh-a beer made by fermenting miller seasoned by an addition of pepper and sugar. This might be the most unsual pleasure for the palate but well it sure is not to be forgotten while exploring the freezing lanes of ladakh.

So much variety, so many tastes, exclusive of this particular state.By now you must have realised that this city is not just a visual delight but an absolute feast for your drooling mouth as well. You might find your trips incomplete without these delicacies serving steaming originality…

Say no to none ! Relish into these tremendous aromas and add more flavours to your ultimate trip to this royal state.

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