By Nmami Agarwal
Kashmiri cuisine, being dominantly influenced by Mughals is mainly comprised of non-vegetarian food. But after getting a better insight into the cuisine, we can find some great vegetarian dishes too. The culinary heritage shows the rich culture and history it possesses. The food is loaded with spices like cardamom, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, cloves which contribute to the authentic taste of Kashmiri delicacies.
Characteristics of Kashmiri Cuisine
Kashmiri cuisine earns its distinction from the extensive use of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves while onion and garlic are not used that much. The food is generally garnished with dry fruits which make it rich in terms of nutritional value. Kashmir is known for its produce of almonds and walnuts. Another distinctive feature of kashmiri food is the use of saffron. The food is generally garnished with saffron which gives it an authentic taste to drool over.
Agriculture of Kashmir
Engaging almost eighty per cent of the population, the agriculture of Kashmir is rich due to its diverse climatic conditions. Apple, pomegranate, peach, apricot and kiwi are among the fruits that are grown on a wider scale. The vegetables hitting the list are radish, tomato and okra. Another major produce of Kashmir is Saffron. The produce plays a major role in the employment sector for rural people. Kashmir is a hub for unique spices which can be understood well once you enter the world of Kashmiri cuisine. The spices grown here include Kashmiri red chilli powder, shahi jeera, and sonth which contribute in the major aspect of economy. Talking about the major produce of Kashmir i.e. saffron is abundantly loaded with medical properties (Anti-depressant) due to its nutritional characteristics- potassium, fiber, iron, vitamin C, A, B6 and magnesium.
Popular dishes of Jammu & Kashmir
- DUM ALOO: Dum aloo is prepared with baby potatoes in a gravy form with a delectable blend of spices. Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and are a good source of energy but due to the calorie factor, it is advisable to have it under the portion control size. Or if you are preparing this at your home, you can use less amount of potato and more tomato and onion in this recipe to reap out additional nutrients.
- ROGAN JOSH: Rogan josh is a lamb dish and is a complete delight for all the meat lovers out there! Lamb meat provides good amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc and vitamin B12 while improving muscle functioning, exercise performance and stamina. Cooked with assorted spices, this dish is best served with rice or naan. So, try making this recipe soon at your home these winters.
- KASHMIRI RAJMA: Kidney beans or say rajma is an enormously popular dish in Kashmir. The most common yet famously prepared in North Indian homes which is paired up with cooked rice in plates. This Kashmiri rajma recipe is full of Kashmiri flavours and chilllies making it a perfect lunch or dinner meal. Kidney beans serve as an excellent source of plant-based protein, fibers, antioxidants, various minerals, vitamins and other plant compounds. Also, it may be useful as a part weight loss diet, promote colon health and moderate blood sugar levels.
- LYODUR TSCHAMAN: Lyodur tschaman is a dish made with cottage cheese (Paneer) prepared in a gravy form with a touch of turmeric which adds to the taste and colour of this dish. Cottage cheese is a source of protein, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins like vitamin B1, B3 and B6. Cottage cheese used in this dish is an ideal food for body building, strengthening bones, teeth and foiling skeletal deformation.
- KAHWA (KASHMIRI GREEN TEA): Tea- a soothing synonym of mornings. Kahwa (a type of Kashmiri green tea) is made by boiling Kashmiri kahwa tea leaves, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, topped with Kashmiri rose petals, and crushed almonds. Kahwa works as a healthy energy drink, reduces stress, strengthen immune system and burns fat due to its variant nutrients found in its diversified ingredients.
- KHATTE BAINGAN: Khatte baingan is typically served as a side dish in Kashmiri cuisine which gets ceremonies due to its pop flavours. It’s essentially laced in with golden fried aubergines thick, zingy and spicy gravy. Health benefits of baingan (Brinjal) are primilary derived from nutrients like vitamin C, K, B6, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamine, niacin, and dietary fiber which altogether aids in weight loss, manage diabetes and reduces the symptoms of developing anemia.
Over to you
Relish your winters with these popular Kashmiri dishes right in your home. Try new every week and share the same with your Kashmiri food lovers fam and spread the healthfulness along!!!