All Kashmiris, irrespective of denomination, ethnicity and political leanings have in common a pre-occupation with food! What’s been cooked, how it turned out, what should be cooked next and what will be eaten through every day of every week and month, season, festivals, freezing cold and burning fever is the chief topic worthy of discussion. Global warming, political manifestoes and the Olympics stand no chance what-so-ever. Further, every meal is subject to due diligence, analysis, passionate reminiscence and articulation about how well it was cooked by mothers, grand-mothers and even their ancestors..
Most human beings meet, greet and proceed to ask each other, “Hey, how’s it going?” or, “How’re you doing?”. Ah ha! Most human beings are not Kashmiris though!! Kashmiris meet, greet and ask even absolute strangers, “So, what did you eat today??” Its THE ice-breaker in the simple, food-besotted culture of every breathing, walking Kashmiri Homo Himalayan!
The cuisine is legendary but what’s specially endearing is the delicious, pure, abundance of the fruits and spices of Jammu and Kashmir that are unique in that these are, for the most part, dried and non-perishable to offer options for the winter months when the Himalayan people of the valley of Kashmir, were cloistered-in, with no access to the plains and warmer climates where vegetables and fruits could be sourced from.
Tomatoes, apples, bottle-gourd, eggplant, apricots, figs and even ginger and spices that are generally used fresh by most Indians, were sun-dried through the summer months and ground into powder for ease of use. Even fish was dried! Below are some images of these delicacies. These are now delicacies because in times of abundance, when all produce is available across all seasons, when supermarkets and home-delivery are the norm, these foods from the “good-old-days” are now fervently sought-out by yearning hearts with mouth-watering memories!
Fortunately, with the use of technology-platforms, such as CraftsBazaar.com, these rare speciality foods are now being delivered to doorsteps worldwide.
We can’t bring Kashmir to you…but its flavours, aromas and uniquely wondrous foods are yours at the click of your fingers.