Food / Cuisine
The cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir is influenced by the cooking styles of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. It has its own unique taste. The local cuisine of the state, especially the Kashmir region, has impressed many great personalities such as Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. It represents the rich culture of the state and has a great flavor which comes from the aromatic spices. During the festive season, a wide variety of dishes are prepared, which are simply delectable.
With 36 different types of culinary delights, Wazhawan is a major specialty of the state. The majority of these dishes are non vegetarian. Some of the most delicious dishes of Wazhawan are tabakhmaz, rogan josh, rista, aabgosh, dhaniwal korma, marchingan korma and gushtaba. Polav, a special dish of Wazhawan, is something that should not be missed. It is a sweet rice dish cooked in clarified butter and milk. Dry fruits and saffron are also added to it.
Curd and asafoetida (hing) are used in most of the Kashmiri dishes. Saunf(aniseed), chillies, and dry ginger are some major ingredients of the state. Saffron is used liberally in most of the dishes. Dry fruits like almonds, raisins and walnuts are the important ingredients of the Kashmiri curries.
People of Jammu and Kashmir are experts in making different types of rice which is one of the most important dishes of their meals. Also try out 'saag', a green leafy vegetable, high in nutritive value. Lotus root is also used in many dishes.
A wide variety of vegetables are also a part of the cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir. Morel mushrooms (locally known as guhchi), a special ingredient, are normally only used during the festive season, as it is quite expensive. The aromatic tea of Kashmir is known as 'Kahava'. It is a special tea involving the use of spices. It is indeed really tasty, try it. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are also fond of fish. Some of the local snacks of the state are Sheermal, baquerkhani, tsot and tsochvoru.
An interesting dish of Jammu and Kashmir is the 'masala cake' for which spices, onion and chillies are used in the preparation. The hearty meals are followed by the? sweet dish called 'Fireen', sure to tantalize your taste buds.