The range of cuisine of Kashmir is truly incredible.
Keeping in with the natural beauty of Kashmir, its cuisine has a peculiar
quality of its own that makes it different from the other culinary arts
of India. While the use of spices is traced to the pre-Aryan era, the
absence of onion and garlic in preparation of the delicious curries in
Kashmir dates back to the Vedic period. Known for its flavors and hot
spicy taste, Kashmiri cuisine is quite tempting.
Spices used in Kashmiri dishes
give special taste and aroma to the food. There are varieties of Kashmiri
dishes made with the same spices like red chilies, aniseed, asafetida,
ginger powder, cumin seed, curd or yogurt. White rice is the staple food
which balances spicy hot Kashmiri dishes.
Some of the dishes have a cultural
as well as religious background and hence are prepared on special occasions.
I have tried to indicate at the appropriate places the necessary info
in this regard.
The input of the spices in
cooking Kashmiri food is important for the flavors and aroma. One spice
can completely change the taste of a dish. Quantities of spices specified
in recipes are merely a guide. So, feel free to experiment and increase
or decrease these as you wish. Mainly, chilies and salt- are the two things,
which can be used according to personal taste. In fact, the secret behind
the tasty Kashmiri cookery lies not in high spicing but in the delicacy
Deeply concerned at the fact
that future generations of Kashmiris might lose touch with authentic Kashmiri
cuisines, as they do with their native language, it occurred to me that
I must pass on the recipes given to me by my mother to the generations
to follow. I hope my sincere efforts in this direction prove helpful not
only to amateur cooks, but also to students who live in dorms and to Kashmiri
girls who get married and have no knowledge of cooking.