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 of spicing.

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.

-Chandramukhi Ganju