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Milk Based Food Specialties of Kashmir

Mohammad Ashraf Pal

Corresponding author: e-mail address: palashraf@gmail.com


Phone: 0194-2262215 (O)
0194-2300871 (R) 09858336944 (Cell)
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Milk Based Food Specialties of Kashmir


Mohammad Ashraf Pal

Milk has since ages been an integral part of the diet of the majority of the people

in Kashmir. A routine diet comprised the staple food like rice and other cereals made into

porridge or flour and transformed into bread, vegetables, meat, poultry lots of spices and

condiments and unlimited milk. Milk in Kashmir is referred to by many of its adjectival

descriptions like Dodhe Rehmat, Dodhe Barket, Dodhe Noor etc. and constitutes so

important an economical, cultural and social element that it may well be one of the

unique local Jungian archetype in its collective existence.

Milk and milk products along with meat, poultry, fish and other food products have

been molded, transformed and designed by glutinous Kashmiri genius into so many

nuances and varieties that their reputation and renown has spread over the entire world.

In recent times the food expositions held in some major cities of India, Europe, Middle

East and North America portrayed the Kashmiri Wazwan and the response exhibited by

the participants was overwhelming and the quality and flavour of such products was

invariably stated to be irresistable and exotic. There has been a complex history of

cultural exchange in Kashmir as a result of the influence of various rulers who

represented a varied cultural origin. However, without resorting to the plagiarism and in

the absence of any conspicuous cultural traceability, some exclusively Kashmiri milk

based specialties which are a symbolic representation of the local culture are presented in

this paper for documentation.


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Meat Based Specialties

Aab Gosht: Aab gosht is a union of two Persian/Urdu/Kashmiri words Aab and

gosht the former meaning the water and the latter meat. In this moderate to relatively

large sized meat pieces are selected and cuts of choice include the sacro-coccygeal and

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


the whole shoulder portions. Cuts from other parts of the carcass can also be

incorporated. The meat is sized into uniform pieces, the fascia and other associated

tissues are trimmed off and the spinal cord removed scrupulously from the cuts involving

backbone. The meat is boiled vigorously along with the salt and spices that include

cinnamon, aniseed, cardamom and other spices except those imparting any color to the

preparation such as turmeric, saffron etc. The meat upon having tenderized moderately by

cooking is kept aside and the whole milk containing 3-4% fat 8-10% SNF is cooked

separately and condensed to a relatively thicker consistency. This is accomplished by

regulating the heat and by constant stirring and scrapping. The meat along with the

extract, spices and condiments is passed through a course muslin cloth into the vessel

containing milk to exclude the undesirable remains of spice husks, bone pieces etc. The

meat is picked by hand and put into the milk and cooking is continued until the optimum

tenderness of meat and consistency of gravy is achieved.

The product is prepared at home at special occasions and constitutes an

inseparable component of the world famous traditional Kashmiri Wazwan. The recent

improvisations include the replacement of fluid whole milk with whole milk powder

reconstituted some what thicker by incorporating 4-5 times water before cooking. The

product has a salty cum sweetish, moderately spiced flavor with a combination of rich
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flavoring compounds of meat and milk and a viscid gravy of uniquely pleasant sensory

characteristics.

Naate Yekhin: Naate Yekhin is a combination of two Kashmiri words nate meaning meat

and yekhin meaning thick viscid gravy obtained by cooking sour dahi. In this the

moderately sized meat pieces are selected. After having cleaned and cleared off of all

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


possible adhered attachments, the meat pieces are cooked in water with spices and

condiments kept in a pouch of muslin cloth. The cooking is continued till a desired

tenderness of meat is attained. On the other hand whole milk Dahi of approximately 0.7-

1.0% acidity and about 10-12% total solids is stirred manually or mechanically in order

to make it a free flowing non granular fluid. The stirred curd is then cooked with constant

stirring cum scraping until a peculiar odor of yekhin emanates from it and it attains a

desired consistency. After this the meat pieces and gravy are cooked together with the

cooked curd until the optimum tenderness of meat and consistency of gravy is attained.

The remnants of the spices in the muslin cloth are excluded. The spices comprise of the

similar constitution as for the preparation of Aab gosht. The preparation is served at

special occasions and is available in the restaurants as a ready-to-eat product within as

well as outside the state.

Hindi Roganjosh: The preparation involves the selection of meat pieces which are

relatively leaner and moderately sized. The meat is cooked till the desired texture is

attained. The whole range of spices comprising the red chilies, saffron, turmeric,

cinnamon, aniseed, cardamom, clove, black pepper etc are added while cooking is carried

out. The whole milk curd as in case of Nate Yekhin is prepared until a relatively thicker

consistency is attained and thereafter the meat and the cooked curd are amalgamated and
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cooking continued till the desired flavor ensues and meat and gravy attains desired

texture and consistency respectively. This dish constitutes an integral component of

Kashmiri Wazwan and is prepared at domestic level on special occasion besides being

available at almost all restaurants.

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


Goshtab: Goshtab is again a combination of two words gosht and aab meaning the meat

and the water respectively. The product is popular among the local populace and those

who have tasted it once can hardly resist taking it again and again. The product is

prepared by pounding the meat from almost any portion of the carcass. At times the heart

muscles, kidney and rib skirts are also incorporated. The hot boned meat is a necessary

prerequisite. The fresh fat preferably from the same carcass is added at the rate of about

20-25% by weight. The meat and the fat are pounded with the aid of a wooden mallet on

a special kind of a meat stone with smooth flat surface. The visible fascia, tendons,

connective tissue, veins etc. are removed manually. The pounding is continued till an

emulsion of desired consistency is attained which is judged by the specialist expert cooks

known as Wazas or Ashpazan, who have inherited the cooking skills from their ancestors

and pass these onto from generation to generation.

The meat emulsion is then rolled out to make balls of varying sizes. The usually

encountered diameter of the meat balls ranges from 5-12 cm. The meat balls are cooked

in water to coagulate the proteins and prevent the leakage of fat and the cooking is

continued till the desired texture of the product is attained. The spices normally

incorporated include the cinnamon, cardamom, aniseed etc. The tainting spices and

condiments are excluded. The whole milk curd of about 0.75% acidity is stirred either
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manually or mechanically to ensure that no granules are left within the curd. The stirred

curd is cooked with utmost precaution at an optimum heat and carefully regulated speed

until a rich non granular and viscid consistency of the curd is attained. The meat balls are

later transferred to the curd along with the meat extract through a coarse muslin cloth in

order to exclude the components that may affect the consistency of the other wise

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


uniformly non granular gravy called yekhin. The salt and flavoring condiments are added

and cooking is concluded only when the desired odor has emanated and optimum texture

of the meat balls and consistency of the gravy is attained.

The product has been subjected to the mechanization for adapting to the

continuous production system but traditional method of production could not so far be

emulated by the mechanical means. A number of studies were carried out to find out if

machine mincing could replace the traditional manual pounding; hot boned meat could be

replaced with chilled/frozen cold boned meat; different meat/fat ratios could be used to

manipulate the amount and type of fat to be incorporated. However the traditional system

of goshtab production could not be emulated so far. The nutritional studies revealed it to

be an excellent source of energy and proteins along with vitamins and minerals. The

sensory evaluation studies have rated this product at excellent scales. There has been a

moderate stride in so far the long term preservation of goshtab is concerned. The product

is now available at departmental stores in a canned form and has gained remarkable

popularity within and outside India.

The product is white in appearance and has extremely soft and mellow

characteristics. Upon slicing it has no jags and presents a pleasantly smooth and uniform

view. Upon pressing it assumes fine elastic characteristics and regains its original shape
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immediately. It has an extremely rich flavor with a composite sensation of sour and salty

taste and highly desirably aroma of meat and curd. At the end the product leaves an

exquisite after taste which is relished even hours after finishing the meal.

Danival Kurma: Relatively smaller meat pieces from all over the carcass are selected for

the preparation of this culinary delight. The sizing left over can also be salvaged in this

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


preparation. The meat is cooked along with usual spices and condiments till it achieves a

desirable texture. The pre-cooked whole milk or reconstituted whole milk powder is

added at the end and, for garnishing, the green coriander leaves in copious quantities are

added. The dish is served during marriage functions and prepared in the common kitchen

at special occasions and holidays. This preparation exists in the menu list of all standard

restaurants in Kashmir.

Tripe Yekhin (Dembin Yekhin): The tripe comprises of the rumen, reticulum, omasum and

abomasum with attached duodenal portion (honey comb and turkey towel etc) from sheep

and goat carcasses and constitutes the raw material for the preparation of this dish. The

tripe is thoroughly cleaned and boiled for about 30 minutes. The upper mucosal layers

become easily removable with hand as well as with knife, scrapper or metallic scrubber.

A few washings with warm water are applied and the tripe sized uniformly into

appropriately presentable pieces. The remaining process is similar as that for goshtab

preparation in that the yekhin preparation remains the same and the meat balls are

replaced with processed and sized tripe. The tripe yekhin is a less expensive source of

highly delicious and nutritious culinary preparation for the middle and lower strata

segments of the society to rejoice and relish. It allows for an efficient utilization of

livestock by-products thereby making the trade lucrative on one hand and on the other
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hand improves the socio-economic and nutritional status of the traders and consumers

alike.

Poultry and Poultry Products based specialties

Dodhe Kokur: A complex of two words former implying the milk and the latter the

chicken. The broilers of about 1.5 to 2 kg live weight are processed for this preparation. It

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


is usually served as a whole chicken, however, halves and quarters are also not un

common. It is served most commonly during marriage functions and the first sight of the

rice plate stimulates the gustatory apparatus of the guests by having simultaneously a

white garnished chicken on one hand and reddish brown tandoori chicken on the other.

The chicken while preparing is cleaned of all visible accessory tissues. The carcass is

then specially positioned for preparation before cooking and held in that position with the

aid of a string tied around the carcass at specific places. The whole chicken is then

cooked with recommend spices and condiments till it attains the desirable texture and is

then dipped in pre cooked whole milk or reconstituted whole milk powder and cooked

further by maintaining a moderate ebullition. The thread is removed from the cooked

chicken and it is garnished with the green coriander leaves and almond kernels before

placing it over the copper rice plate along with other traditional delights. This chicken

preparation has a uniquely distinctive taste and flavor which one can perceive upon

tasting it in a live feast/ function.

Dodhe Thool: Thool is a Kashmiri word implying the egg. The eggs are cooked in the

same fashion as that for a poached egg. Whole milk is later poured into the pan and

spices and condiments like turmeric, ground garlic, cumin, salt etc. are added. The

contents are boiled with lid on for some time till the gravy attains the desirable
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consistency. This preparation is a common place in the Kashmiri kitchen and it is not

served in either marriage parties or restaurants. The preparation is highly relished by the

children, adolescent and adults alike. People suffering from duodenal ulcers are

sometimes advised to take this preparation, by the elders, out of their experience and

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


the understanding that it doest not inflict any injuries to the stomach as it contains milk as

protectant and has no harsh species like red chilies etc.

Thool Yekhin: The moderate to large sized eggs are boiled and the shell is peeled off.

This egg is then pierced at the surface from all sides with the help of a fine tooth pick.

The eggs are then deep fried till the surface turns brown. The yekhin is prepared with the

help of the curd and other spices and condiments as mentioned above for other yekhin

based products. The fried eggs are later cooked in this yekhin till the consistency of the

gravy and overall flavor becomes desirable. This preparation is served at special

occasions such as during anniversary celebrations of the saints who had not taken meat

during their life time like Batamaloo Sahib, Khawaja Masood Wali sahib, Pampore etc.

The dish is prepared and served at domestic level but not during marriage functions.

Fish based specialties

Gaad Goshtab: Gaad in Kashmiri language signifies the fish. The fresh water fish such

as Trout, Schizothorax, Mirror and Silver carp etc. of mature age are selected for the

preparation of this dish. The bony skeleton is removed after de-scaling and cleaning off

the offal. The fish pieces are then washed to ensure that there are no spikes, scales and

skeletal remains etc. adhered with the processed fish .The fish is then cut into suitable

pieces and pounding with a wooden mallet is commenced over a special meat pounding
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stone. The fat from various animal and rarely plant sources is used to the extent of about

10-20% for incorporation with the dough; however, the fat from sheep carcasses is most

common. The salt is added to the mix at periodical intervals. To the mix, is then added the

spices and condiments in appropriate quantities and the dough is then worked out in

moderately sized balls and these balls are cooked in water till the coagulation of the

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


proteins take place and balls attain a firm texture. The meat balls are then cooked in

Yekhin the special gravy as mentioned before, for a period necessary enough to impart

desirable sensory characteristic to the product. This preparation is a true delicacy and is

not that common a product. However the preparation is available in all standard

restaurants and is prepared at domestic level at special occasion and holidays to serve the

guests of remarkable significance.

Gaad Yekhin: The fish of mature age and desirable variety are processed as mentioned

above. The pieces are carved skillfully and selection of pieces excludes the head and tail

portions. The uniformity is ensured and the pieces are cooked in water with spices,

condiments, salt etc. The Yekhin is simultaneously prepared and the cooked fish pieces

and yekhin are mixed together and cooking continued till the desired texture and flavor is

attained. The preparation exists in the menu list of all standard restaurants in Kashmir and

is prepared at occasions in the common kitchen by the house wives.

Exclusive Milk Based Specialties

These preparations are no different than their counterparts elsewhere in Indian

subcontinent with very fine distinction and different nomenclature which is elucidated

below:
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Schaaman: Schaaman in Kashmir is what paneer is in other parts of Indian subcontinent.

This product is said to have its origin in this region. The cow milk paneer is abundantly

available with exquisite sensory characteristics like mild fruity smell, acidic taste, mellow

and soft texture and extra ordinary frying characteristics. The cutability of the product is

excellent. It is usually said that cow milk does not make a suitable raw material for a

good quality paneer and pretreatments like addition of calcium chloride and heat

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


treatment alterations have been advocated by several workers at various occasions. But

traditional paneer production in Kashmir has been so old and successful that it sparingly

needed any of these technological interventions for improvement. The buffalo milk

paneer, on the other hand, imported from Punjab is not liked by the local populace

criticizing it to be hard, rubbery and lacking the mellow characteristics. In a

predominantly meat eating Kashmiri society, Schaaman is considered to be the most

suitable alternative for meat in the days of meat scarcity.

Geau: Geau is the Kashmiri name given to the clarified butter fat or ghee. The traditional

manufacturing of geau is almost an exclusive domain of the nomadic tribal people of

J&K called the Gujjars who keep buffaloes in addition to other animals. They use buffalo

milk either alone or mixed with the milk of cow and other small ruminants for the

production of geau and sell it to the middle men who market it in urban consumption

areas. In Kashmir geau is not liked by the majority of the people criticizing it to be sticky

to the palate and is used most commonly for the preparation of halwa at festivals and

during marriage parties. Routine diet of an ordinary Kashmiri does not include geau.

Traditionally the geau is also utilized for the preparation of a wheat flour based
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preparation called Kulcha for use at special occasions and by women during immediate

post-partum period.

Thaen: Thaen is synonymous with makkhan or butter in Kashmir. Some three decades

before locally produced butter (Thaen) was a common commodity. At Hazratbal shrine

on every Friday a market of great grandeur is held even to date. About a decade before

the commodities offered for sale would include in addition to other articles the thaen in

the form of about 250g balls floating in clean water in an earthen container. However,

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


with the enhancement of the processing capacities of the Dairy plants, the packaged

processed butter offered for sale by the organized sector have dominated the market and

has almost totally replaced the traditional thaen at least in urban areas. This has been

further facilitated by the peoples’ consciousness towards health and hygiene.

Zamut Dodh: This is a fermented milk product and represents the Kashmir counterpart of

Indian dahi or Arbian Lebn and European curd or yoghurt. The difference between

Zamut dodh and dahi is that the source of raw material is almost exclusively the cow milk

in the former as against the cow and buffalo milk admixtures or buffalo milk alone the

latter. Sensory characteristics are comparable between the two. Based on experience and

in the absence of any valid statistics it wouldn’t be an undue magnification to state that

the consumption of Zamut dodh in Kashmir is much higher compared to other parts of

India and its uses are myriad. The recent development includes the availability of Zamut

dodh in cups in the market which has become very popular during serving at marriage

functions owing to its being convenient to handle and serve. Traditionally Zamut dodh is

served in beautiful earthen/copper pots of about 1.5-2.0 kg capacity to the guests at

marriage ceremonies and other auspicious occasions.


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Maush Kraer: It is a heat and acid coagulated dairy product prepared by coagulating

milk with some easily available coagulating agents like sour buttermilk and working out

coagulum into a pat. Small balls made out of the pat are later given a circular shape of

varying diameters ranging from 5 to 20 cms with a thickness of about 0.3 to 0.5 cm. The

tribal communities in the upper hilly regions and people in some parts of the Jammu

Division of J&K State refer this product as Kalari. This is considered to be a dairy

delicacy often being served in feasts and marriage parties to the valued guests. The word

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


‘Maush’ implies the buffalo and Kraer is presumably a modified form of Krai meaning a

pan in Kashmiri. The product is prepared either from cow’s or buffalo’s milk or a mixture

thereof and the most commonly used coagulating agent is the sour butter milk. The

traditional manufacturing procedure involves one part of cow’s milk to be incorporated

with two parts of buttermilk of buffalo origin or buffalo milk and cow’s buttermilk mixed

in equal proportion. The mixture is then brought to boil with constant stirring till whey

separates out upon commencement of the coagulation. Cooking of curd is continued for

some time till whey gets completely cleared. The whey is then drained out through the

muslin cloth. Small balls made out of the coagulated mass are spread out skillfully into a

circular shape with hands. The product thus obtained is dried under the sun by placing the

products on rocks, wooden planks or some other suitable places practically free from dirt,

dust, insects, birds and other potentially hazardous objects.

Summer season is considered to be most suitable for its manufacture; however,

the product can be prepared throughout the year depending upon the availability of raw

material. Besides being a salubrious food, Maush Krear is believed to possess

antidiarrhoeal, anticold and antitussive properties. The product has a tremendous market
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potential and is considered a delicacy throughout the state. It is consumed after frying it

with some suitable frying medium along with spices and condiments. It is also consumed

in the form of culinary dish in combination with vegetables and gravy. Buttermilk

cheeses in Europe, Tibet Cheese in Tibet and Chugga or Churpi in Napal are some of the

documented products with similarities in characteristics and utilization. The method of

manufacture of Maush Kraer is traditional, primitive and more or less limited and offers a

great scope for development. The efforts are needed to be directed towards modernizing

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


the processing parameters on the scientific lines with respect to the raw material use,

processing techniques, end product characteristics, preservation and value addition.

Vegetable specialties

Dodh Al: Dodh in Kashmiri language implies milk and al literally means the bottle

gourd and in this case the pumpkin locally known as Masheud Al is used for the

preparation of this dish. A tender pumpkin of sufficiently large size is cut in to

moderately sized pieces. The skin of the pumpkin is peeled off and pieces are boiled till

they become tender enough to be worked out into a paste. The particulate and fibrous

matter is taken out of the mix and into this the curd which had been hung in a muslin

cloth for some tome to drain out whey completely is added and contents are mixed

thoroughly along with honey, salt, cumin etc. till a desired consistency is attained. The

product is served cold in marriage parities and at other special occasion. The preparation

is made at home also by the house wives.

Al-Yekhin: Fresh or dried bottle gourd constitutes the chief raw material for the

preparation of this dish. The bottle gourds are peeled, cleaned, cut into thin circular

pieces or long threads of about 5 to 6 cm and cooked in water along with salt and spices.
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The Yekhin is prepared as mentioned earlier and the two components are mixed and

cooked together till the gravy attains a desirable consistency and a desired flavor

emanates from the preparation. Another version of this preparation involves frying and

cooking of the bottle gourd fragments usually in a routine fashion with all spices

including red pepper powder and turmeric powder etc and at the end the stirred dahi is

added and mixed with the contents warmed for a short duration and served. The dish is

liked by the local populace to a remarkable extent. The dried bottle gourd cooked in the

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


same fashion and at the end flooded with copious amount of whole milk in place of

stirred dahi is also a popular dish in Kashmir. This preparation is sometimes said to be

beneficial for the persons suffering from hyperacidity and duodenal ulcers. The dish

possesses exotic sensory characteristic.

Gund Yekhin: Gund is a local name given to onions. Relatively larger sized onion are

peeled and cut laterally in a manner so that the concentric shape of the rings remains

intact. These cut onion compact rings are fried moderately in some suitable frying

medium and at the end the finely stirred dahi of moderate acidity (0.70%) is added. The

spices and condiments are added and cooking continued till the desirable characteristics

in the product are attained. The dish is served with the rice and other vegetable and meat

preparations are served simultaneously. The garnishing is carried out using green

coriander leaves and dried mint powder sprinkled over the dish in the serving bowl.

Aloo-yekhin: Moderately sized potatoes preferably the shopiani variety is boiled in water

with salt. The skin is peeled off and moderate frying carried out in hydrogenated

vegetable fat or mustarded oil. The fried potatoes are later cooked in the same pan with

other condiments and spices. The yekhin prepared separately is eventually mixed with the
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potatoes and cooking is continued until desirable characteristics in the product are

attained. The dish possesses unique sensorial characteristics which is liked by the people

of all age groups alike especially the children who relish to taste the delight the most.

Dodh-Wangan: Wangan in Kashmiri language means brinjals. Brinjals of smaller sized

variety are specifically selected for preparing this dish. Whole brinjal is washed and

quartered with the top intact. The deep frying in mustered oil is carried out till the

moderate browning ensues. Small amount of water is added in the same pan and cooking

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


with other spices and condiments continued. The yekhin prepared separately is added to

these contents and cooking on moderate heat is continued till the desired texture of

brinjals and consistency of gravy is attained. The dish possesses extra ordinary sensory

characteristics and is served usually with rice.

Phoolgobhi Yekhin: Cauliflowers after washing and trimming are cut into suitable pieces

and fried in some suitable frying medium. This is followed by addition of water, spices

and condiments. The cooking is continued and, at the end, the yekhin prepared separately

is added to the contents. The cooking is continued until a desired consistency of gravy

and optimum tenderness of the vegetable is attained. Garnishing with powdered dry mint,

almonds and green coriander leaves may be carried out optionally. The preparation is

served invariably with the rice.

Dodh Daal: Moong is the preferred dal used for the preparation of this delicacy;

however, moong and masoor combination is also used. The occasion for the preparation

usually is the anniversary cerebrations of the birth of some Sufis in the valley. The dal is

cooked in the traditionally followed fashion and in place of water the whole milk is used.
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The spices and condiments are added at specified sequential intervals till the delicacy

attains its desirable sensory characteristics.

Laer Chetin: The cucumbers in Kashmiri are termed as “laer”. Tender cucumbers are

peeled and worked out with the aid of a traditional mortar and pestle into a fine paste. All

seeds and particles, if any, are removed. The water is drained out and the salt is added and

mixed. The drainage of moisture is repeated and dahi from which practically all whey has

been drained off is added to the cucumber paste along with almond kernel

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


paste, cumin and condensed milk. The garnishing with fresh or preserved cherry is also

done. The dish is served during marriage parties in the valley.

Doon Chetin: The Doon is the Kashmiri name given to the walnut. The walnut contents

are opened, cleaned and made into a paste in the mortar and pestle. The green chilies,

mint, coriander and salt are simultaneously mixed and ground with the walnuts. This is

followed by the addition of dahi as in case of laer chetin and the contents are mixed

thoroughly until uniformly homogenous paste with excellent sensory and appetizing

characteristics is obtained. The dish is served along side the other preparations in a feast.

Other Specialties

Saboot dana: This delicacy is specially prepared for privileged children and

convalescents. The milk is boiled with proportionate quantity of saboot dana and to this

the sugar is added at the eventual stage of preparation which is indicated by the optimum

consistency of the mixture and texture of the solid contents. The dish is said to be

nourishing, energizing and salubrious giving instantaneous energy to the consumers.


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Qand Sharbat: This sweet milk delicacy is served traditionally among the community

members especially the children at special occasions such as birth anniversaries of the

religious and spiritual leaders and at times on marriage ceremonies by the neighbors and

relatives to the bride or groom and their accompanying guests. It is invariably used

during the holy fasting month of Ramzan in Kashmir at the end of the day to break the

fast. The preparation of Qand sharbat involves boiling of milk with sugar and other

odoriferous substances such as cardamom etc. followed by soaking of “tukhm-e-milanga”

(babr-e-beol in kashmiri) into it. These are small black colored seeds which imbibe the

water and swell to give a jelly appearance in the mixture. The preparation assumes a

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


thick, viscid, fluid consistency and is served either after slight warming in winters or at

ambient conditions of temperature in warmer days. The delicacy is fairly popular across

various sections of the society in Kashmir.

Dodhe Qahwa: This is an exquisitely flavored milk preparation wherein natural flavoring

agents in the form of spices etc. are used in a specific sequence with the application of the

traditional art of preparation. Milk, sugar and other necessary ingredients are boiled and

upon emanation of the peculiar dodhe Qahwa flavor and reaching of contents to a

specific consistency the contents are transferred in to a traditional copper kettle known as

Samavar. This is a tall cylindrical vessel with a central circular space for charcoal heating

and the surface in contact with milk and other ingredients is tinned in order to prevent the

transfer of undesirable copper flavor to the contents. The preparation is relished by one

and all irrespective of the age and sex. It is generally served at betrothal ceremonies and

other occasions of special significance.


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Kateer: This is a thick viscid sweet milk based preparation used by convalescents and

those who complain of constipation and other problems of intestinal disturbance. The

Kateer is a crystalline hydrocolloid of plant origin which is placed for 3-4 hrs in milk

containing sugar. The resultant mixture is thick granular sweet tasting delicacy which

gives a soothing feel to the gastrointestinal tract upon consumption. The preparation is

sometimes used by Muslims during the fasting month of Ramzan in Kashmir.

Firin: This preparation is quite popular and is prepared at home and at special occasions.

It is served invariably at the marriage parties in the end. The contents include the milk,

sugar, condensed milk or khoa, flavoring substance such as the rose water, cardamom etc.

and suji. The preparation involves the boiling of milk and addition of suji in a continuous

Milk Food Specialties of Kashmir


flow to prevent clump formation followed by addition of sugar and flavorants in a

sequence. The contents are cooked until a desirable consistency is attained. The firin is

spread over plates and optionally the til seeds are spread over and served cool.

Dodhe Wugra: It is prepared by cooking the rice with milk until it attains a semisolid

consistency. The salt is added to taste. The prepared dish is served in plates and black

cumin spread over the dodhe wugra. The preparation is served among the children in a

locality at certain occasions such as after the recovery of a person from some potentially

dangerous disease or when there are long spells of dry weather. The children at the end

pray for acceptance of the good deeds by almighty and keeping all at bay from evil

eventualities.