Traditional Kashmiri Food – Soulful Delicacies from Mesmerising Mountains



Kashmir is a place of many wonders. The beautiful landscapes, beautiful handicrafts, unique horticulture, age-old traditions, and much more comprise the enthralling beauty of Kashmir. In most cultures, food also holds an essential part in adding to the cultural assets. Kashmir is not just comforting to the eyes but also offers to fill one’s tummy with varied choices of delicacies. The traditional Kashmiri foods spoil people with their soulful taste that makes people crave more. The cold of the place gets a proper balance with its hot and hearty foods.  

Today we will find out some of the exciting traditional Kashmiri foods that keep the hearts and stomachs of people happy. Some of these foods do not even require any unique ingredients, but the taste is heavenly.  

1. Kahwa  

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Kahwa
Image – Wikimedia Commons

Kahwa is a primitive beverage of Kashmir, and the mere mention of the name of Kahwa reminds people of the hills and beauty of Kashmir. Every traditional Kashmiri household welcomes its guests with a warm cup of Kahwa.  

Kahwa is a unique take on green tea. The Kashmiris cannot imagine their lives without a warm cup of Kahwa. The drink is straightforward to prepare, and Kashmiri green tea leaves, cardamom and cinnamon powder, saffron, and crudely ground almonds are Kahwa’s essential ingredients. The glass has revitalizing qualities with its tasteful ingredients. Kashmiri gatherings are incomplete without a warm cup of Kahwa.  

2. Mutton Rogan Josh 

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Mutton Rogan Josh 
Image – Wikimedia Commons

Rogan Josh is hands down one of the most traditional foods of Kashmir. The rich colour and succulent meat with aromatic spices are a heavenly combination for all meat lovers.  

Mutton Rogan Josh is a fantastic Kashmiri cuisine recipe. The Mughals introduced it, and Kashmir made it one of its signature dishes. The formula is also straightforward and is healthy, unlike what the name suggests. Everyday ingredients like onion, yoghurt, and red chillies form the curry. The tender pieces of lamb absorb the flavour and provide the sensation with every bite. The combination of mutton rogan josh with a steaming bowl of rice or naan will be a perfect traditional Kashmiri food experience.  

3. Dum Olav 

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Dum aloo
Image – Wikimedia Commons

Dum Olav, also known as Dum Aloo, is a prevalent dish across India. It becomes a traditional Kashmiri delicacy with unique layers of spices and herbs that heighten the taste.  

Potatoes receive an equal amount of love from both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The king of vegetables gets a particular take when the Kashmiris prepare it with their unique touch. Ginger powder, fennel, yoghurt, and some other spices come together to form this aromatic dish. The hearty taste of Dum Olav is a top choice for every foodie. Combine it with naan or chapati and enjoy the all-time favourite potatoes in the traditional Kashmiri style.  

4. Yakhni, or Yogurt Lamb Curry 

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Yakhni, or Yogurt Lamb Curry 
Image – Wikimedia Commons

Yakhni is another favourite dish for all meat lovers. This is another signature traditional Kashmiri food, and the heavenly taste of the rich gravy bewitches the heart and soul of everyone who tries it.  

Yakhni is a famous yoghurt-based dish. The extra zing comes from the addition of the flavoured mawal flower. Other elements that form this beautiful concoction are onion paste, dry mint leaves, black and green cardamoms, and aromatic fennel seeds. Yakhni is an authentic Kashmiri dish, and the dish is a part of the age-old traditional dishes.  

5. Kashmiri Saag  

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Saag
Image – Zaika Dilli 6

Saag is a well-known leafy vegetable across the nation. Each state has a distinctive style of preparing the dish, and Kashmiris also have come up with a tasty yet straightforward saag preparation. 

Kashmiri saag is a healthy yet tasty dish that offers a break from the heavy seasonings of other dishes. Spinach is the main component, and mixing some simple but flavourful ingredients makes saag a must-try traditional Kashmiri food. Even people who are not fond of vegetables must try this once and decide that healthy can be tasty too.  

6. Modur Pulav  

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Modur Pulav  
Image – Aafia Khan/ Facebook

Modur Pulav is an authentic Kashmiri take on pulao. The dish tastes sweet, making it a perfect accompaniment for any spicy meat or vegetable side dish.  

Modur pulav has a very distinctive taste. Saffron, green cardamom, cashews, almonds, milk, ghee, and other heavenly ingredients form modur pulav. Saffron is indigenous to Kashmir, and the usage of saffron is common in many dishes. The aroma and taste of modur pulav heighten with the use of saffron. The hearty taste of the sweet rice dish will make one realize the rich tradition of Kashmiri dishes. 

7. Goshtaba   

Image – UnXplore/Facebook

Goshtaba is another traditional Kashmiri food passed on from generations, and the dish is popular because of its royal taste. 

It is made on extraordinary occasions. It is a minced mutton ball preparation in a yoghurt and other spices gravy. The rich taste of the dish is said to make you feel like royalty, for the dish is apt for serving to a king himself. To truly taste traditional Kashmiri food, goshtaba is a must-try.  

8. Paneer Chaman  

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Paneer Chaman
Image – Madhvi’s Food Galli

Paneer Chaman is an authentic Kashmiri food that holds the power to become a favourite even for non-vegetarians. The rich preparation of paneer Chaman tingles the taste buds with every spoonful. 

Paneer Chaman is made by simmering the paneer in milk along with the flavours of cardamom. The rich and creamy result of the delicacy will make visitors crave more. A hot bowl of paneer Chaman with naan or a steaming plate of rice will balance the cold with its warm flavours.  

9. Nadru Yakhni  

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Nadru Yakhni  
Image – Asha Shukla / Facebook

Nadru Yakhni is an exceptional vegetarian dish of Kashmir. Lotus stems are the highlight of the dish, which the locals cook in a delicious gravy. 

The crunchy lotus stems receive a tasty makeover in nadru yakhni. The locals use yoghurt, gingers, and bay leaves to make the gravy. Visitors can enjoy sipping the rich sauce and bite on the lotus stems to get an extra crunch. The taste of a warm bowl of nadru yakhni will stay with visitors for a long time. 

10. Sheermal

Traditional Kashmiri Food, Sheermal
Image – Nadir Hashmi/Flickr

Sheermal is another signature dish of Kashmir. When we think of flatbreads, we imagine them as the ideal accompaniment for a fantastic side dish of meat or vegetables. But for the Kashmiris, flatbreads can become a meal in itself. 

Sheermal is a sweet take on flatbreads. The texture of the dish is crispy on the outside and melts in your mouth on the inside. The sweetness of sheermal is more enjoyable with the locals. To end your perfect traditional Kashmiri platter on a sweet note, do not forget to try this unique flatbread.

The dishes of traditional Kashmiri food will be more enjoyable with the company of the mesmerizing mountains in view. The taste of all the above dishes will surely touch your heart and make you want more. For those who would like to try out the dishes themselves, make sure to note down the recipes from the locals on your visit to Kashmir. Apart from the picturesque nature, the dishes can surely recreate the dishes when they come back from their trips.  

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