They say if you want to see Heaven on Earth, then you must visit Kashmir. True to its words. Kashmir truly is Heaven. There is a heavenly aura in the wind. The Skies are clearer than ever. Things are exceptionally different with respect to the Place. I witnessed beautiful people. They had stars in their eyes and a nightingale in their voice. And They literally sounded sugar. Did you know Kashmir is famous for its handicrafts and the Local Jammu and Kashmir Food is a must-try for all travel and food lovers? Have you heard of Rogan Gosht or Pashmina Shawl or Kesar “Saffron”? These are some of the famous Things and parts of Jammu and Kashmir’s Food, tradition, and culture.
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You will get a tonne of information about the restaurants and malls while visiting a new place, but do you know what you should eat or what you should buy?
There are innumerable places to visit in Kashmir. But here I list down the most popular Places as well as the famous food of Jammu and Kashmir. And even what to buy from which Jammu and Kashmir Market. People often don’t consider food when planning a trip. However, I feel one must do background research of what the local and regional cuisine is.
You should always try the Traditional Food rather than searching for your Favorite food restaurants. For eg: Why would you want to eat a Dominoes pizza or Chicken Tikka when you are in Kashmir. Rather, try Regional Jammu and Kashmir’s cuisine, the regional and special food and you will know the history of the Food.
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As you transit out of Srinagar Airport, you will see Cabs waiting for passengers. If you have pre-booked the cab that is fine, if not then do not worry, people in Srinagar are extremely friendly and warm. Srinagar is popular for the stationary houseboats and colorful Shikaras on Dal lake. There are numerous distinct Shikaras or House Boats on the Dal Lake. I booked a stay in one of the Houseboats which was well equipped with everything. Moreover, The Interior is built off wooden furniture which represents Kashmiri Tradition and Culture. The hospitality was really wonderful.
When you stay in these House Boats, I recommend you to eat the food that is served in the Houseboat itself. Thank me later, because you will love the food. You can also find some of the Kashmir Market on these Boats. They are known as the Floating Market. I bought some jewelry from the local vendors
Best time to visit Srinagar : April to October
Read my Bike Road Trip from Srinagar to Ladakh
What is the famous special food of Jammu and Kashmir?
There’s plenty to offer for meat-lovers as well as vegetarians alike, in the Kashmiri capital. People visiting Srinagar can get a taste of two varieties of cuisines. The first one being, No garlic, and onion cuisine made for Kashmiri pandits second being meat dominating Meals in Muslim Households.
You must try tsot, a small round bread topped with poppy and sesame seeds, which is crisp and flaky, Sheermal, baqerkhani, lavas (unleavened bread) and kulcha. Tsot is the special food of Jammu and Kashmir. Furthermore, These are consumed during breakfast. For Lunches or Dinner, you can try Kosher Tamoul, roghni chamman (paneer in hot gravy), Rogan Josh (a mutton gravy dish), shab degh, or lamb with turnip is a delicacy worth trying.
A Dish that I fell in love with is “ The Wazwan” which is an elaborate royal meal of 36 dishes is prepared. I tried Wazwan at the two most popular restaurants where it was authentic. Food Gali at Lal Chowk and Shamyana Restaurant. Also, This is one of the dishes which is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Jammu and Kashmir food culture
Gulmarg is a charming place that is adorned with lofty snow-capped mountains, lush greenery. It has a few small lakes and a huge variety of flowers. This attractive place offers an inviting vibe that makes you fall madly in love with this slice of paradise. It is called as Asia’s best skiing destinations. It is 125 km away from Srinagar. Once you have made your mind to see this place, do not miss to try some skiing in India’s number one resort in Skiing.
There are a number of places to see like Gulmarg Gondola, Kongdori, Sharkfin. Visit this beautiful place where you can capture the best of nature in your lens, and play golf at one of the highest green golf grounds.
Best time to visit Gulmarg : March to June
What you should eat in “Gulmarg” | Jammu and Kashmir?
Jammu and Kashmir Food Cuisine are similar throughout with little add-ons. Being a foodie, I tried some of the local cuisines of Gulmarg. These preparations almost define this region’s cuisine. Try at least a few of these dishes like Qabargaah (Fried Rack of Lamb, Modur Pulaav (Sweet Pulao, usually taken as a dessert) and Muj Gaad (Fish with Raddish).
People also love Raazma-Gogji (kidney beans with turnip). Sheer Chai(salted pink tea with almonds), A must-know recipe. Kehwah – sweet green tea with almonds and cardamom, a true delight, and last but on top of my list is Sheekh Kabab (spicy ground lamb on skewers). You will absolutely love it.
One of the most beautiful hill station in Jammu Kashmir. Sonmarg is a year-round destination due to its cool weather. When in Sonmarg do not forget to visit. There are unbelievable valleys to the breathtaking lakes like Baltal Valley, Krishansar lake, Zojila Pass, Thajiwas Glacier. Nature lovers or photo enthusiasts will love this place for sure. By the way, did you Sonmarg means “ a meadow of gold”. Baltal Valley is a place where adventure junkies can hire tents
Best time to visit Sonmarg : April to October
Must try Cuisine in Sonmarg
Sonamarg’s Local cuisine includes Syoon Olav (Meat with Potatoes cooked in spicy gravy), Marcha-Wangan korma, Nadir-Haaq/Gogji/Monji (lotus stems cooked with Spinach or Radish), Muj Gaad (Fish with Radish), Modur Pulaav (Sweet Pulao, usually as a dessert), Kaanti . And It is derived from most popular delicacies from a typical Kashmiri cuisine
Pulwama is called as the “Rice Bowl Of Kashmir”, this pretty village in Jammu and Kashmir is a great place to see the nature’s real beauty of the state. Further, It is a city that will offer you amiable weather, pleasant odor, and beautiful saffron fields. You will love the saffron fields and the rich culture in Pulwama.
Best time to visit Pulwama in Kashmir: April to October
What to eat in “Pulwama” ?
There are some similar dishes in all of these places but you will find some modifications to these dishes. For instance, We get Dal all over India but preparation varies from region to region. That is why you must taste the same food in different regions. We have Yakhni or Yoghurt Lamb Curry, Dum Olav(Dum Aloo). Kashmiri Muji Gaad, This dish is a mixture of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items. Aab Gosht, This food is made using milk and several spices including cardamom and black pepper. Lyodur Tschaman, A top favorite among Kashmiri vegetarians. Lyodur Tschaman is cottage cheese cooked in creamy turmeric-based gravy. One of the very few popular vegetarian dishes which are a part of Jammu and Kashmir Food.
Where to shop | What to Buy from Kashmir Markets ?
Whenever I travel to a new place, I ensure to get things that are especially known in that region. As we all know, Kashmir handicrafts are famous all over the World. When you are in Kashmir do not miss Shopping. You will get beautiful original Pashmina Shawls. I made sure to buy at least the Shawls as they were quite light to carry. Two of the dominating places in Gulmarg is Khan Cloth House and Main Kashmir Market. You will find Authentic Tea, Kashmiri Pashmina Shawls in various designs and colors.
Did you know? Jammu and Kashmir export Rugs and Silk Carpets to European countries like Germany and France. China and the USA import Kashmiri Scarves.
Another thing that I bought from my visit was Apricot and Indian spice Saffron. Saffron grows in Kashmir. It is expensive but it is real. You can also try your hands on Shopping on the Floating Boats or Floating market in Dal Lake. You can buy Fruits, Vegetables, Maggi and Tea, Kashmiri Dress as well as Antique Silver Jewellery.
If you are someone who prefers carrying Lightweight luggage, then check out the Papier Mache products. Some of the most searched Kashmir Markets are Poshish and Polo View Market. Besides, These are famous for Pashmina shawls, Blankets, Linen suits, and wooden jewelry boxes and walnut-wood carved items, papier mache products respectively
So on your next visit to kashmir, dont just get swoon away with its beauty. Make some time and eat the Kashmiri delicacies and get your hands on the best handicrafts items. Thank me later !