Most of us associate Kashmiri food with the more popular Wazwan cuisine or the Kashmiri Muslim fare that is robust and does justice to the beauty and serenity of the region. But not many have been able to taste and relish the Kashmiri Pandit cuisine that comes from the Hindu homes in the valley. Just like the ‘Kashmiri Pandits’, their cuisine too is a blend of many cultures maintaining its unique taste and identity. Avid Urban Vaastu reader and homechef, Aditi Wanchoo shares her secret heirloom recipes that were taught by her mother and grandmother. Through the years, her culinary craftsmanship has developed in keeping with today’s tastes but she hasn’t forgeten the rich history that these recipes once come from.
Lyodur Tschaman or Kashmiri Paneer gravy is a popular aromatic and delicious dish
Paneer 150 gms (cubed)
Mustard oil 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida 1 tsp
Dry Ginger powder 1 tsp
Fennel powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Kashmiri red chilies 2
Whisked Curd 1/2 cup
Heavy Cream 1/2 cup
Black Peppercorns (coarsely ground) 1 tsp
How to make:
• In a wok add oil. Once the oil is hot, add hing, dry ginger powder, fennel powder, turmeric and red chillies.
• Cook for a couple of seconds and add the curd and paneer. Keep whisking it so that the curd does not curdle.
• Once it comes to boil add cream to it.
• Let it cook on a low flame for 10 minutes. You can add little water depending upon the Add black pepper and salt. Give it a stir and remove from flame.
Modur pulao is a Kashmiri Sweet Pulao prepared using dry fruits and nuts
Basmati Rice 1 Cup
Sugar 1 Cup
Ghee 4 tbsp
Bay leaves 3 nos
Cloves 3-4 nos
Cinnamon Stick 3 nos – 1 inch
Green Cardamom 10 nos
Black Peppercorns ½ tsp
Saffron Strands ¼ tsp
Chopped dates, Blanched almonds, cashews and raisins ¼ cup
Salt to taste
Water 3 cups
How to make:
• Wash rice thoroughly with water and soak for half an hour. Drain the water and set aside.
• In a small bowl, soak saffron with a tablespoon of water.
• In a small saucepan, add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add rice and cook for about 5 minutes. Ensure that the rice is only cooked 3/4th. Do not cook for long time
• Drain water from the rice and set aside.
• In a non-stick Kadai, heat ghee over medium flame. Once the ghee is hot, lower the flame and add cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom and peppercorns.
• Cook them until peppercorns clutter.
• Now, add sugar, ½ cup of water and cook until they dissolve completely. It should be in thick syrup consistency.
• Add the half cooked rice and give it a stir.
• Now add chopped dates, raisins, almonds and cashews to the rice. Soak dates and almonds in warm water for few minutes for chopping it without efforts.
• Combine them well and pour the saffron water on top of the rice.
• Cover the pan and cook rice over low flame for about 20 – 25 minutes until they are cooked well. Ensure to stir them occasionally to prevent it from being burnt at the bottom
• In case if you have added undercooked rice, add required amount of water. Ensure to check the consistency of the rice often to avoid overcooking