While Kashmir is already a heaven full of natural beauty, the Kashmiri cuisine is nothing different. Kashmir’s grand gastronomic affair is nothing short of a paradise in itself. There is no doubt that the food of Kashmir will blow you away just the way its scenic beauty will.
The delectable Kashmiri food recipes will make your stomach full but your tongue will surely be left craving for more.
Irrespective of whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, Kashmiri food has something for everyone. The liberal use of a variety of spices in the Kashmiri cuisine is what makes the food so delectable. Kashmiri food is a beautiful blend of the cooking styles of the Persians, Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims and the Mughals.
Whether you have already tried this cuisine or wish to try it for the first time, you are at the right place. Here, we will share 20 popular Kashmiri dishes that you absolutely must try.
20 Must Have Foods From the Kashmiri Cuisine
1. Rogan Josh
If you are a meat lover, you absolutely cannot miss out on this dish. An aromatic lamb curry, Rogan Josh is definitely a must try. A signature dish of the valley, you haven’t tried Kashmiri cuisine if you haven’t had this one dish.
Loaded with delicious flavours, this mouthwatering curry is sure to make your tummy happy. Rogan Josh is made using browned onions, several spices and yogurt.
A healthy dish low on fat, Rogan Josh is best savoured with some naam or a plate of steamed rice.
2. Dum Olav
You might think that you have tried dum aloo but you haven’t unless you have tried the authentic Kashmiri Dum Olav or Dum Aloo.
The baby potatoes cooked in a gravy of yogurt along with a few spices are an absolute delight to have. The different spices like dry ginger powder and fennel elevate the taste of the potatoes and kick it up a notch. This dish pairs up the best with roti or naan.
A very simple dish and yet very appetizing, Dum Olav is a must have when it comes to Kashmiri food.
3. Modur Pulao
Made using milk, saffron, dry fruits, sugar and spices like cinnamon and cardamom, modur pulao is actually a sweet pulao. It is full of the goodness of ghee, milk and lots of dried fruits and nuts.
As a spice that grows in Kashmir itself, saffron is the chief ingredient of the recipe. And the bright yellow color imparted by this spice to the pulao makes it look even more tempting. If you want to try out the authentic food of Kashmir, trying out Modur Pulao is a must.
When we are talking about must have foods from the Kashmiri cuisine, Goshtaba needs to be on the top of the list as well.
This heavenly dish consists of minced mutton balls that are prepared in a flavorful yogurt based gravy.
Popularly known as the dish for the King, Goshtaba, with its royal taste, is sure to blow you away. Try this dish once and you are sure to be craving for it soon after.
Goshtaba also makes for a very important part of the traditional Kashmiri feast of Wazwan.
5. Yakhni Lamb Curry
Another lamb delicacy from Kashmiri food recipes, Yakhni is a must try for all the meat lovers. Also yogurt based, Yakhni gravy is flavored with some wonderful spices, onion paste and dry mint leaves. This dish is a true representation of the Kashmiri food and you definitely need to try it when you are in the valley.
To best enjoy this flavorsome curry, have it with some steamed rice. Its taste is just as amazing and promising as its aroma is.
6. Aab Gosh
Another non-vegetarian classic, Aab Gosh is a very popular mutton dish in the Kashmir valley. You might have tried several mutton dishes but there is nothing quite like this one. Try it once and you are sure to become a fan instantly.
The mutton, which is beautifully cooked in milk and some spices gives a wonderful gravy which is full of flavours.
The succulent meat from this recipe is sure to delight you and make you want more. Aab Gosh is best enjoyed with some well cooked saffron rice or just plain steamed rice.
7. Lyodur Tschman
Although one of the less heard dishes of the Kashmiri cuisine, Lyodur Tschman is a paneer dish that is very commonly found in the Kashmiri households. If you are looking for some vegetarian Kashmiri food, you must not miss out on this wonderful dish. Even if you are a hardcore non-vegetarian, you must try this dish out.
It basically consists of cottage cheese or paneer which is cooked in a rich creamy gravy. The gravy is yellow in color and laden with delicious flavours. Lyodur Tschman is best savoured with some naan or steamed rice.
8. Kashmiri Muji Gaad
This is a winter special delicacy of the Kashmiri cuisine which is mostly enjoyed in the month of December. Also served on special occasions or celebrations, Muji Gaad is a dish prepared with fish and radish.
A unique dish, Kashmiri Muji Gaad or Machhli Mooli is a must have when you wish to try out authentic Kashmiri food. It is a beautiful amalgamation of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items blended together and so this recipe is sure to delight your taste buds.
The Kashmiri Haak or Haakh is a healthy green leafy vegetable preparation. It is made with the Haak leaves, which look quite a lot like spinach.
The Haak leaves are cooked in some oil, garlic, salt and very less spices. It is a simple recipe and yet it is extremely delicious and very nutritious as well. This dish is very commonly cooked in the Kashmiri households and is one of the very popular Kashmiri food recipes.
So, whenever you are in the valley, make it a point to try Haak out.
10. Kashmiri Rajma
If you are looking for more veg food in the valley, Kashmiri rajma is a must have. The rajma gravy isn’t just like the rajma gravy that you’d typically find but the variant of the rajma used is also different.
This flavorsome curry is a true delight and will take you to a food heaven just on its first bite. Needless to say, the Kashmiri rajma also goes perfectly well with a plate of well-cooked hot rice. Some rajma poured over a plate of steamed rice makes for the perfect lunch or dinner.
Although not a food but instead a beverage, Kahwa is also an absolute must try when it comes to Kashmiri food or Kashmiri cuisine.
Kashwa is actually the Kashmiri version of the tea which is made using special green tea leaves. It is flavored with spices like saffron, cardamom and cinnamon. It is a very popular beverage that you will find throughout the Kashmir valley.
Kahwa is the perfect drink to have on a cold winter day. It will provide you with the ultimate warmth and its delicious taste will be a treat for you. So, whether or not you are a tea lover, trying out kahwa is a must.
Kahwa Tea Mix₹350.00
12. Al Yakhni
When we talk about the food of Kashmir, Al Yakhi certainly cannot be left out. So, Al Yakhni is basically bottle gourd or lauki in a yogurt or curd based gravy.
Round pieces of fried bottle gourd are cooked in the yogurt gravy along with spices like cumin, cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon, fennel and more. This dish pairs excellently well with some hot steamed rice and is undoubtedly one of the best dishes of the Kashmiri cuisine.
13. Tabak Maaz
A luscious dish, Tabak Maaz consists of utterly delicious mutton chops. It is a very simple recipe but equally delicious at the same time.
Pieces of mutton are basically deep fried and then seasoned with some salt and Kashmiri red chilli powder. If you are craving for some deep fried food, this is your go-to Kashmiri dish for it.
Usually eaten as a side dish, Tabak Maaz can actually be a meal in itself. Have this Kashmiri food dish once and we are sure that you will want to have it again and again.
Kashmiri Tabak Maaz₹1,200.00
14. Sheer Chai/ Noon Chai
We have another wonderful Kashmiri beverage on our list that you absolutely need to try. The interesting fact here is that even though it is a tea, noon chai is not your typical sweet tea. Yes, in fact, noon chai is a salty tea.
While it might require acquired taste to have this tea, it is definitely a must have if you wish to get the true essence of the food of Kashmir.
Noon Chai or Sheer Chai is a pink colored beverage which is also commonly referred to as namkeen chai, owing to its salty taste.
The next on our list of the must have Kashmiri food recipes is Roth, a type of sweet roti or cookie. It is a simple dish that is made using flour, sugar and ghee or clarified butter.
It is a fried recipe which is made during the Kashmiri new year or other such auspicious or special occasions. The tradition of making these cookies or rotis is an ancient one and goes back several hundred years ago.
So, if you wish to know what Kashmiri cuisine is all about, trying out the Roth is a must.
Tehar is also one wonderful delicacy from Kashmir that you need to try. It is basically a rice preparation that is made on religious as well as special occasions like festivals or birthdays.
It is a very simple yellow colored rice dish that gets its color from a hint of turmeric. At times, this dish from Kashmiri cuisine is also flavored with a little saffron. Tehar is then eaten with gravies such as Dum Olav.
17. Kashmiri Khatte Baingan
Another wonderful Kashmiri veg delicacy that makes it to the list of must have foods is the Kashmiri Khatte Baingan.
It is a unique baingan or eggplant recipe that is nothing quite like what you might have tried before. This dish is often served as a side dish in Kashmiri feasts as well as ceremonies.
The gravy has a delicious sour and spicy taste which is sure to delight your taste buds. This recipe, much like other signature Kashmiri dishes, is cooked using spices like fennel powder and dry ginger powder, giving it that authentic Kashmiri taste.
When we talk about must have foods from the Kashmiri cuisine, it would be so wrong to leave out Sheermal. One of the most commonly found dishes in the valley is Sheermal.
So, sheermal is basically a type of aromatic flatbread which is infused with saffron and flavored with a little cardamom. It is mildly sweet and pairs perfectly well with a cup of tea or coffee.
However, in Kashmir, you will find both- the sweet as well as the savoury versions of this flatbread.
Another mouthwatering delicacy from the Kashmiri cuisine is called Rista- a dish of minced meatballs in a red colored gravy.
This recipe also makes the use of lamb for making the meatballs and then they are cooked in a red onion based gravy.
Quite a flavorsome dish, Rista is a must try when you are in Kashmir. This mouth watering dish is best eaten either with some steamed rich or naan.
The last on our list of the must try Kashmiri food is kulcha- a breakfast staple in Kashmir. This is not your typical kulcha that you normally find in the north Indian states.
The Kashmiri kulcha is made using wheat flour as well as refined flour and then it is baked in a traditional kiln.
It is very commonly eaten in Kashmiri households for breakfast along with a cup of tea. When in Kashmir, you will find several bakeries or places selling kulchas early in the morning.
In this article, we shared 20 must-have foods from the Kashmiri cuisine. Which one of these 20 foods are you the most excited to try out.
You can buy the finest version of Kashmiri products from our online store. Products such as pure Honey, Shilajit, Almonds, Walnuts, Apricots, and similar Kashmiri Foods are all available for you to buy.
- Kashmiri Wazwan: A Non Vegetarian Delight
- How to Prepare Kashmiri Kahwa? The Best Way to Consume Saffron
- Everything You Need to Know About Kashmiri Tea
- The Kashmiri Gushtaba: How to Cook at Home?
Mir Saeid is the Growth Hacker of Kashmirica, a brand that is poised to ‘Bring Exclusives from Kashmir to You’. An enthusiastic cultural entrepreneur, he is driven by a passion to bring about a social impact. He has a Masters in International Business from the University of Bedfordshire and has worked in leading Marketing positions at various SMEs and Startups for 8+ years.
A polyglot who English, Arabic, Urdu & Koshur, Mir loves traveling, reading, researching, and writing. And that is why he keeps writing about art, culture, life, philosophy, health, and just about everything else he knows.