Kashmir's street food: Lotus stem & fish fritters, chickpea tacos, sweet snowballs & more

Kashmir’s street food: Lotus stem & fish fritters, chickpea tacos, sweet snowballs & more

Kashmir's street food: Lotus stem & fish fritters, chickpea tacos, sweet snowballs & more nadur gounji mojje gouji Khandde Gazir basrakh tujje 30stades

The street food in India varies from state to state. It is chaat in Delhi, vada pav and dhabeli in Maharashtra, phuchka and rolls in West Bengal and dahi vada with aloo dum in Odisha. 

Local tastes and abundant availability of ingredients define the street food of any region. And Kashmir is no exception. Lotus stem, locally called nadru, is easily available, with lotus growing in lakes and ponds across the region. 

Kosh

While nadru yakhni (in curd gravy) and chok nadru (sour lotus stem) are made in every household, it is nadru mounji (fritters) that make for popular street food. They resemble potato fries because of the shape in which the lotus stem is cut. Dipped in gram flour batter with fragrant spices, nadur mounji is a hit with every foodie.

Also Read: Uttarakhand: Garhwali & Kumaoni food in pictures

For non-veg lovers, there is a fish counterpart – gadde mounji or fish fritters made with de-boned trout and salmon dipped in spiced batter and deep-fried. From a distance, they somewhat resemble the bharwan mirch pakoda (stuffed pepper fritters) from Bikaner, Rajasthan.

And then there is the Kashmiri version of tacos – masale czot or tzot. Boiled chickpeas seasoned with spices are mashed and spread over thin baked chapatti-like bread called lavash or lavas. Then a layer of spicy muji chatin (radish chutney) is added to make a healthy and flavourful snack.

Also See: Maharashtrian food in pictures

For those with a sweet tooth, there is the famous paratha-halwa. Halwa, a rich dense dessert made using semolina, sugar and nuts, is served with parathas which are deep-fried and not prepared on a girdle. The parathas also go wonderfully well with just a cup of piping hot nun chai (also called shir chai).

And there is a long list of delicious Kashmiri street foods. More here: 

Nadru mounji or lotus stem fritters resemble French fries and are a popular street food in Kashmir. Pic: Wasim Nabi
Nadru mounji or lotus stem fritters look similar to French fries and are a popular street food in Kashmir. Pic: Wasim Nabi
Gadde mounji or fish fritters made with de-boned fishes dipped in spiced batter and deep-fried  Pic: Flickr 30 stades
Gadde mounji or fish fritters made with de-boned fishes dipped in spiced batter and deep-fried Pic: Flickr

Also Read: How 2 sisters are reviving cuisine of Bannuwal Hindus who migrated from Pakistan after Partition

A vendor selling the Kashmiri version of tacos – masale czot or tzot. 30 stades
A vendor selling the Kashmiri version of tacos masale czot or tzot. Pic: Flickr

Also See: In pictures: Bihari food beyond litti chokha

Khand-e-gazir are colourful sweet sticks that  have refined flour, sugar and cardamom powder as the main ingredients. They are loved equally by kids and grown-ups. Pic: Wasim Nabi   30stades
Khand-e-gazir are colourful sweet sticks that have refined flour, sugar and cardamom powder as the main ingredients. They are loved equally by kids and grown-ups. Pic: Wasim Nabi
Halwa-paratha is not only a street food but is also distributed at Sufi shrines on Urs, The paratha is thinly rolled out and deep-fried. Pic: Flickr
Halwa-paratha is not only a street food but is also distributed at Sufi shrines on Urs. The paratha is thinly rolled out and deep-fried. Pic: Flickr

Also See: Pickles of India: From orchids & peaches to banana flowers & bamboo shoots, Indians pickle just about everything

A street vendor selling tujji -- Kashmiri seekh kebab grilled right on the street. Pic: Flickr  30 stades
A street vendor selling tujji — Kashmiri seekh kebab grilled right on the street. Pic: Flickr
Basrak or basrakh appear like snowballs and are made with whole wheat flour, sugar, ghee or oil. Sometimes, mawa or khoa is also added. Pic: Wasim Nabi 30stades
Basrak or basrakh look like snowballs and are made with whole wheat flour, sugar, ghee or oil. Sometimes, mawa or khoa is also added. Pic: Wasim Nabi

Also See: In pictures: From Sindhi gheeyar to kanji vada & bhabhra, traditional Holi food as colourful as the festival

Simply put, Shangram is a dried halwa ball made using semolina, refined flour, sugar, ghee and milk. Pic: Wasim Nabi 30 stades
Simply put, Shangram is a dried halwa ball made using semolina, refined flour, sugar, ghee and milk. Pic: Wasim Nabi
Tyil karre (top row/right) are white peas fritters made using gram flour. Pic: Flickr
Tyil karre (top row/right) are white peas fritters made using gram flour. Pic: Flickr

Also Read: Nanga Hittu: Reviving tribal cuisine of the Badagas from Nilgiris

From halwa-paratha and nadru fritters to tyil karre, this vendor has a lot to offer. Pic: Flickr 30 stades
From halwa-paratha and nadru fritters to tyil karre, this vendor has a lot to offer. Pic: Flickr

(Wasim Nabi is a Srinagar-based freelance multimedia journalist)

Kosh

Also Read: Kashmir’s local bread-baking thrives as kandurs serve up delectable breads

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