Service and Mode of Eating
In Kashmir it is said that the food should both
taste and look good. Its aroma must be appetizing. Success of a meal lies in its
appeal to the eyes, nose and then the tongue.
In big Kashmiri dinners, where a hundred to five
hundred people are usually invited, on the occasion of weddings and festivals
etc., the food is served to the guests who are seated on carpeted floors, which
are sometimes covered with Chandanis (White Sheets). These dinners are
served in big halls, or under decorated Shamiyane (Canopies), which are
well illuminated, and air conditioned, if necessary, by means of fans or stoves
or electric heaters, according to the needs of the season.
Big metallic plates, generally made of stainless steel
nowadays, are used for eating. Eating with right hand fingers and thumb is
common. Service is usually done by cooks, friends and family members. To relish
the Dishes individually, and make the cuisine an enjoyable one, different
preparations are not mixed while eating, and service is done in a somewhat
course-wise style. Thereby each Dish, with its particular flavour and delicacy,
is relished and appreciated separately at a time.
Wines and liqueurs are rarely served in Dinners.
Instead, Green Condimented Tea without milk, is served generally after and even
before a Dinner.
Modur Polav, a sweet 'Basmati' rice Pulav
cooked in clarified butter (Ghi), milk and water, along with dry fruits,
saffron, spices and other condiments, is a favourite dessert of Kashmiri Pandits.
Khir, Halwa, Firni, Fruit stews and Custards etc., are also served as
desserts. In hot weather, Kulfi, Ice-creams or some other sweets are also
To round off, a dinner or a feast, a condimented and
scented Betel leaf (Pan) is always welcome Tambul, as it is called
in Sanskrit, is always offered even to Deities in Puja etc. Of course it
is the relisher and the appreciater of good food preparations, who, as a guest,
lends colour to a good feast. Usually, once a person joins a good Kashmiri
feast, he or she never forgets it.
Utensils For Serving Meals and Processing of Foods
1. 'Dul', 'Dulij', 'Var', 'Chod', and 'Tagaer',- Baked
clay, milk, curd etc., Containers.
2. 'Faot' and 'Longun'- Plastered wicker basket for
grains etc., and wooden mug.
3. 'Girs', 'Gedva', 'Nar', 'Lutin', 'Abkhor', 'Jag', 'Baltin',
'Kamandal', 'Gangasagar', and 'Gagaer' - Metallic water pots, some with
4. 'Goshpar' and 'Kaen'- Wooden mallet and flat stone.
5. 'Greta'- Quern.
6. 'Kashva', 'Krechh' and 'Chonchi',- Metallic and
wooden spoons and ladles.
7. 'Kangaer',- Fire pot.
8. 'Kanz' and 'Muhul',- Wooden pole and big stone mortar
for husking grains.
9. 'Khalur' and 'Dula', - Boat shaped stone mortar and
oval stone pestle.
10. 'Krenjul', - Wicker basket for vegetables etc.
11. 'Lachhul',- Broom.
12. 'Maet', 'Math' and 'Nuot', - Baked clay big pots for
grains and water. 13. 'Niam' and 'Chhota', - Stone broad mortar and wooden
14. 'Pahrat', 'Chilamchi' and 'Dunga', - Shallow and
15. 'ShrakaPuch', - Folding knife.
16. 'Shrakh', 'Moand' and 'FashaKan',- Chopping knife,
wooden block and hone.
17. 'Shup' and 'Pariun', - Hand winnow and sieve.
18. 'Tabach', 'Tok', 'Parva', 'Nar' and 'Machavar',-
Baked clay plates and pots used for eating meals and drinking etc.
19. 'Tasht' and 'Nar', - Deep metallic basin and spouted
water jug with handles for wastung hands etc.
Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a 501c(3) non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving.
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