This article has been written by Nalini Moti Sadhu from Matamaal Restaurant, Gurgaon and Ekta Agarwal who manages fooddelight.in where she shares interesting write-ups on herbs, spices, cuisines and dining experiences.

1. Nene Chokteh

Nene Chokteh

Picture credit: www.matamaal.com

This dish gets its name from words ‘Nene’ meaning mutton and ‘Chokteh’ meaning lip smacking. True to its name, small boneless mutton pieces are shallow fried on high flame in mustard oil with cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the mutton becomes dark brown, aromatic spices such as Kashmiri red chili powder, good amount of dry ginger, cloves, brown cardamom and black pepper are added till the mutton becomes soft and tender, water is added accordingly. Once done, its served with the garnishing of whole dry red chili. Since there are many spices used in the dish, it helps to keep the body warm. It is a popular dish in the valley of Kashmir during winter. This goes well with rice.

2. Nadur and Adrakh Monde

Nadur adrakh monje

Picture credit: https://www.spiceroots.com/lotus-root-fritters-nadir-monji-kashmiri/

In Kashmiri ‘Nadur’ is the word for lotus stems, ‘adrakh’ for ginger root and ‘monde’ for tikki (cutlet). This mouthwatering dish is an amazing combination of lotus stems and dry ginger powder. Lotus stems are first washed, scraped and pound coarsely in mortar and pestle. Next salt, dry ginger powder, Kashmiri red chili powder are added to it and then made into the shape of tikki/cutlet. Once the tikki is formed, it is shallow fried in mustard oil and served hot. It is a nice side dish and best relished with dal. Dry ginger powder is an amazing anti-inflammatory and helps increasing metabolism, therefore is widely consumed in winters.

3. Hokhegad

Hokhegad

Picture Credit: www.matamaal.com

In Kashmiri ‘hokhe’ means dried and ‘gad’ means fish. As the name suggests the fish is cooked well till dry with an aromatic blend of spices. Firstly. the fish is soaked in lukewarm water for about 5 minutes and then washed properly. After that, the head and tail are chopped off. The fish is then shallow fried in mustard oil with cumin seeds and asafoetida. Next Kashmiri red chili powder, dry ginger powder, salt and cloves are added. Once the fish starts crackling, which is also known as ‘chear’, water and fennel seed powder is added to it. Continue to cook till it emits a warm aroma and the flavours are absorbed. Garnish this delectable dish with whole dried red chili and serve hot.

4. Warmuth Gogji

Warmuth Gogji

Picture credit: www.matamaal.com

‘Warmuth’ is a variety of black beans in Kashmir and ‘Gogzi’ is Kashmiri word for turnip. This mouthwatering dish is a unique combination of black beans and turnips. Black beans, big chunks of turnips, Kashmiri red chilli powder, cloves, dry ginger powder, turmeric, a bit of fennel seed powder, salt and mustard oil are pressured cooked for about 3-4 minutes. The vegetable is cooked in the steam itself. Once done, Kashmiri tikki masala, which has about 12-15 masalas (Kashmiri red chili powder, asafoetida, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, coriander seeds and many more), is added to it and is given a boil or two till the gravy becomes a little thick. It is served with whole dried red chili and served hot.

5. Monje Suyen

Monje Suyen

Picture credit: www.matamaal.com

This is an unusual combination of ‘Monje’ meaning Kohlrabi, also known as German Turnip, ‘Ganth Gobhi’ in Hindi and ‘Suyen’ meaning mutton. In a cooker, mustard oil, cumin seeds, asafoetida, mutton, big chunks of kohlrabi (inclusive of leaves, stems and the round part), green cardamom, brown cardamom, bay leaf, and a good amount of cloves are fried till the color of mutton changes to brown. Once done dry ginger powder and turmeric powder are added so that the color of the dish becomes deep yellow. After 2-3 whistles are given the mutton becomes soft and tender. When done, the dish is given a boil so that everything is blended well, flavors are absorbed completely and emits an amazing aroma.