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kashmiri Samovar noon chai tea

Samavar is traditionally used to prepare tea especially Noon-Chai(salted kashmiri tea) and Kahwaa. Samavar was introduced in Kashmir as an outcome of the Kashmiri association with the age old trade routes in the medieval times. The name Samavar is derived from the Russian word -‘Samover’and translates to ‘self-boiler’ or ‘self-brew’ in english.


The innovative remodelling and improvisation that the Russian Samover received at the hands of Kashmiri artisans has resulted in the emergence of its exotic design and form.

The Samovar is an all-time favourite domestic utensil in the entire valley of Kashmir. It is one of the finest examples of the splendid art or craftsmanship and is known for its superb quality and distinct design.

There are essentially two types of Kashmiri Samavars, the Qandhkari Samavarsand the plain Samovars. The Qandhkari Samavars are made from copper and are exclusively used by the Muslims. In contrast, the plain Samavars are crafted from brass and are used by the Kashmiri Pandits. However, the stylish handles of both the types are made from brass.In earlier times, another type of Samavar was in vogue among the Kashmiri Pandits. It was known as the PanjaebSamavar. Unlike the usual Samavars, it was uniformly globular in shape right from the crest to the base with a latticed lower part.

The Qandhkari Samavar has its entire outer surface carved with intricate floral and Chinar leaf motifs or geometric designs. Both its outer and inner surfaces are nickle plated, which is locally known as ‘Kalai’. In contrast, the plain Samavar is devoid of any design. Only its inner side is nickle plated which gives the surface a smooth finish and shine. The size of a Samavar depends upon its capacity to hold the number of tea cups. The Samavar used by the Muslims is usually bigger in size as compared to the one used by Kashmiri Pandits. It is sold by weight and its cost is related to its water holding capacity and size. The artisan who crafts the Samavar is known as ‘Thanthur’ in local parlance, whereas the designer who creates decorative carvings and patterns on its outer side is called ‘Naqash’.

Kashmiri Kahwa is a traditional Kashmiri tea flavoured with cardamom and infused with cloves, cinnamon and saffron. It was traditionally prepared in a brass kettle known as samovar.

Kahwa tea is generally served with a sprinkling of chopped dry fruits like almonds, cherry pistachios or cashew nuts, almonds being the most popular.

Kashmiri Kahwa Tea has many health benefits and is a great option to include in our lifestyle. Here are some of the question that many of you asked about Kashmiri Kahwa

 

   

   

 

  

So unique and so enchanting, will be the first thought that crosses your mind after you witness any form of arts and crafts of Kashmir. Most famous and most visible are the Pashmina shawls, carpets, handicrafts, woodcarving and clothes worn by the locales. Come and explore the rich art and craft of Kashmir and take home few of the most memorable artifacts and best memorabilia of your life.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is famous the world over for its unique and splendid work of art and crafts. Travel through even the remotest parts of the state will give an insight into the world of art and craft in Jammu and Kashmir. Just about everything that is seen in Jammu and Kashmir has some kind of art work done on it. The most prominent is the embroidery work on the shawls and the cloths of Kashmiri people are very mesmerizing to be not noticed. You will also see the work of magic in wood works, steel wares, Papier-mache.

Papier Mache:
Papier Mache is another form of handicraft that has brought J& K wide acclaim from all regions of the world. To make Papier Mache objects, the process is very long and tedious. First, the paper is soaked in water until the time it completely dismantles. The paper is then mashed and is mixed with an adhesive solution. The pulp is then molded into the desired shape and is dried. The outlay of the object is now ready. Now is the time for artisans to color it and draw intricate and brilliant designs on it. The product is now ready to hit the market. The first look at these splendorous object itself will compel you to make them your own. There are cheaper versions of Papier Mache as well that are made up of cardboard. Pen boxes, table lamps, showpieces and other decorative items are few that are made from Papier Mache.

Carpets:
A Kashmiri Carpet is well known the world over and is a perfect representative of the Kashmir arts and crafts. The fine workmanship of the carpets and the materials like fine wool and silks used for making them makes the carpet prohibitively expensive for many. But if you are lucky enough to pick a Kashmiri carpet during your shopping tours for Kashmir arts and crafts, you can always rest assured of having a collector’s item in your possession.
Kashmiri silk and woolen carpets have intricate designs woven on them. The wall hangings have naqqashi work done on them and are a favorite with tourists. The jamavar work that is done by artisans on silk and woolen shawls is characteristic of the state of Kashmir.

Wood Carving:
Wood Carving industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years in J&K. In fact, wood carving industry of J&K is the most famous in the entire country. The Walnut wood is considered the best wood for carvings. Not only because it is readily available, but even after excessive carvings, the wood retains its strength. The main attraction of woodcarvings is the woodwork on the ceiling of the rooms. The technique for this work is immensely complicated and the end product is equally mesmerizing. This kind of woodcarving is called Khatam Band. Woodcarving can also be seen on chairs, tables, jewelry boxes and on anything and everything that is made of woods.

Shawls:
The finest shawls in the world are made in Kashmir. The shawls, made of sheep wool and Pashmina wool, are known the world over for their fine texture and soft colors. The woolen shawls, affordable for the most part, are popular due to the elaborate craftsmanship displayed on the panels along the shawl. Pashmina shawls, made from wool sourced from the high latitude Ibex, are loved for their fine texture. Though pure Pashmina is expensive, mixed Pashmina is affordable for the most part. The third kind of Kashmiri shawl, the Shahtoosh, is a banned item since its popularity led to the near extinction of the Chiru deer, from which the wool for the shawl is sourced.

Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, usually served in a Trammi or traem. Mostly served during weddings, the very name is enough to bring aroma of your home town when you are outside the valley. Just say the word “Wazwan” in any Kashmiri home and there is not a single person who would not say “Aab ounthe mei, bathe taraem wathiha” (You made my mouth water wish someone could send me a Taraem).

The history of Kashmir’s traditional cuisine, Wazwan, dates back to the last years of the 14th century when the Mongol ruler Timur invaded India in 1348 during the reign of Nasiruddin Muhammad of the Tughlaq dynasty. As a result, there took place a migration of trained weavers, woodcarvers, architects, calligraphers and cooks from Samarkand to the Kashmir valley. The descendants of these cooks came to be known as “Wazas”, who are the master chefs of Kashmir. Throughout the history like its culture, Kashmir cuisine has stood high and unrivaled by any other state in India. Kashmir cuisine is quite famous for the gracious use of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron, etc. Spices used in Kashmiri cuisines give special taste and aroma to the food. However, Kashmiri rice forms an important part of the traditional food of Kashmir, striking a balance with the spicy Kashmiri dishes. Non-veg, consisting of mutton, chicken, fish, etc forms an important part of Kashmiri cuisine. The routine cooking in Kashmir is a combination of non-veg and vegetables in the same dish. In fact, Kashmir is famous for its hospitality. A gourmet’s delight, Wazwan is the ultimate name in Kashmir banquet. This royal cuisine of Kashmir has been influenced by Iranian, Afghan and Central Asian styles of cooking, despite which it has been able to create an identity of its own. Non-vegetarian dishes consist of an important part of not only the diet of a Kashmiri, rather a banquet (wazwan) also. Considered a sign of extravagant hospitality, non-vegetarian dishes dominate in an official feast (wazwan). A typical wazwan meal consists of not more than one or two vegetarian dishes. Kashmir cuisine does not pay much attention to sweets. Instead, an important part of the meal is Kahva or green tea, used to wash down a meal.Traditionally, food in Kashmir was eaten by hands, without any spoons, forks or knives.What makes the Kashmir Cuisine special is the detailed preparation and traditional presentation of sumptuous meals, which comprises 36 courses. All this makes ‘wazwaan’ a spectacular and royal repast. Seven dishes typically form an inseparable part of the feast – ‘tabakh maaz, rogan josh, rista, aab gosh, dhaniwal korma, marchwagan korma and ghustaba. Firin and kahwah (green tea)’ conjure delicacies that are rich in taste and texture with mouth-watering aromas.
Streams and lakes have influenced the Kashmiri cuisine. Fresh fish is a favorite. Myriad meat dishes are served during the traditional feasts. Lamb and poultry are served as accompaniments. Smoked meat, dried fish and vegetables are stored for use in winter. A special masala ‘cake’ is made from spice-blends, onions and locally grown chilies that can be stored for longer period of time and used in flavoring curries. Sauces are made from dairy rich products. Kashmiri fare is also influenced by the mughal cooking. The fruits and nuts grown from the valley are used lavishly in daily menus.

Wazwan is cooked in special nickel-plated copper vessels over simmering fires of wood, preferably from old fruit trees.

Wazwan is cooked in special nickel-plated copper vessels over simmering fires of wood, preferably from old fruit trees.

Between fifteen and thirty preparations of meat are cooked overnight under the supervision of vaste waza (master chef).

Between fifteen and thirty preparations of meat are cooked overnight under the supervision of vaste waza (master chef).

The red colour in kashmiri cuisine is usually derived from either the Kashmiri chillies or cockscomb flower called mawal. Kashmiri Cuisine use lots of dry fruit .

The red colour in kashmiri cuisine is usually derived from either the Kashmiri chillies or cockscomb flower called mawal. Kashmiri Cuisine use lots of dry fruit .

Kashmiri pulao is a sweet, mild and aromatic delicacy from the beautiful state of Kashmir. This is extremely easy to make and is a bit on the sweeter side since it is garnished with both fresh and dry fruits.

A wide variety of fresh fruits like apple, pomegranate and pineapple can be used for garnishing the pulao. However, before you add any fruit to the pulao consider what will be served along with it, for instance, if you are going for a sweet raita like mango raita or pineapple raita then adding fruit to the pulao will only accentuate the taste of this delicacy. Furthermore, make sure that the pieces of the fresh fruit used are not very big. The recipe for this delicacy has been mentioned below.

Main Ingredients:

For the Pulao:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • Cinnamon, 1inch stick
  • Caraway seeds, 1tsp
  • Indian bay leaf, 1
  • Cloves, 3
  • Green cardamoms, 2-3
  • Black cardamoms, 2
  • Dry ginger powder, ½tsp
  • Fennel powder, 1tsp
  • Saffron, 2pinches
  • Ghee, 2tbsp
  • Water, 4 – 4¼cup
  • Salt as required

For garnishing:

Preparation Method:

  1. In a deep pan heat the ghee on medium flame and add the whole spices.
  2. Fry them until oil gets fragrant, now lower the flame and adds fennel powder and ginger.
  3. Add the rice (soaked earlier) and stir.
  4. Add crushed saffron.
  5. Sauté for a minute and add salt and water, gently stir and tightly cover the pan.
  6. As the rice is getting cooked, you can now prepare the garnish.
  7. In a frying pan, heat two tbsp. of oil and add sliced onions along with a pinch of salt.
  8. Now cook the onions until they turn light golden in color and turn crisp.
  9. Remove the onions from the pan and drain the oil on a tissue.
  10. In the same pan, now fry the dry fruits until they turn crisp and remove them on a tissue.
  11. Cook the rice until it absorbs all the water.
  12. Once cooked to fluff the rice and put them in a serving bowl.
  13. Now garnish it with fried cashew, almonds, and onions
  14. Serve hot.

Enjoy the mouth-watering royal Kashmiri pulao.