Jammu and Kashmir is the Northern most state in India. It consists of three regions – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Srinagar is the Summer capital and Jammu is the Winter capital. Jammu has numerous Hindu shrines which is big Hindu Pilgrimage bringing thousands of pilgrims every year. Kashmir is so beautiful and scenic and many movies of 1970’s and 1980’s time have captured the beauty for a lot of the romantic songs.. Ladakh is known for its remote mountainous picture perfect scenery and Buddhist Culture.. Coming to the cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir cuisine was mostly influenced originally by the Kashmiri Pandits. Usually Pandits do not eat meat, but this region is an exception where the Pandits have eaten all the meat except Beef which is banned here. So with a cuisine which has so much of meat based dishes, it was little challenge for me to land on an authentic dish from this region. I was so excited when my research landed me on Sanjeev Kapoor’s website and this was a dish mentioned for this region and was a sure try. A delicious spicy paratha which gets its flavor from the dried anardana seeds.. This recipe makes 12 - 14 parathas.. I served this with curd and it was such a delicious dinner. Now because this paratha is big, one could eat 2 or 3. I got this recipe inspired from here, but did few changes.
For the stuffing
Dried Anardana (pomegranate) Seeds - 1 table spoons
Potato - 2 big / 3 medium
Onion - 1 big (chopped fine)
Salt - As mentioned in the recipe below
Turmeric Powder - 1/8 tea spoon + 1/4 tea spoon
Oil - 1 tea spoon + 1 tea spoon per paratha
Coriander Leaves - 1/4 cup (chopped)
Red Chili Powder - 1 tea spoon
Chaat Masala - 1 tea spoon
Amchur Powder / Lemon Juice - 1 tea spoon (optional)
Green Chili - 2 (minced)
For the dough
Whole Wheat Flour - 3 cups
Warm Water - 1 1/2 cups (add 1 cup and then 1 table spoon at a time)
Salt - 1/2 tea spoon
Curd - 3 table spoons
Oil - A few drops
Omam / Ajwain Seeds - 1/8 tea spoon (optional)
Steam cook the potatoes with 1/8 tea spoon turmeric until done
Set aside to cool. When cooled, grate it and set aside
Dry roast the anardana for a minute or two. Grind it to a powder and set aside
Heat 1 tea spoon of oil and saute the onions and chili until the onions are well browned.
Allow it to cool.
To the grated potatoes, add 3/4 tea spoon salt, onions and chili, 1/4 tea spoon turmeric, anardana powder, amchur powder, chaat masala, coriander leaves and mix well
Divide into 12 portions and set aside. The stuffing is ready.
Mix together flour, salt, ajwain seeds well
Add curd and mix well
Now add warm water slowly and make it to a soft dough
Coat the dough with few drops of oil and set aside covered for 15 minutes
After 15 minutes, divide the dough into 12 portions
Make small discs of the dough with the edges to be very thin and the center is thicker
Place one portion of the stuffing and seal from all sides
Dip the dough into dry flour and press with your fingers intially and then roll it with a rolling pin to a big paratha
Heat a tawa and cook the paratha. Flip after 15 seconds and when you see spots, smear 1/2 tea spoon oil and flip again and smear another 1/2 tea spoon oil
Cook until the paratha is cooked with lots of golden spots..
From Wiki – “Kashmiri cuisine has had the earliest influence on Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. Usually, Pandits do not eat meat, however the Pandits of Kashmir have always eaten all meats except beef. Beef is strictly forbidden in Pandit cuisine and in Kashmiri Muslim cuisine, in keeping with the age old Kashmiri tradition known as Kashmiriyat The Wazwan of Kashmiri Muslims never allows for the usage of Beef. However, the Kashmiris have always been heavy meat eaters(lamb, mutton, goat). The Nilamat Purana records that the Brahmins of Kashmir have always been heavy meat eaters (lamb, mutton). The two most important saints of Kashmir, Lalleshwari and Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali were vegetarians for spiritual reasons. Meat is cooked in Kashmiri Pandit festivals and forms an extremely important part of Kashmiri Pandit identity. Tea drinking is a very important part of Kashmiri Pandit culture. Two of the most important types of tea that the Pandits drink are "Sheer Chai"(salted pink tea with almonds) and Kehwah(sweet green tea with almonds and cardamom). With tea, they often eat certain types of bread/bakery such as "Katlam" and "Kulcha" topped with Kashmiri Butter made from fresh milk.”