Hazartbal area of Srinagar is known for the shrine which houses the holy relic of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It’s also a getaway for those who want to spend a quiet and a serene evening on the banks of the Dal Lake, where the Shrine is situated.
Another thing which make the lanes of Hazartbal special is the variety of traditional Kashmiri street food it has to offer. The same food is available at almost all traditional market places in the city and other districts of the valley too.
Free Press Kashmir’s Afshan Rashid takes a rather sumptuous stroll in the Hazartbal market and lists 10 must have street foods of Kashmir…
1. Monji Gaade: If you love eating fish this is the instant fish snack you should try. Fish is dipped in rice flour and besan, to which is added a pinch of salt and food color, and then it is deep fried.
2. Halva-parath: Halva part is made from Sooji (Semolina) and the Parath is made from flour. This special Paratha has a 3ft diameter. This is something that every Kashmiri loves to buy. It tastes sweet and is to be eaten hot.
3. Laayeh: These coloured puffs are made from rice, sugar and a bit of food color. As soon as you put it into your mouth it dissolves and leaves behind a mild sugary taste.
4. Khandh Gaziri: These are candies made from flour dough and ghee which is then dipped in sugar syrup. This is a traditional snack thats crispy and starts giving out flavors as you start chewing it.
5. Mongh Masalah: This is the kashmiri steamed beans. Black gram (kala mongh) is steamed with basic ingredients like red chili powder and salt and then served hot.
6. “Basrakh: It belongs to the traditional sweets family. Made from flour mixed with ghee, it is then baked and dipped into sugar syrup. Dry fruits are sprinkled over.
7. Lala Shangram: A delicacy made by mixing flour, sooji and sugar, and then deep frying in ghee. It has a crispy texture and the flour in it gives you a soft spongy feel as you chew it.
8. Kaanak Masaal: This is a healthy diet, free of fat, cholesterol and oil. The preparation involves boiling the wheat and beans till it becomes tender, then mixed with spices and served hot.
9. Nadir Monji: Fried lotus stem dipped in rice flour and besan. Basic ingredients like salt are added and then it is deep fried. The outer covering is crispy and as you start chewing, the inner lotus stem lends the neutral flavor.
10. Masaal Tchot: This is the kashmiri version of a wrap. Channa that tastes like hummus, and radish chutney rapped in a bread known a Lavasa. This is something that will not just end hunger, but satisfy your taste buds too.