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  • Kashmir is a locked and landlocked beautiful state. Almost equal to the beauty of Paradise' It is my unseen birthplace.I may never step on my native Earth, but my love for it will be forever in my heart.I keep the memory of my homeland alive in many ways and one is 'preparing kashmiri food'
    All what I write here is as told by my respected elders.

    Though rice is a staple diet in many countries across the world, and is grown as the main crop where there is plenty of water but strangely it is extremely popular as a compulsory food item in Kashmir.How do they cook it is the interesting part-

    Today the 5th of February is marked as Kashmir Day and what best way to pay tribute by sharing some interesting facts.

    Rice for breakfast lunch and dinner.This is how it is a favourite.
    Eaten as boiled, cooked like’pulao’ all brown with added pieces of meat and cardammoms, 'Rice goes with all curries’ they say-

    Rice is prominent in Kashmiri Culture
    A girl may not be educated but she must know how to prepare ‘rice’ or better’ how to boil rice’ otherwise she may lose her popularity.
    'be accepted as a Kashmiri bride if she passes the rice test'
    Then again the first test as a new member of the family will be to prepare ‘rice’.
    This is how the girl is greeted and so begins her life in the kitchen...

    ‘Each grain of rice must be long and separate and hot when served.
    This means long vigilant stand in front of the stove.The cooking utensil must be large enough to contain enough water to freely boil the rice grains.When tender they must be taken off the fire and seived through a strainer.Then back again on low heat the container must be closed tightly and the lid secured with something heavy on top.
    The recommended item is the 'stone bowl' called 'mortar' and a stone 'pestle', you have already seen in the photograph.

    Now imagine the container commonly called ‘pateela’, with this item on the top of the lid, and that's not all, the flat iron plate called ‘tawa’ used for cooking’ ' wheat 'chappati’ is placed on the stove first- a unique three -some, ‘this is the way to do it best’
    OH Dear'
    Its a daily cooking item so a daily standing routine.

    What about the rice washing part?
    The rice to be cooked must first be sifted clean by hand.Then washed thoroughly seven times in a deep container.It must come out white as snow, and what with the scarcity of water these days?
    well, then 'if no rice is to be cooked then its like ‘a day of mourning’ or ‘ a religious fast’

    Time for some Rice Recipes
    There are many
    but all together its the style of sharing it with family and friends, sitting on the floor all around the multi colored cloth laid out in the center, that makes it enjoyable and this is the true tradition of staying together.
    Families that eat together pray together, stay together'.
    And now a Song of Freedom
    'Kario manzar jigra's jaiy shamno' mai masha a ni karyo''
    'Mere watan teri jannat mei ayen ge ik din sitam sha'aar se tuj ko churrayen ge ik din'
    'O my dear land we shall come to your heaven one day and release you from the shackles of captivity'
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