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 Kashmir 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, were vegetarians for spiritual reasons. Meat is cooked in Kashmiri Pandit festivals and forms an extremely important part of Kashmiri Pandit identity. Some noted Kashmiri pandit dishes include:
Rogan josh:: This is a lamb based dish, cooked in a gravy seasoned with liberal amounts of Kashmiri chillies (in the form a dry powder), ginger (also powdered), asafoetida (the Pandits use it in place of garlic) and bay leaves, among other things. Due to the absence of onions, yoghurt is used as a thickener, and also to reduce the heat and marry the spices in the gravy. This much loved dish is the most commonly cooked dish using lamb meat in Kashmiri Hindu cuisine.
Yakhini :: is a yoghurt based mutton gravy, which excludes the use of turmeric and chilli powders in its preparation. The dish is primarily flavoured with bay leaves, cloves and cardamom seeds. Its really mild and is considered to be subtle in taste.This is eaten with rice, and is often accompanied with a more spicy side-dish.
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