Srinagar, March 13 : Kashmir is known for its cuisine that includes Gustava, Rista, Yakhani, and Rogan Josh, but few are aware that the bakers in the State also have special preparation like Sheermal and Baqerkhani.
There are 6,000 confectioners in the Srinagar alone and the bakers produce a variety of items.
Apart from the usual bread loaves, buns, patties and pastries, Kashmiri specialties like Sheermal and Baqerkhani , are also available for an authentic Kashmiri breakfast.
Lavas, is an unleavened bread in a cream-colour, while Baqerkhani is the Kashmiri equivalent of puff pastry.
Kashmiris use a variety of breads seldom found elsewhere. Tsot and Tsochvoru, which are small oval shaped breads, topped with poppy and sesame seeds, are two examples. These are preferred with the salt tea. Kulcha is a literal melt-in-the mouth variety of tiny-bread.
"Earlier, people maintained a simple lifestyle. But with modernization and new developments, the industry also expanded. Today, we have a lot of varieties, which were not there before. Customers' tastes have also changed. Children are specially fond of bakery items. Thus, a lot of change is happening," said Gulam Qadir, the General Secretary of Kashmir Bakers Association.
"We have a good sale. Tourists, earlier had limited choice to buy bakery products from. It has now grown into in thousands. At present, there are 6,000 bakeries in Srinagar which are running successfully. Their turnover has increased many times," said Parvez Ahmad, a confectioner.
Local say that the bakery products have become popular over the last decade. These products are now offered during family functions and celebrations.
One can locate a big number of bakeries in the vicinity of Dal Gate and Shervani Road in Srinagar. By Afzal Butt