Dry vegetables selling like hot cakes in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan. 17 (ANI): Due to the scarcity of fresh vegetables during the winter, sale of dry vegetables or "Hokh-suen" has picked up in Kashmir.

Out of the indigenously dried and preserved vegetables are: Alae Hache (dried bottle gourds), Ruvangan Hache (dry tomatoes), Vangan Hache (dry brinjals), Hoch meethi (dry fenugreek), Hoch Palak (dry spinach), Gogji arae (dry turnip), Gogji Mus (small dry turnip with leaves), Bumb (a wild herb) and Hand (a wild herb) are a few of the commonly found dried vegetables.

"It is Kashmir's old tradition. In Summers the vegetables are dried and are sold during winters when there is severe scarcity of fresh vegetables," said Gulam Rasool, a trader.

Earlier "Hokh-suen" were domestically produced and consumed, but from past several years, it has emerged as a full-fledged business with shops selling dry vegetables during winter season.

"There is a lot of demand, these vegetables are also taken form here to Jammu and Delhi. People also buy dry fish," said Mohammad Latif, a shopkeeper.

Kashmiris have a great weakness for "Hokh-suen" and the centuries old practice is coming handy during winters when the supply of fresh vegetables from rest of the parts of the country gets blocked due to heavy snowfall.

Besides taste, Kashmiris prefer eating dry vegetables during severe cold winter in the belief that it generates heat in the body.

That is why, despite availability of modern dehydrated and processed vegetables in the market, "Hokh-shun" still finds a place on the Kashmiri platter. By Afzal Bhat (ANI)

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