Monday, April 6, 2009

Taste the most sumptuous cuisine of Jammu

The Indian cuisines are representing a distinctive cultural trend in different regions of the country, due to climatic and geographical conditions. In fact, each cultural group has its own specialized and distinctive basic dishes, desserts and sweets which reflect the diversity on one hand and drinks, achar, and snacks have unity in Indian food on the other. Likewise Jammu region has its own lip smacking, mouth watering dishes. Almost every zone in Jammu is famous for a particular dish.

Yellow Rice
The ethnic food of yellow rice and rajmah at Lakhanpur Bus Stand are available at Samba. The ambal / umbal is sweetened pumpkin or Kaddu, an important dish form the part of the full course meal with a variety of lentils or Dal such as Rajmash, Roungi, Mash, Moungi, Channa dal etc. The ambal is prepared from Imali, Gur, Methi seeds, green and red chili, haldi, salts and other species.Oriya is a raita of potato prepared in mustard oil with rai, adds to the digestion of the highly oiled cuisines.

Madraa comprised of kali mash dal, garlic, ginger and tomato paste headed in butter with khoya and other species added to the taste with required salt.

The non-vegetarian dishes are ambla meat or khatta meat prepared with gur, anardana, palak, lamb or goat meat as per taste and cooked in iron pan which supplement as source of iron in the dish. The traditional cooking in iron or nickel utensils probably prevented many forms of diseases other wise unheard in good olden times. The champs are the chest pieces of ribs with spines boiled and prepared with species.

Kabargah are the fried champ rather than boiled during preparation method.
Kababs the minced mutton roasted in an iron road, over gas is electric oven.
The chicken dipped in the paste of curd and species is roasted in electric or gas oven earlier in the charcoal which had a different taste. A shop in Pucca Danga is famous for Khatta or sour meat. Adisha is the mutton boiled in curd and milk overnight then fried in the ghee.

The Khameera or whole wheat or midda roti is prepared after fermentation in the oven or tandoor in large size. The Bajra roti eaten in the dry belt is highly fibrous flour with lot of energy and require hard digesting. The makki roti eaten only in the winter, the fibrous content in it helps to prevent the stone formation tendency in the body like western people taking lots of corn flakes.

Sweet rice or meatha patt is prepared in sugar. The namkeen rice or loona patt is prepared with salt rice. The plain or boiled rice with drained out water and the yellow or Shirin pulao with saffron is to provide colour and dry fruits add flavor.

Achar and chattnis are natural diet supplements and help in digestion of the food. The art of making pickles or Achar is one of the unusual features of Indian cuisines. The spices and oil added in vegetables or fruits enhances the taste and preservation of the fruits and vegetables for a long time.

The chattnis of pudina, anardana add taste to the food in the main course diet.
The laungi or the peeled green mango achar with species and salt pickle prepared with rai, metha as mustard oil, as preservative with puri, suchi with sweet suji halwa or shirin pulaao on festive occasions.

There is variety of tasty snacks taken in it between the two meals. Kachalu chat is the freshly prepared snack mixed with spice, and referred as tangy sour sweet evening snacks available in all shopping centres. The high carbohydrate content diet supplements the various vitamins in the form of Imali or tamarind as natural source of vitamin C. Kachalu Chaat, a potato based tangy sour sweet snack specialty of Jammu is available in all shopping centres. The traditional outlet in a lane called Sardar ki gali opposite Raghunath Temple.(Ramkund in Poonch)

Indian has variety of sweets and desserts. The desserts are basically rice or milk products and their food value is a combination of proteins, carbohydrates etc.

Milk Cake
The milk cake of Samba is a thick, white lump of sweetened condensed milk, heated to brown core in the centre producing milk granules as its specialty. The chocolate barfi is made from over heated khoya. The so called chocolate, without a milligram of cocoa, the milk converted into brown and condensed till it can be sliced as glossy dark brown colour of Chocolate. The chocolate is famous at a shop at Gandhi Nagar, Purani Mandi in the Jammu City.

The Kud chocolate cooked in the pure ghee or clarified butter during the making process of the sweet dish is unique feature.

The Jammu sweets available at Pacca Danga opposite Laxmi Narayan Temple is one of best prepared in vegetable oil. Pawan shop at Akhnoor or Canal Road at Bakshi Nagar crossing sold its special favorites Kulfi in traditional way lost ground and now shifting to Western style ice-cream.

Nandini, road side famous stalls before the Nandini Tunnel on NHIA are renowned for Kalarhi or cottage cheese raw as well as cooked. The Kalarhi is a form of rancid cheese in which butter is not drained out. The cheese pakoras and Mirch pakoras or chili dumplings in lentil flour or Besan are most favoured snacks. On the Jammu- Srinagar NHIA the shops at Samrauli, near Chennani is a famous stop over for raw Kalarhi available till afternoon. The Kalarhi of Ramnagar is a also famous hub in Udhampur Distt. The Kalarhi is the most sought after local cuisine fried and eaten in various ways. It is available in various versions to enhance the food value. In Udhampur, the Kalarhi mixed with fried / boiled Soyabean and species come as a complete food with high protein supplement snacks.

Kud on NHIA is famous for pateesa, a yellow sweet also known as Sohanpari, the besan turned into a fibrous cake pieces in pure desi ghee. Peerah, a few km ahead of Batote, there are many dhabas who serve rajma, boiled rice / chawal and mixed with pure desi ghee round the clock on the Jammu – Srinagar Highway a renowned stop for the Rajma –Chawal. The bund / kulcha filled with mutter / yellow pea mixed with imali water, species and lemon juice. The fried potato tikki with black or white gram boiled, fried and eaten with the bund/kulcha other ethnic cuisines readily found in the Cities of the region.

The traditional cuisines in the present scenario of liberalizationhave been taken over by the Western style “multi-national food joints” and won the heart of younger generation. ‘The old is gold’ is the best saying among the older people, in the same way the traditional local cuisines are time tested in terms of their food value, suitable to climate and geographical conditions. For example, the rice and rice fermented products in South India cuisines easily digested in comparison to the wheat roti, as rice product suited best to the climatic conditions of southern part of the India.

The Federal Administration of USA proved that the use of turmeric or Haldi and other species act as antiseptics, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that we still do not know.
Therefore, our ethnic food has more food value in terms of providing proteins, vitamins and other enzymes provided naturally rather than harmful chemical added in fast food like Pizza, potato chips, burgers etc to enhance the taste of food.

There is a need of permanent outlets in the city like Jammu to promote tourism development and the preservation of tangible or living heritage like cuisines. The bank of the river Tawi in a form of Juhu beach having eating joints or Jammu Haat canbe planned as the best place for the purpose. The ethnic cuisines makers court to save the vanishing cuisine of the region.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Hi, I intend to visit Jammu. Can you name some shops where I can have dishes like "khatta mutton" and other ethnic dishes of the dogra clan