Kahva, Kashmiri Green Tea
Kahva in Kashmir is made in the Samowar, a copper kettle of Russian origin with a chimney inside in which hot charcoal brings water to boil. Traditional Eid breakfast is made of several cups of steaming hot kahva and warm zoot, bread from the khandur, a Kashmiri baker.
Ingredients for 4 cups:
5 ½ cups water
5 teaspoons sugar or to taste (could be replaced with honey)
About 4 inches of whole cinnamon
5 green cardamom, bruised
1 pinch of saffron (6 strands) normally added in winter
2 teaspoons kahva, green tea
1-2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Boil the water with the cinnamon and green cardamoms, sugar and saffron if you wish, for 5-10 minutes till the colour of the water is brown and emits a good fragrance.
Whole spices are better, do not use powdered.
Remove from flame, add the tea leaves, cover with a lid, and let stand for 3-5 minutes till the tea brews.
Pour into warmed cups and, if you like, add ¼ teaspoon sliced almonds in each cup.
A traditional mutton dish seasoned with yogurt, it is the pride of a Kashmiri woman if she can make a delicious one. A must for Eid festivities.
Ingredients for 4:
1 kg Mutton
1 kg Fresh Yogurt
2 Onions 3 Shallots
A few Dried Mint Leaves
1 tsp. Anise Seeds
3 tbsp. Oil
3 Green Cardamom Pods
1 Cinnamon Stick
Salt to taste
Take a heavy bottomed pan; add 4- 5 cups of water with salt. In cotton gauze place the anise seeds, the cloves, the green cardamoms, and the cinnamon. Place it in the water along with the mutton and let it cook.
Take a saucepan and fry onions and shallots in oil till brown, then using a hand blender, adding a little water turn them into a paste.
Heat oil in another pan and add yogurt. Keep stirring the mixture till it boils without interruption and let the water in the yogurt evaporate till you are left with a cream on which oil floats.
Add onion paste to this mixture and mix well. Reduce the flame and add the meat pieces.
Strain the broth from the mutton and add it to the vessel containing mutton. Add dried mint, possibly dried in the sun, and cook for some more time.
Serve hot with steamed Basmati rice.