With the onset of winter in Kashmir, the manners of fooding have begun to change in the region. ‘Harissa’ has become a new favourite food of the people besides the dry vegetables traditionally consumed during winter, according to a report.
According to the researchers, Harissa has been imported from Iran in the Kashmir valley and is the earliest form of Halim popular in Iran. Harissa in Kashmir valley is also known as “Harissa Zafarani“. The valley is registering an increase in demand for the centuries-old delicious and flavorful harissa. In Srinagar, especially in the old city, wherever there are harissa shops, there is a crowd of harissa eaters from seven in the morning, the report said.
It further said that there are various people in the region who like to eat harissa on a daily basis. “In fact, Harisa is used to warm the body in winter. The ingredients present in Harsia are “warming in temperament and hence its use during severe winters is considered beneficial,” the report said.
A local said that Harissa is a favourite food of Kashmiris in winter. “It is very tasty as well as warming the body and is available in more or less every home,” the report quoted the local as saying.
Harissa is considered to be the equal of Kashmiri wazawan in terms of taste. The cook who prepares harissa must be skilled and experienced in preparing this particular dish so that they can prepare harissa well and properly.
The report said that the preparation of harissa needs a lot of effort. “Various ingredients are prepared in advance so that they can be used early in the morning and served to the harissa lovers on time,” the report said.
Farooq Ahmad, who has been making harissa in Shahr Khas for the past several decades, said that the demand for harissa has increased so much that many people have to return here without eating harissa because the prepared harissa is gone within a few hours. The lovers of this traditional harissa are now found not only in the Kashmir valley but there are those who like it in other states and countries as well, according to the report.