Srinagar: Kashmir is famous for its cuisines all around the world. The Wazwan which comprises over a dozen non vegetarian delicious varieties is being relished by not only Kashmriis but becomes favourite for every non Kashmiri, the movement he lands here. However, in last two decades, the culture of barbecues locally called Tujj is also picking up here.
Initially, the barbecues were sold at isolated places by roadside vendors. Among the non vegetarian lovers of Kashmir, the trend picked up fast and today every street of every locality is dotted with the barbeques sellers. One could easily gauge the love for barbeques among people while spotting the rush of towards these handcarts during evening hours.
The barbecue is made of little chopped pieces of meat and then these pieces are baked on slow burning charcoal. Numerous spices are added, making barbecues more delicious and mouth watering recipe.
Well, the Barbecue culture has increased in valley so has the business. Now after vendors, there are top restaurants and hotels selling barbecues in valley. In fact there are certain places where only the barbecues restaurants and markets are set up. The customer rush to these spots is normally at evening after people return home from their daily chorus of work.
Khayam Chowk in old city Srinagar is famous place for making delicious barbecues in the whole valley. The market here has a beeline of barbecue restaurants.
“I am selling barbecues here since last thirty years and I serve barbecues to locals and tourists as well,” says local Barbecue maker Muneer Ahmad.
Khayam is the very reputed place for making delicious barbecues. “The barbecues are also called TIKKA and we offer many varieties of barbecues here like chicken tikka, lamen tikka, mutton tikka, malai tikka and fish tikka,” he counts verities available at his restaurant for customers.
Muneer says he was selling about 100 barbecues a day “but now our mark is 300 to 400 barbecues per day.”
“Ten years back the demand was not so high but now the demand has increased on a very large scale,” Muneer observes.
Owing to the increasing demand of barbecues, the barbecue sellers believe that it might soon turn into one of the organized food sectors of valley and thousands of people may get associated to it on full time basis as it may increase employment opportunities for illiterate and semi-literate youths of valley who otherwise have tough time to find employment avenues.
Kashmir is the destination of the tourists from all over the world. The culture and tradition of Kashmir is very different and unique from the outside world. The globally renowned cuisine fills the tourists with joy.
While talking to another barbecue seller Hilal Ahmad he said, “We started this work 4 years back and now we are pretty satisfied and happy of our work. Barbecues of Kashmir are well known for its taste. The barbecue is a growing industry here. We use some native spices to add its flavour,” he says.
“The tourists come here and we serve them very delicious barbecues. Tourists prefer to eat barbecues in well established restaurants rather than vendors because they like comfort and fun. They want space to eat barbecues with their friends amid fun that is why the barbecue culture has transformed from street vendors (commonly known as tujj walas) to restaurants,” he adds.
He believes the demand for barbecues is increasing with the good footfall of tourists in valley and he is hopeful of same during this summer.