8 Kashmiri Desserts For Everyone With A Sweet Tooth
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Kashmir is a beautiful region nestled in the Himalayan mountains of northern India. Known for its picturesque landscapes and serene valleys, Kashmir has been called "paradise on earth."  Kashmir has a rich cultural history and tradition. Kashmiri cuisine is meat-based, with lamb, chicken, and fish being popular. 

Kashmiri desserts are known for their rich, creamy textures and aromatic flavours. The cooler climate of Kashmir allows for dairy products like milk, cream, and cheese to be used liberally in desserts. Popular Kashmiri desserts include phirni, shufta, kheer and more. 

Flavourings like cinnamon, pistachios, and raisins are often added. Kashmiri desserts make excellent use of local ingredients like saffron, almonds, walnuts, honey, and dried fruits to create rich yet refined confections. Their complex flavours and silky textures reflect the culinary heritage of Kashmir.  

Kashmiri Kesar Phirni  

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The sweet Kashmiri Kesar Phirni is a simple-process dish. First, heat milk in a pan over low heat until it comes to a boil. Then slowly pour in the semolina, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Continue stirring frequently as the semolina thickens the milk. Scrape down the sides of the pan often and incorporate the semolina stuck to the sides back into the simmering milk. Once the milk has thickened to a creamy, pudding-like consistency, stir in sugar, cardamom powder, and saffron to infuse flavour. Cook for 2–3 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before refrigerating. The chilled phirni is then ready to enjoy!   

Kashmiri Gulab Shrikhand  

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The alluring Kashmiri Gulab Shrikhand is a sweet, creamy dessert that brings festive joy to any celebratory meal. In a mixing bowl, add hung curd and kashmiri rose syrup. Vigorously whip the mixture until light, fluffy, and completely combined. Transfer the whipped curd into a serving bowl and garnish with delicate slivers of blanched almonds and dried rose petals. Place the finished Gulab Shrikhand in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. Each spoonful melts in your mouth, spreading sweetness through your senses.    

Kashmiri Apple Kheer

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To make this delectable Kashmiri kheer, soak the almonds overnight, and then place the peeled almonds in a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a gentle boil over low heat. Stir in sugar and fresh cream to enrich the mixture. Now slowly stir in the almond paste. Once cooled, stir in grated Kashmiri apples, which contribute tartness to balance the rich, creamy kheer. Your healthy, delicious Kashmiri kheer is now ready to enjoy!   

Kashmiri Halwa   

To prepare this kashmiri halwa, heat the ghee in a pan, add the dry oats and fry them gently, stirring continuously. While the oats are toasting, heat the milk and sugar together in a separate pan, stirring occasionally, until the liquid comes to a boil. Once the sugar has completely melted, pour the hot, sweetened milk into the pan with the toasted oats. 

The oats will immediately start to soften and absorb the milk. Stir the mixture continuously as it simmers to prevent it from sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan. As you stir, sprinkle in the ground cardamom powder. Garnish with a sprinkling of crunchy, toasted cashews and raisins. The halwa is now ready to enjoy warm.    

Kashmiri Lyde  

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Making the traditional Kashmiri Lyde requires a sugary syrup infused with cardamom and a mixture of blended soft wheat and rice flours. The mixture is gently rubbed with a generous amount of ghee until the fats are fully incorporated, creating a smooth, rich dough. 

The dough is divided into small, lemon-sized balls. It is then twisted into the signature knotted form that gives Lyde its distinctive appearance. The remaining ghee is heated in a pan and the uncooked Lyde is fried gently in small batches. Once cooled, the Lyde is ready to enjoy.   

Kashmiri Falooda   

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To make a refreshing falooda, first soak a few tablespoons of black basil seeds in water for at least half an hour. Heat a few cups of milk and a bit of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Prepare the falooda seviyan (vermicelli) noodles by bringing water to a rolling boil in a pan, then adding the noodles and cooking for 4-5 minutes until they are tender. 

When ready to assemble, take two tall glasses and divide the soaked basil seeds between them. Add rose syrup to each glass and pour in the chilled, sweetened milk. Place a scoop of ice cream in each glass, then garnish with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals.    

Kashmiri Shufta  

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The preparation of Kashmiri Shufta, a sweet and savoury delicacy, begins with a selection of key ingredients: plump almonds, cashews, and walnuts. Soak them all in cool water for one hour. Fry the now-plump nuts and cubes of paneer lightly until golden. The soaked nuts are added to the same pan, stirring continuously over low heat to gently toast their exterior and release the oils inside. 

At this point, sugar and the fried paneer are incorporated, allowing the sugar to melt with a few drops of lemon, some cardamom powder and saffron threads. The result is a mouthwatering blend of textures and flavours: crunchy nuts and coconut, creamy paneer, and sweet syrup accented with citrus and spices. Served warm, Kashmiri shufta is truly a delightful treat for the senses.  

Kashmiri Malai Rabdi  

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Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed wok, allowing it to come to a boil twice while scraping the sides to collect the cream. Next, stir in sweetened condensed milk and cardamom powder. In a separate bowl, mix together cornflour and room-temperature milk until smooth. Gradually stir the cornflour mixture into the hot milk to thicken it without forming lumps. 

Add a few strands of saffron and cook for a few more minutes. Once done, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla essence. Transfer the rabdi to a serving dish and garnish generously with tutti frutti, rose petals, saffron and nuts. Allow it to cool in the fridge for 2 hours before serving this velvety, fragrant Kashmiri specialty chilled.