Shab Deg: The Forgotten Kashmiri Food Affair

Every state's regional cuisine has a unique appeal that cannot be duplicated. If you're wondering why, you should visit different regions, try the cuisine, and experience the enchantment they have to offer. Once you've had it, you'll understand that it's not just about the food; it's also about the regional ingredients, water, weather, and other factors. Shab Deg, a regional recipe of Kashmir, is one such meal. 

It is a delicious combination of a large cooking vessel, extended nighttime cooking, and many savoury ingredients, as the name implies. In the dialect of Kashmir, the term "Shab Deg" refers to a particular meal that is prepared over a low flame all night long to achieve the ideal flavour and thickness. It is thought that the Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent is where this dish first appeared. In Persian, "shab" denotes night and "deg" denotes a cooking pot. Turnips and meat (lamb, cattle, or chicken) are traditionally cooked together over a simmering fire during the protracted winter night as part of Shab Deg. The huge container's lid is protected with dough or heavy objects. However, the current Shab Deg dish frequently combines turnip with a mixture of minced and boneless meat  

Shab Deg has never just been a meal to Kashmiris; it has always been a reason to rejoice that unites the family during the cooking process. Around 26–27 ingredients, 2 hours of preparation time, and 8–10 hours of moderate cooking on the gas stove or hearths fired by firewood are needed for its laborious preparation. However, everything in the modular kitchen setup has now been reduced to the gas stove. Although the dish's flavour has altered, many people's recollections of it remain vivid, which shows the power of food.  While the meal is renowned for its robust flavours, health experts believe that it also contains a wealth of nutrients that help the body stay healthy in Kashmir's harsh weather. Turnips have high levels of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and phytochemical compounds that lower the risk of cancer as well as heart attacks and other heart conditions. Turnips' high fibre content and low calorie count help people maintain healthy weights while also enhancing digestion. 

The unexpected interest in resurrecting regional cuisine in recent years has made it easier for young people to experience these flavours. Hotels have been instrumental in promoting local cuisine in this way by continuing to host events that highlight regional cuisine. However, because the appropriate flavours depend on more than just the local products and weather, it could be challenging to obtain them. The achievement of the goal of educating people about the food, its health advantages, and the reasons it is a part of a certain cuisine is the greatest part, though. 

According to food experts, Shab Deg, as a part of Kashmiri cuisine, provides the necessary warmth to the body, and the slow-cooking process keeps the nutrients intact, providing instant energy in the extreme weather conditions.