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Delicious bakery products hold special place in Kashmir cuisine

Kashmir cuisine
Freshly baked Kashmiri 'bagel bread' Tilwor, also known as Chochwor. Image source: blogspot.com

Srinagar: Kashmir’s cuisine speaks for itself. Although it brings to mind Kashmir’s famous multi-course meal Wazwan, connoisseurs believe there’s a mind-boggling variety of traditional bakery products available in the state.

Very few outsiders would know that the Valley bakes products, known for their unique taste, prepared in a traditional tandoor by bakers called “kandhurs”.

These professional bakers are in the trade for generations.

For instance, there is choatt, flatbread with thick edges and furrowed surfaces, and lavaasa, a lighter variation of pita bread which the locals enjoy with a salted tea called noon chai.

Kandhurs prepare bread in tandoors, imprinting their fingertips on the dough before putting it in the oven. They use long iron rods to pluck out the hot choatt from the tandoor’s inner surface.

Lavaasa, being lighter and thinner, is prepared by placing it on a round mound of cloth filled with cotton, a round, pillow-shaped surface. The lavaasa is stretched upon it and then pasted on to the hot oven.

“Lavassa is a paper-thin blistered naan. One can also apply butter or jam to it before eating,” Ghulam Muhammad in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, better known as Gull Kandhur, told reporters.

Some lavassas are soft while others are crisp. It is also eaten as a wrap around barbequed mutton.

Chochwour, a bagel-like bread, generously daubed with sesame seeds and given a glazy look by rubbing it with pasteurised butter is another favourite of Kashmiris and is preferred with afternoon tea.

Other delicacies include British-era puffs, patties, cream rolls, pastries, stuffed kulcha (oven baked), mittha bundhh (sweet bun) and bundhh (salted bun).

“There are many types of traditional breads like baqerkhani (more like puff pastry, baked in layers and often served with the famous Kashmiri saffron-flavored kehwa), katlam (usually crispy and thin) and sheermaal, a dry, crispy bread with a long shelf life,” said Mushtaq Ahmed, a seventh generation traditional baker who runs a bakery shop in Chadoora town of central Kashmir.

Besides these breads consumed on a regular basis, Kashmir’s bakeries are also famous for specialties like kulchas, modur kulchas, telvarus, khamira rotis and khatais, most sought after on various occasions.

Kashmir, in fact, has a bread and bakery product for every season and every occasion, be it a wedding or a birthday celebration.

“There are nearly a dozen versions of sweet, salty or bland kulchaas (small, hard dry, crispy bread, usually round in shape decorated by placing a peanut in the centre) which are served on special occasions, including during mourning. Kulchas will always be in demand” said Gulzar Ahmed Sofi, who runs both a traditional and a modern bakery in Budgam.

Sofi said traditional Kashmiri bakeries are irreplaceable when it comes to special occasions in the Valley.

“Modern bakeries just won’t make the cut. You cannot serve chocolate pastry and stuff like that during Kashmiri weddings, or any other ceremony for that matter,” he added.

The roath (Kashmiri dry fruit cake) is a delicacy, usually prepared on auspicious occasions such as Muharram.

The evolution of the Kashmir bakeries owes itself to historical influences.

According to local historians, the rulers of Central Asia brought along a change during their reign in Kashmir when different varieties of baked products were introduced in the Valley.

“It was during the golden era of Kashmir, when Ghiyas-ud-Din Zain-ul-Abidin, known as ‘budshah’ ruled, that bakery touched its zenith,” poet and oral historian Zareef Ahmad Zareef told reporters.

Thus, while modern culture has touched and changed almost every aspect of life in Kashmir, the traditional bakeries have withstood the onslaught of modernity and held out against pizzas, burgers and pastries as well as sweets from other parts of the country. (Shamshad Ali, IANS)

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Benefits of Taking Vitamin E

Vitamin E due to its antioxidant nature helps in keeping the skin healthy and young

Eating healthy is very important, especially Vitamin E is very essential for our health. Pixabay
Eating healthy is very important, especially Vitamin E is very essential for our health. Pixabay
  • Vitamin E is a very important vitamin for our body
  • Humans don’t generally experience a deficiency of Vitamin E
  • There are many sources of Vitamin E and also, it has many health benefits

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, essential vitamin, and an antioxidant, our body needs. It prevents the process of lipid peroxidation, whereby the free radicals that are generated destroy the cellular structures of the body. This oxidative damage of the cells has been found in several pathological disorders like Liver cirrhosis and Diabetes, by several studies.

There are many food sources through which one can obtain Vitamin E. Same Condition
There are many food sources through which one can obtain Vitamin E. Credit: www.SameCondition.com

Overt deficiency of this vitamin is very rarely seen. It occurs in those who are unable to absorb the vitamin into their systems and those with inherited disorders that prevent the maintenance of normal blood concentrations of vitamin E.

Vitamin E-Discovery

Vitamin E was first discovered in the year 1922, at the University of California in Berkeley by Dr. Herbert M. Evans, a research physician, and his assistant Katherine S. Bishop. Immediately after the discovery, the researchers set out to find the benefits as well the impact of its deficiency

Alpha-Tocopherol Vitamin-E

There are about eight naturally occurring forms of Vitamin E.  Alpha-tocopherol is the form which is essentially absorbed and stored in the human body. The synthetic forms of alpha-tocopherol are found in the fortified foods and vitamin supplements.

Also Read: Vitamin D can helpful in Recovery from Burn Injuries

Recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E

The Recommended daily allowance for both men and women is 15 mg (35 µ mol)/day (of α -tocopherol). Due to the harmful effects of overdose, like increased risk of bleeding,  the upper limit of consumption for adults is 1,500 IU/day for supplements made from the natural form of the Vitamin and 1,100 IU/day for supplements made from synthetic vitamin-E. The upper limit is lower in children when compared to the adults.

Vitamin E is a great source of energy for the body. Pixabay
Vitamin E is a great source of energy for the body. Pixabay
Vitamin E Function

Unlike most nutrients, a specific role for the vitamin has not been found in any of the bodily metabolic functions. The major function so far identified is nonspecific chain-breaking antioxidant in the circumstances mentioned earlier.

Vitamin E rich foods.

Vitamin E is abundantly found in a normal and balanced diet.

The food sources include

Vegetable oils

  • wheat germ oils
  • sunflower oils
  • safflower oils
  • Corn oils
  • soybean oils


  • peanuts
  • hazelnuts
  • almonds

Seeds like sunflower seeds.

Green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.

Cereals, Egg Yolk, and


Also Read: Vitamin C helps in treating Tuberculosis

Vitamin E Deficiency

Clinically, its deficiency presents as peripheral neuropathy characterized by the degeneration of the large-calibre axons in the sensory neurons. In this condition, the damaged nerves cause weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet. In some cases, the condition can also affect other parts of the body.

In patients who are left untreated, chronic cholestatic hepatobiliary disease, spinocerebellar ataxia, neuropathy, and ophthalmoplegia may occur These terminologies might sound too complex, complicated, and confusing to the reader, but this is the true picture which results from negligence.

Sunflower oil is a great source of Vitamin E. VOA
Sunflower oil is a great source of Vitamin E. VOA
Vitamin E Benefits

Some studies have tried to show the benefits of the Vitamin in preventing the incidence of Heart disease but the actual correlation between the two is not completely understood yet.

The common eye disorders in the older people like cataracts and loss of central vision have shown inconsistent results in terms of lesser incidence, due to the consumption of this Vitamin. Researchers are still working on to prove the connection between these. It has been shown to improve the mental functions, especially in the senior citizens affected by diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin E in combination with Selenium has also been used as a treatment for infertility.

This Vitamin due to its antioxidant nature helps in keeping the skin healthy and young. It is also a treatment modality to treat scars and stretch marks. It acts as one of the potent moisturizers for the skin.

The article originally appeared at Same Condition- a patient to patient network. The link can be accessed here: https://www.samecondition.com/blog/vitamin-e-benefits-vitamin-e-foods/