Thursday, October 6, 2016

CURD / YOGHURT AND KASHMIRIS


                                                                                               
                                                                                       



CURD / YOGHURT AND KASHMIRIS


Milk , Curd and some more Dairy products have been prominent items of Food since Vedic period. The process of churning Curd  with a churning stick was known to Indians since  Rig Vedic period .The minute globules of butter mixed with Curd so obtained were known as  prasadajya.

Curd and it's medicinal properties find  clear mention in Rig-Veda.For instance' 10th Mantra of 187th  Sukta of 1st Chapter(1-187-10) and 3rd Mantra of 179 Sukta of  10th chapter(10-179-3) of Rig Veda.There are some more Mantras in Rig Veda that mention Curd or  its uses.

Curd is an integral part of kashmirian Society .Apart from Liberal Consumption , Over a period of time , it has assimilated itself in kashmirian society in such a way that it became a part of their culture and the tradition .

For kashmiri Pandits , No ceremony ( Religious or otherwise ) is complete unless curd is used . This applies strictly to Birth , Marriage , Shradaa , Birthday Pooja and so many other ceremonies and rituals . In olden Days, when pregnancy of the Daughter in Law was announced in a kashmiri Pandit family , it was customary for her parents to send a Dulloo ( Big Earthen Pot ) of Curd / Yoghurt to her in laws House . It was a signal that the Girl needs to be put under extra care . Curd / Yoghurt  is not only a part of Kashmiri Pandit  religious and  social culture but also an important ingredient of their  Cuisine.Curd or yoghurt is also used by Kashmiri Pandits for preparing  Mutton Rogan Josh, Gourd Yakhni and many more dishes.

A cup of Curd is the essential item to be seen early in the morning in a kashmiri Pandits Family on NAVREH or SOUNTH day.NAVREH  and SOUNTH correspond to First day of the Bikrami Calendar and Spring Festival day respectively.This cup of Curd is kept in a plate full of  uncooked rice, pen, flowers, walnuts ,New Panchaang or  Almanac and many other things. This ritual is known as "Thaal Bharrun"( meaning plate filling) by Kashmiri Pandits.

A boy or a girl going to appear in some Examination or interview was asked to take some Curd / Yoghurt before leaving. It was believed that the Curd or Yoghurt sip would make things simpler for him or her. The family of a married boy or even middle aged person still receives Curd / Yoghurt from his Inlaw’s home on his Birth day . This Curd / Yoghurt along with Kashmiri Bakery Breads are meant to be distributed amongst relations and neighbors . On her Lagana ( Marriage ) day , a Kashmiri Pandit Girl ( Bride ) is still given two or three Dulloos ( Big Earthen Pots ) of Curd / Yoghurt for the Bridegroom’s family the moment she leaves her parental home.  Some saffron  is also put over  Curd Dulloos/ Vaaris ( Earthen Pots Big and small ) sent  in marriages or to relations / Guests by Kashmiris .

                                                                


             ( A kashmiri  Curd pot with Saffron and Almond kernel ..Photo source Narinder safaya )

Along with Milk , Honey , Sugar , Sandal wood paste, Flower Petals ,Sesame Seeds etc, Curd forms essential Ingredient of the Nirmal Jal ( Sacred water ) offered to a Deity for Snana or Abhisheka ( Bath ) in every Pooja in kashmiri Pandit Families .



In Unani system of medicines , Yoghurt is believed to have many Curative Properties especially for stomach and Intestinal Ailments .Many Hakeems in Kashmir Would prescribe liberal consumption of Curd / yoghurt to their patients .In Ayurveda system of Medicine, Curd is used to treat Diarrhoea, infertility, Indigestion, liver diseases and Bladder functions.



Many doctors practicing Allopathic system of Medicine  have told me about some health benefits of Curd as it contains , calcium , Vitamin D , Vitamin E , Zinc , and Riboflavin . It is also believed to be useful for Colon infections , skin Infections , Liver  Disorders,ulcers and  hair growth .

Every morning one can see buyers crowding on Curd / Yoghurt selling shops in Kashmir . Kashmiris consume Curd / Yoghurt generously .They Consume it during Hot summer season and Freezing winter season . They consume it with Lunch , dinner and as Lassi . Every Feast has Curd / Yoghurt . The Muslim Wazwaan or the Pandit Saal has Yakhni that is prepared with Curd / Yoghurt. Apart from Chutneys , Curd / Yoghurt is separately served to Guests in every feast. Thick Curd / Yoghurt is diluted with water to make it Lassi. Lassi is believed to remove” Fires “ ( Naar ) that kashmiris believe to be raging within once they consume spicy dishes in a feast . Quite often, one would see a Curd seller churning a glass of Lassi for a customer who wanted to douse the" fires" created by some spicy feast that he had consumed.

“ Me Zun Chhu Naar or Me Zun Chhu Andhraa Tchtaan hue . Talaa me Dhi Zaamut Dodhaa Laeiss “ meaning “ I have fires raging within or something is rubbing my Digestive track in a wrong way. Just Give me Curd lassi Only “ .


This is a common dialogue heard after a kashmiri ( Both Pandit or Muslim ) enjoys a heavy spicy Feast .

(Autar Mota )

PS

For the photograph, i remain indebted to the person who has uploaded it on net. Saw it at  ineeddoctor.in...



Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

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