Tales of Kashmiri breads – Girda and Lavasa

Returning to Kashmir after 2 years was bitter sweet. While the city was encased in sorrow and the shroud of curfews, hartals and brutal clashes, the beauty of the land demanded to be noticed in an eerie quietness..no traffic, no business, empty streets, barbed wires and overbearing military presence made the resilient majestic land proudly stand alone in its poetic beauty.

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Waking up at 4am to the sounds of that crazy rooster with no snooze button can be quite annoying but was surprisingly comforting, the crows start to chip in shortly, then gentle sounds of nearby mosques and folks getting up to bring in the unpredictable mornings.

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I could not wait for morning as I have waited 2 years to eat the fabulous breakfast breads. Curfew or not the hunt for an open Kandur began the first day I arrived.

Every Kashmiri neighborhood boasts a traditional bakery known as “Kandur” serving up breads or many vareities. While the sky is still tinged with darkness they fire up wood burning ovens and start baking exquisite breads. The customers line and the  Kandur has the difficult job of serving up different orders and keeping them in sequence of who showed up first. The folks wait patiently mesmerized by the movement on the hands and knuckles on soft dough and then darting in and out of the hot oven. These breads are perfectly paired with a slab of butter and a good cup of tea particularity the salty pink tea called Nun chai. The two we feasted on were the Girda and Lavasa

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Girda is  a medium sized everyday bread with hand made indentations and a golden crust. Crunchy on the outside and soft white on the inside, it is a much craved addiction.

Lavasa is a thin, large, thin unleavened flat bread equally addictive and disappears fast with butter and jam.

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Every morning our hunt for an open Kandur begin…through tiny streets and sometimes following people walking with bread bags in tiny alley ways as they would lead us to the nearest Kandur.  My daughter, husband and I would take the hot bread with a slab of butter and sit by the Dal Lake and savor the beauty creating a truly heavenly breakfast time.

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Breaking bread with a whole new meaning…each day.

Taking my story and bread offering to Angie’s Fiesta Friday cohosted this week by the fabulous and creative bloggers Jhuls @ thenotsocreativecook and Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen.

Also sharing on Saucy Saturdays

17 thoughts on “Tales of Kashmiri breads – Girda and Lavasa”

    1. Bibi…thanks so much from coming by my blog…it is great to “meet” you. I loved your blog and very excited to try out some of your recipes. I am back in the US now and missing those breads and everything else. Hope you connect with you again!

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  1. Hello Zeba, loved reading the post and the related pics of beautiful Kashmir and of course the bread. I have not yet visited Kashmir, but my parents have.
    I see so much similarities in cultures, and am talking here of the bread in particular.
    I visited Georgia recently and saw bread bakeries everywhere serving the needs of the community, they make the Georgian bread Shoti. I have a made a blogpost on it.
    Here in the UAE too we see the bakeries making the Tandoori rotis/Kuboos/Naans/Afgani Naans and some other types of flatbread the names I am not aware of.
    I have purchased and eaten the bread similar to Girda as mentioned and seen in your post, it could be the same maybe, but baked here locally. I find these breads go well with Chicken or Mutton gravies, and kids love to buy the breads for those meals.
    It was nice to read the post of something that I buy here but was not aware of the name. Thanks for sharing this post :).
    I wonder why I do not get to see your posts in my WP reader? I am following the site.
    ashu.

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    1. Hi Ashu, Thanks for your lovely comment and for relating the kashmiri breads to what is baked locally in the UAE. Delighted to know that similar breads exist in all parts of the world. I can’t find Girda here in the US and don’t try to make it at home, always thinking that Kashmir is the place that I will wait to enjoy the breads next time…something to wait for🙂. I went through your blog and looks forward to reading about your travel adventure to Georgia. Not sure why the posts don’t show up in the reader but I hope you get them in email. Lovely to connect with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ashu, Thanks for your lovely comment and for relating the kashmiri breads to what is baked locally in the UAE. Delighted to know that similar breads exist in all parts of the world. I can’t find Girda here in the US and don’t try to make it at home, always thinking that Kashmir is the place that I will wait to enjoy the breads next time…something to wait for :). I will go through your blog and looks forward to reading about your travel adventure to Georgia. Not sure why the posts don’t show up in the reader but I hope you get them in email. Lovely to connect with you!

    Like

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