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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Breaking bread with a whole new meaning…each day.
Also sharing on Saucy Saturdays