Srinagar, October 12: An eatery adjacent to the revered Mata Kheer Bhawani shrine at Tulmulla in Ganderbal district has for generations been serving the delectable cuisines of Kashmiri Pandits to devotees.
Known for its lip-smacking food cooked without the use of garlic and onions, the eatery is presently run by a person popular as ‘Ashok ji’ in Tulmulla and it attracts food lovers from all over the country.
“This shop belongs to Pandit Kashi Nath and has passed down through three generations. Alongside our food offerings, we provide materials essential for pooja. The dishes we prepare here abstain from using garlic and onion. Our menu includes tantalizing Kashmiri Dum Aloo, Kadam (monjih haakh), Nadru, yellow paneer (leidir tchamayn), nadru yakhni, and other delicacies,” said Ashok.
He said the food was relished not just by the Kashmiri Pandits but other devotees from all over the country that visit the Tulmulla shrine every year.
Additionally, they introduced ‘chola batoora’ to their menu due to popular demand, especially during breakfast hours.
“We introduced the new item, chola batoora, for breakfast due to high demand from our customers. Pilgrims coming from all corners of the country often request this during breakfast,” he added.
Popular food blogger Omar Rather of ‘Kashmirfoodgram’ fame said the eatery served authentic Kashmiri Pandit cuisines and was very economical as well.
“Locating authentic Kashmiri Pandit cuisines can be quite challenging, and this eatery not only serves them authentically but is also very economical. For just Rs 150, you can enjoy a wholesome meal featuring six different dishes,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention that Mata Kheer Bhawani shrine is a sacred and revered pilgrimage site especially for the Kashmiri Pandit community. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Ragnya Bhagwati, a revered manifestation of the Hindu Goddess Durga. What makes this temple unique is its association with a sacred spring, believed to change its color, which is thought to be an indicator of the fate of the Kashmiri Pandit community. Devotees believe that the color changes forewarn of upcoming events.