Srinagar: ‘Roath’ used to be a part of every celebratory occasion in Kashmir but then the entry of modern bakeries pushed the traditional sweet bread into oblivion.
Now, ‘roath’, which is a kind of cross between bread and cake, is being ordered yet again in the Valley. Though the demand is little, this mildly sweet bread variety is not only being ordered by the locals in Kashmir, it has also started attracting top food bloggers of the country.
Some demand back for ‘roath’
Irfan Sofi, who runs a bakery shop in the Hazratbal area of the city, said there had been an increase in demand for ‘roath’ during the past couple of years.
“There has been an increase in demand for ‘roath’ during the past year or two. It is not in big demand like before but people do order it for celebratory occasions when they have to go somewhere to wish ‘Mubarak’. We add dry fruits like almonds and cashew nuts to make it more appealing,” Sofi told The Kashmir Monitor.
Food bloggers love Kashmir’s sweet bread
He said both local and national food bloggers would visit them and that had helped in reviving the demand for ‘roath’.
“Recently, celebrity food blogger Kunal Vijaykar came to our bakery shop and ordered a ‘roath’. I was surprised and very happy too. Local food bloggers too come here and this has made ‘roath’ popular yet again. Thanks to social media, some people now want to revive old customs and they too order roath,” he said.
Valley-based food blogger Omar Rather of ‘Kashmirfoodgram’ fame said he was on a ‘mission to revive roath’.
“I have been promoting ‘roath’ for quite some time. I make sure if any top Indian food blogger comes here, I take him to a bakery shop that makes ‘roath’. I am happy that ‘roath’ is getting attention yet again now and am hoping that people will start buying it like before. I am on a mission to revive roath,” he told The Kashmir Monitor.
Where to buy?
He said ‘roath’ was presently sold at a few downtown bakeries besides Hazratbal but was available only on demand.
‘You can get it at a few bakeries in the downtown and Hazratbal and I have also seen it in North Kashmir’s Bandipore district. However, it is available only on order and not sold on a daily basis,” said Omar.
He said people in Kashmir used to buy and distribute ‘roath’ during celebratory occasions in the past.
“In the yesteryears, ‘roath khabar’ used to announce the arrival of a new bride in the neighborhood. People used to take ‘roath’ for ‘Mubarak’ when a student would pass examinations or after circumcision. If someone recovered after an illness, ‘roath’ was distributed. It was also distributed at shrines like Hazratbal after the ‘zari’ (tonsuring after childbirth) ceremony of children. Unfortunately, modern-day cakes and pastries have now replaced ‘roath’ which was a unique feature of Kashmiri tradition and culture,” said Omar.
How much does it cost?
Irfan Sofi of MS Bakery, Hazratbal said they sold ‘roath’ from the starting price of Rs. 1500.
“A roath which is approximately equal to the size of a 15-liter oil can cost Rs. 1500. Usually, we sell it for up to Rs. 3000 depending on the size of ‘roath’. We make it as per the requirements of the customer,” he said.