Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 24 (ANI): With the onset of the harsh winter season in Kashmir, the local traditional dry fish "Hogard" is in great demand in Kashmiri markets.
During winter food habits among Kashmiris change and people are seen eating foods aimed to protect themselves from severe cold. Apart from that, Chilai Kalan - the 40 harshest days of winter in Jammu and Kashmir - cuts the Valley off from the rest of the world, and people are only left to consume sun-dried vegetables and fish as fresh produce food items dwindle.
Kashmir valley is famous all over the world for its traditions and cultures and one of them is cooking dry fish popularly known as 'Hogard' in winter. "During winter people get running nose, dry cough and chest problems in the valley. But the consumption of 'Hogard' keeps them warm and maintains protein level", said a local. The demand has increased in the wake of COVID.
Kashmiris dry fish in large quantities for at least four to five months especially for the harsh winter periods and spring season to enjoy the taste of this unique and crispy food item. "We start drying the fish from October", said Zareef Ahmad Zareef, Cultural Expert and Historian.
Some selected shops of old Srinagar city and Batamaloo market are famous for dry fish. Maximum vendors sell these dry fishes on hand carts and people across the valley visit to purchase this traditional dry fish. "It's good in winters because it doesn't catch insects. People first boil it then cook it as they want", said Bilal Ahmad, a dry fish seller. (ANI)