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Kashmir's delicacy: Photos of the traditional smoked fish cooked over grass

Sehar Qazi | Updated on: 5 January 2017, 21:09 IST

Smoked fish, or Fher is one of the oldest delicacies of the Kashmir Valley. As winter sets in, the sale of smoked fish and dried vegetables brings warmth and nutrition not much else can.

All the fish are collected in a basket and then smoked over grass.

For decades, those associated with the trade, have lived near lakes - the main sources of fish.

"This tradition is dying fast as new generations are unwilling to take it as a full time livelihood option. Over the past years, the demand has also dropped, and now returns are also less," 42-year-old Mohammad Rizwan, who has been smoking fish since he was a a young boy, tells Catch.

A Kashmiri woman carries freshly smoked fish in a basket on the outskirts of Srinagar on 27 December, 2016. The smoked fish which is known locally as 'Fahre' is prepared by slowly smoking over grass, is one of the traditional foods in the Himalayan state, and is usually consumed as part of the Kashmiri winter cuisine. (AFP PHOTO / TAUSEEF MUSTAFA)

The grass used to smoke the fish is reaped and collected usually by the women of the locality.

The fish are roasted uniformly on the dry grass. Each grass layer is made of 10 bundles and at least 100 kgs of fish are perfectly placed before being cooked.

The smoked fish which is known locally as 'Fahre' is prepared by slowly smoking over grass, is one of the traditional foods in the Himalayan state, and is usually consumed as part of the Kashmiri winter cuisine. (AFP PHOTO / TAUSEEF MUSTAFA)
A Kashmiri woman collects smoked fish over slow-burning grass on the outskirts of Srinagar on 27 December, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / TAUSEEF MUSTAFA)
A Kashmiri woman collects smoked fish over slow-burning grass on the outskirts of Srinagar on 27 December, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / TAUSEEF MUSTAFA)
Srinagar: Women prepare smoked fish, "Pharri", over slow-burning grass in Srinagar . Smoked fish are in high demand during the winter months in Kashmir Valley. (PTI/ S Irfan )
Women prepare smoked fish, "Pharri", over slow-burning grass in Srinagar. Smoked fish are in high demand during the winter months in Kashmir Valley. (PTI/ S Irfan )

Maryam, a local resident, collects grass before smoking fish from nearby areas. "We reap and dry grass and then use it for smoking fish. The process takes a few days. Once done, we start selling them," she says.

Consumed as a part of the Kashmiri winter cuisine, these smoked fish are locally known as "farrigad".

(Photo curation by Vikas Kumar)

First published: 5 January 2017, 21:09 IST
 
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