For the first time, the regional SARAS FAIR is being currently organized in Assam. And last Sunday I decided to pay a visit to the venue at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakhetra (Gate No.2). As per information available in the public domain 154 stalls of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) & private farms from 25 different states of the country are taking part in the fair with their ethnic products like food, clothes, ornaments, handicrafts, etc.
What I was most interested in was checking out the stalls of the people coming from outside the northeast. And this is why I ended up buying terracotta pots from a seller from Haryana, a wooden corner table from the Uttar Pradesh stall (this one had very exquisite handcrafted wooden furniture), a cotton bedcover from a Bihar stall and a crochet tablecloth (from which state I do not remember now…oops!).
Apart from the shopping, the highlight of my visit was my first time experience of a cup of Kahwa from the Jammu & Kashmir stall. The stall has been set up by Chenir SHG of Jammu & Kashmir. Mr. Ahmed who was at the counter was nice enough to patiently answer to my queries and shared some information about the drink. Here is what I came to know about it –
Kahwa is a traditional drink of Kashmir and is made by boiling green tea leaves along with saffron, cinnamon and cardamom. The liquid infused with the aromatic spices is then put in a special vessel called “samovar”. It consists of a central cavity/tube kind of thing in the centre into which hot pieces of coals are placed. Around this central cavity is a space for the water to boil. The hot liquor is then served with sugar/honey and crushed almonds or walnuts. There are many variations to it but this is the most common way to enjoy Kahwa.
And by the time Mr. Ahmed was done explaining to me, my cuppa of Kahwa was ready for me to enjoy with the goodness of the rich ingredients and the sweet aroma rising up to my nostrils. My first sip of Kashmir was indeed a delightful one. 🙂 And now it wants me to make that (planning-for-a-long-time-now) visit to the enchantingly beautiful hills & valleys of Jammu & Kashmir soon…..very soon!
Have you had been lucky enough to taste a cup of this exotic drink?
Linking this post to #MondayMusings
Some related links about Kahwa & Samovar –