Famous Things to Buy in Kashmir and Best Food Items For Tourists: A Treasure of Memories to Bring Back from Kashmir

Here’s our guide on shopping in Kashmir for tourists and the best local food items to try out. Find out the must-buy shopping items and must-have local food recipes from Kashmir.

Things to Buy in Kashmir and Best Food

A great person once said, “Whoever said money can’t happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping and eat.” You would know just how true it is when you land in Kashmir!


famous things to buy from Kashmir

Just as the scenic landscapes of Kashmir leave you speechless and in awe, so do the souvenirs from here that perfectly serve to bring back those fond remembrances anytime. Kashmir Valley’s natural resources, hidden talents and careful preservation of art-craft over hundreds of centuries and generations is why their market overflows with a plethora of stuff to buy, which is what so distinctively defines them. Here are some of the bestselling and bewildering goodies to look out for while in Kashmir:

  1. Pashmina stoles – World-famous shawls hand-spun with superlative and dainty designs, from an extremely high-quality variant of cashmere wools.
  2. Embroidered articles – Colorful eye-catching embroidery techniques like crewel, kashida, phoolkari, sozni, and aari commonly found on garments, bags and upholstery have immensely contributed to Kashmir’s craft heritage.
  3. Calico prints, basohli paintings – Different styles of paintings peculiar to the Kashmir region have been in existence since time immemorial and are being enthusiastically kept alive even until now.
  4. Tilla Pheran – Tilla are gold or silver-coated copper threads that are used for embroidery on fabrics. Pheran is a long and loose cloak – an attire worn by most Kashmiri men and women, either made with cotton for summers or with velvet/wool for the winters.
  5. Kashmiri carpets & namda – The finest of carpets inspired by Persian and Central Asian carpet weavers are right here in Kashmir. Exported all over the world, the carpets are produced with pure silk obtained from mulberry or with wool. Usually hand-woven, the carpets are finished with strong weaves and extremely attractive designs in place although light in weight, something that is tough to be achieved by even machine-made ones.
  6. Saffron – Among the world’s best quality and original saffron threads {derived from the stigma and styles of the flower Crocus sativus} that has a strong aroma and crimson colour. Saffron as a spice is widely promoted for imparting a range of health benefits when consumed in the right amount for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A whole deal of ‘saffron’ infused skin-care products are available too like oils, creams, face scrubs and face washes, which are proven to have many positive effects on the skin.
  7. Dry fruits & spices – Known for superior quality, Kashmiri dry fruits and spices {almonds, walnuts, pistachios, raisins, apricots, figs, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, fennel} are forever in high demand both within and outside the country.
  8. Kashmiri apples – the soil and climate of Kashmir elevate the taste and texture of apples produced there in terms of sweetness, juiciness, nutrients and fibre content.
  9. Papier mache – A remarkable art-n-craft form specifically found in Kashmir wherein paper-pulp bound with adhesive materials is used to produce decorative objects after which they are painted to give a lustrous and ornamental finish.
  10. Hand-carved wooden crafts – Wonderful masterpieces of woodcrafts especially created with walnut wood are a thing to admire and buy from Kashmir; the meticulous carvings of typical Kashmiri motifs on these products are quite unparalleled.
  11. Copperware & silverware – Copper and silver articles most notably utensils have been ideally used as a symbol of sophistication in Kashmiri culture, e.g. the jug-like kettles used to serve Kahwa tea and the platter with bowls on which Wazwan meal is served.
  12. Gems and jewellery – Some of the prettiest gemstones mined from the remote parts of the Himalayas and exceptional silver/gold jewellery are certainly dream possessions and every bit worth investing.
  13. Cricket bats – made out of willows, these bats are harder and cheaper
  14. Kashmiri Chillies – ‘Kashmiri Laal Mirch’ is famous for two favourable characteristics – its deep red colour but at the same time not too spicy.
  15. Willow Baskets – Handwoven with wicker willow, these baskets are among the rich craft traditions that have been passed down for generations. Kangri, a further modification is an earthen pot woven around with wicker; used as a warming stove – the pot is filled with hot embers and kept under clothing in winter to keep warm.

ALSO READ: 10 Things To Carry For Kashmir Trip [2024 Kashmir Packing Essentials]


kashmir food 

You have to taste a culture in order to understand it. And so when food experiences are combined with travel in Kashmir, there opens a new door to culinary landscapes. Kashmiris take the ‘art of food’ quite seriously and have developed their own peculiar dishes from locally sourced ingredients. Dive into the diversity of Kashmiri cuisine to discover their food identity and perhaps even try to learn their scrumptious recipes:    

  1. Kahwa tea & Noon chaiKahwa is the most loved aromatic green tea permeated with flavours of cardamom, cinnamon, almonds, cloves, honey, rose petals and saffron; whereas noon chai or the ‘pink tea’ or ‘gulaabi chai’ (owing to a pink hue) is an extraordinary tea made with green tea, milk, a pinch of salt and baking soda that lends a visually appealing color.
  2. Walnut fudge – Since walnuts are grown in abundance in Kashmir, the delicious walnut fudge sells like hot cakes in this region.
  3. Basrakh – A traditional sweet known to be relished during special occasions, especially in Kashmiri marriages, made out of wheat flour and sugar.
  4. Shufta – A famous Kashmiri dessert, loaded with many kinds of dry fruits coated in sugar syrup.
  5. Lyde – A unique dessert flavoured with cardamom and has got a crunchy taste due to frying in oil.
  6. Tosha – A delicacy that is renowned in North Kashmir, made out of flour mixed with ghee, poppy seeds and dry fruits.
  7. Kong phirin – The Kashmiri style ‘phirni’ – a creamy dessert made with semolina (instead of rice) & milk, and then flavoured with saffron, rose essence, cashews and almonds.
  8. Nadru yakhni & monji – the most loved recipes of Kashmir using lotus stem – either cooked and served in yogurt gravy or cooked as fritters.
  9. Girda/ sheermal/ roth/ tilvor – Popular and common types of bread in Kashmiri cuisine.
  10. Zarda/Modur Pulao – A Kashmiri sweet pulao cooked with Basmati rice & ghee, and then garnished with dry fruits, nuts and saffron.
  11. Sheer Kurma/Sevaiyyan – Vermicelli pudding, a sweet dish prepared during festive and auspicious occasions.
  12. Lyodur Tschaman – A rich turmeric and yogurt gravy with chunks of paneer (cottage cheese) usually served with ‘naan’.
  13. Kashmiri Naan – A traditional fluffy flatbread baked on a hot tawa pan where the dough is mixed with all kinds of dry fruits, spices and nuts.
  14. Mujh Gaad – A type of fish curry that is a regional speciality in Kashmir
  15. Wazwan – the pride of Kashmiri cuisine; a complex multi-course meal that is prepared utmost artfully and has about 7 to 36 dishes in total – most of which are non-vegetarian fares with a few vegetarian varieties. Some of the main dishes are:
  • Aab gosh – lamb cooked in milk
  • Kebab – minced and roasted meat
  • Rista – meatballs in red gravy
  • Rogan josh – lamb/mutton cooked in spicy gravy
  • Tabak maaz – lamb ribs first steam cooked and then fried
  • Waza palak – spinach cooked with mutton balls
  • Gushtaba – textured meatball in yogurt gravy
  • Dum Aloo – potato curry
  • Muji chetin – radish and walnut chutney