The Rajpora village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district is renowned for its unique and delicious traditional bakery item, the Sheermal. This small village boasts more than a dozen conventional bakery shops, each specializing in producing this mouth-watering pastry. People from Kashmir flock to shops to buy the Shreemal, which comes in sweet or salty flavors and is enjoyed with Kehwa or Lipton tea, especially at weddings and special events.
Tracing the tradition
The tradition of Sheermal-making in Rajpora goes back 80 years, with skills passed down from generation to generation. The Sofi brothers have been making Sheermal for 15 years and learned from their father. The Sofi family has been crucial in preserving tradition, and their passion for the craft shows in the quality of their product.
The Making of Sheermal
Making it is a time-honored tradition, requiring skill, patience, and the freshest ingredients. The dough is made from flour, yeast, salt, and sugar and rises for several hours. Once the dough has risen, it is shaped into thin rounds and rolled out into thin, flaky rounds. The pastry is then filled with almonds, pistachios, and other nuts and shaped into its distinctive crescent form.
Pride in their heritage
The Sheermal is then baked in a traditional tandoor oven, giving it its unique texture and flavor. The result is a crispy, flaky pastry with a delicate crunch and a rich, nutty filling. The salty version of the Sheermal is sprinkled with sea salt, while the sweet version is drizzled with honey or sugar.
Baking to perfection
Visitors often bring boxes of Sheermal as gifts. The traditional bakery shops have become a must-visit destination for those looking to experience the authentic flavors of Kashmir. The sight of rows of freshly baked Shreemal, still warm from the oven, is a sight to behold, and the aroma of the baking pastry is sure to entice the senses.
Care in every process
The Sofi brothers and the other traditional bakers of Rajpora are proud of their heritage and ability to keep the tradition of making Sheermal alive. They take great care in every process, from selecting the finest ingredients to shaping each pastry with precision. The result is a product that is not only delicious but also a symbol of the rich culture and history of Kashmir.
A symbol of the rich culture of Kashmir
In conclusion, the Sheermal of Rajpora village is a unique and tasty treat that has become synonymous with the region. The skilled bakers and traditional shops in Rajpora are a significant cultural heritage of Kashmir, and their devotion to making Sheermal is apparent in each bite. A must-try, the Sheermal represents Kashmir’s flavors, enjoyed with tea or for special events.