Kashmir, especially for its non-vegetarian Wazwan feast, is renowned for its authentic food. Kashmiris have, however, formed new taste buds over the years, apart from relishing the traditional Wazwan. A street food ‘Barbecues’, known as Seekh Tujj in local parlance.
It also takes expertise to prepare a Seekh Tujj, like Wazwan. A special non-vegetarian recipe which is prepared by smoking chopped pieces of meat over charcoal is Seekh Tujj. The real art lies in its planning, though.
Marinated in fresh spices, the minced mutton is left overnight to soften the meat and offer a whole lot of flavour. Until ready, the special Kashmiri bread called Lawasa is served along with Chatnee.
Seekh Tujj’s origin remains uncertain.
Many claim it came from Central Asia, although others believe that Seekh Tujj’s arrival in Kashmir came from a northern Pakistani ethnic group called the Balti.
Whatever the case may be, Kashmiris love Seekh Tujj. In every corner of the city and in rural areas, vendors locally known as Tujj Wael can be found throughout the year.
The famous food street of Khayyam Chowk in Srinagar is renowned for serving the most delicious Seekh Tujj. While the Tujj is roasted from a distance on an iron grill, one can smell the aroma. Locals as well as visitors throng the place to have fresh juicy flavoursome Tujj during night hours.
“I have travelled to many places and have tasted many street foods, but nothing can beat our seek tujj. It is just yummy,” said Sajad Ahmad, a downtown resident.
Like several others, Sajad eats Seekh Tujj nearly every other day.
“I am very fond of it. So, whenever, I get a chance with my friends, I eat tujji. I even took my fiancé to taste it whenever we meet,” said Sajad with a smile.
In the valley, the culture of dining out is very recent and has been picking up over the past few years. Such seekh tujj outlets that were previously thronged by young boys have evolved into proper eateries where families spend time enjoying seekh tujj with children.