Kashmiri People have some exclusive religious rituals. One of them is to study Nilamat Purana. This book contains the basic of the Hindu Culture. You can find stories on building Kashmir Valley in it. The mystery behind creating the universe by the Lord Shiva and other Gods is also described in here. While studying it, I found the chapter with vast information on food. It attracted me a lot and tended me to learn as much as it was described. After completing it, I came to know the way of purifying the body by eating them.
Here, you will get the knowledge that I gathered from the Nilamat Purana. Remember one thing before reading the article. It is a really old book with so many supernatural creatures. The variety in food is depended on a mannered classification. You can eat those foods after becoming a part of a certain class or category. The description of food is also very fascinating. Let’s dig deep into the topic.
At first, the book has classified all the beings into several types. They are:
- Family of Serpent
- Pisachas (Ghost type beings)
The classification is important because it declares which type of being will consume flesh. In Kashmir, the classification of beings is considered very seriously. They also worship the flesh eaters. Though this may seem a bit awkward, they eat flesh of human beings. People have named this class as the “Flesh Eater” because of its dependency on human flesh for a living.
There is another topic discussed in this certain section. It is about eating non-veg foods. It signifies that “the beings” also tried something different from eating human meat or flesh. In Nilamat Purana, this discussion clearly indicates that those individuals were capable of serving the non-human flesh in social programs. Yes! There was a society of these beings.
They sent invitations to the other relatives to join the feast. In that festive mood, they enjoyed eating flesh. You might be wondered to know that some Kashmiri people still follow this ritual of inviting and serving food to the relatives and friends. A religious night, Shiva Ratri is celebrated by eating such non-veg foods like chicken, fish and other approved foods.
The most important food item is the vegetarian food in the holy Nilamat Purana. People believed that natural food is a gift and should be prepared with care. For this reason, they served vegetarian foods after cleaning and cooking it properly. If there is any impurity or lack of cleanliness, the food might got rejected. While categorization the vegetarian food, they consciously observed either the food has a positive effect on the future generation or not. Let’s have a look at the list of those foods.
- Honey-Nectar Mixture
- Milk-Nectar Mixture
- Offerings (Served for Gods and Devis)
- Khichri (Rice-Pulse Mixture)
- Sweet Cakes and Salty Cakes
- Milk and Rice (boiled)
- Sugar Cane dishes
- Honey from the beehive
- Grape (The food from Heaven)
- Basil (Considered as a Holy food)
- Pure Salt
- Only Milk
- Five different categories of Milk
- Sesame, Seeds(Sugarcoated)
- Herb and Roots
There is an interesting factor described in the Nilamat Purana. You need not worry or rethink about drinking alcohol. It is allowed to drink alcoholic beverages in the festivals or parties. In some family meetings or programs, those beverages are served with care. Actually, it has been approved religiously.
Also, the first wine while snowfall is another fascinating ritual observed by the Nilamat Purana people. It means when snow starts to fall, you have to sit outside and enjoy it with new wine at hand. People throw parties in such conditions. This occasion is an invitation to happiness.
Do not forget a boundary about drinking these beverages. Consuming them at the wrong time may result in calling the NON-AUSPICOIUS drinks. So, maintaining the time is a necessary factor of the Nilamat Purana.
Well, there are some other foods I found in the chapter. You can find the name downward described briefly.
- Barley (Half Ripe)
- Preparation of Barley (Half Ripe) and Butter (Purified properly)
- Meat (specially cooked with the flesh of animals)
- A mandatory special festive food
- In Sraddha, every food should be cooked with vegetables
- Flour Cake
- Mustard Powder
- Putter (Must Be Purified)
- Butter and Milk preparations
- Rice and Pulse Mixed preparations
- Dishes from Rice and Pulse
- Offerings after serving to Gods and Goddess
- Preparations from Caru
- Honey-mixed eatables
- Variety of rice
- Animal flesh that was offered to the Lord Shiva
- Half Ripe barley meals
- Sesame( Sugar coated)
- Grain Garland
- Parpata ( A medicinal plant)
- Cow’s Milk prepared differently
- Ground Mudga
- Rice preparation ( Both the husked and unhusked)
- When worshipping the moon, they used animal born in the water; mostly fishes
- Meat cakes
- Non-veg food dishes
- Dog foods
- Plain foods (solid)
- Long lasting eatables
- Ira flower foods
- Dishes of Ripe Barley
- Honey mixed black and other colored sesame
- Properly processed foods of barley
- Grains(Ground and Parched)
- Grains-milk mixture( grains should be parched)
- Special food that is combined with snow and sugar along with green vegetables
- Preparation of wheat and barley
- Eatables that is processed from milk of cow
- Dishes from the combination of sugarcane, butter and snow
- Sweetened rice(Mixed with Sugar and grain)
- Grains (Ground and parched properly)
- Curry, cooked with kachnar and Kath bel
- All types of food that is sugar coated
- Processed saffron
- Variety of drinks
- Curd foods
- Preparations that are consisted of grapes
- Dishes that are processed and prepared with an equal mixture of rice(boiled) and pulses