Roath Khabar: The Kashmiri Sweet Bread That Announces The Arrival Of The New Bride

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Kashmiri cuisine much like the valley itself spells a mystic charm that commands an attentive eye to understand it’s true beauty. Much has been said about the meaty fair of Kashmiri cuisine, be it the robust roghan josh or kebabs, the soothing curries or the delicious sweetmeats; however, not many of us know much about the Kashmiri breads. Breads are an intrinsic part of Kashmiri cuisine. According to Masterchef India 2016 contestant Chef Sadaf Hussain, “Both bakers and breads are given immense importance. In Kashmiri language, the baker is called a Kaandar/kandur. Bread is an integral part of social customs, too – engagements or weddings. There are many types of traditional breads like chot, katlam, kulcha, lavaas and the likes.” One such special kind of bread from the valley is roth or roath. The sweet bread with a cake like texture is baked in traditional tandoor and is topped with dry fruits. Now, you may wonder what is so special about the bread, one can easily find similar sweet breads or cakes across the country? But, we are sure that not all of them play an intrinsic part in post wedding rituals, do they? Roath is part of several festive and celebratory occasions and one of its most common use, is announcing the arrival of “new bride” in the neighbourhood.

Eminent food write Marryam H. Reshii tells us, “roath is a cross between a bread and a cake and though there are many recipes. It is essentially a bread baked in a flat baking tray, so it is not more than an inch in height. The roath is usually mildly sweet and studded with raisins, almonds and khus khus.”