Highlights

  • 'Nadur' or lotus stem a staple in Kashmiri kitchens
  • A 'kanal' of marshland produces around 300 bundles of 'nadur'
  • Believed to have medicinal properties along with culinary versatility

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Kashmir's 'white gold': Watch how 'nadur' or lotus stem is harvested

Lotus stem dish 'nadur ke goolar' were part of the feast at the lunch for visiting US President Barack Obama hosted by PM Narendra Modi in 2014.

Nadur, kamal kakdi, lotus stem. Food staple, delicacy, medicine. The humble stem of the beautiful lotus flower is known by many names and many faces. It occupies a special place in the Kashmiri kitchen, and culture.

So much so that 'nadur ke goolar' were part of the feast at the lunch for visiting US President Barack Obama hosted by PM Narendra Modi in 2014.

To bring this versatile treat to the dining table, flocks of farmers row their shikaras into marshes and harvest stems of the beauties floating on the water. They either use harvesting tools, or sometimes immerse themselves into the water to pluck the roots out with their hands.

Around 300 bundles of Nadyir roots can be harvested from one kanal of marshland. Nadur, which is the singular form of Nadyir, supports the livelihoods of many in Kashmir - from farmers, to grocers, and even hawkers selling snacks.

But growing threats like pollution, and natural calamities are threatening this age-old business-turned-tradition. One of the lesser-known impacts of the 2014 September floods was the wiping out of nadyir production in the Dal lake. It took farmers around 3 years to revive it.

In South Asian culture, lotus roots and seeds have been used for many medicinal and culinary purposes. The Greeks coined the term for lotophagus for people in other parts of the world hooked to lotus products.

Lotus products are believed to help skin glow, boost brain health, increase energy, aid digestion and help in weight management, improve cardiovascular health, and also boost immunity.

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