60 percent of head meat is now being exported to mainland India
Srinagar, Mar 26: Kashmir Valley holds the distinction in consuming mutton. The official statistics say that over the period of nine months March to December 2017, 220 lakh kilogram mutton has been consumed in Kashmir division.
According to the figures, around 118.45 lakh kilograms of mutton has been produced in the division while as a whopping quantity of about 102 lakh kilogram mutton is being imported from mainland India.
The main supply of mutton imported to Valley reaches Kashmir from Rajasthan.
Officials at Department of Sheep Husbandry told Kashmir News Service (KNS) that the Kashmiris are voracious meat eaters as compared to other Indian states. More than 80 percent of the population here are non-vegetarian.
“An average consumption per person is 2.8 kilogram per year while as in Kashmir, it is 4.4 per year”, they said.
Official statistics say that Jammu and Kashmir annually consumes a whopping 51,000 tones of mutton.
However, Kashmir doesn’t hold distinction in mutton consumption only, Traders associated with the trade told KNS that 60 percent of head meat is now being exported to Amritsar and Jammu.
“It may look shocking to you but there is incredible demand in Amritsar and Jammu for these sheep products. The sheep brain is traded at Rupees 20 in Kashmir while it is sold for Rs 50-70 per piece in Amritsar,” said Khazir Mohammad Riggo, President Mutton Dealers Association Kashmir.
Most of the traders that are associated with the export of head meat are from South Kashmir’s Anantnag.
Rigoo said that there are nearly 200 butchers who deal with head meat only.
Sarai Bala being the hub for the trade, Bashir Ahmad who is a butcher claims that since two decades, he is associated with this trade only.
He tells KNS that they have their fixed customers who purchase head meat from them daily.
There is a great demand in Amritsar, hotels, and dhabas (roadside kiosks) serve a special dish made from sheep brains called that is cooked to make a delicious preparation locally called ‘bheja fry’.
In Kashmir, the head meat is extensively served in Barbecues. There are hundreds of kiosks that serve Head meat barbecues in the Valley.
However, head meat is also a savored delicacy in Kashmir as are sheep brains (kod) and hooves (paachi). (KNS)