The food of Jammu and Kashmir varies according to ethnic origins of the people of the different areas. The Dogras are Hindu, so are mainly vegetarian, eating a staple of rice, wheat and beans. They take plenty of vegetables but the favourite dish is the hak or karam sag. In the cities mutton is consumed in large quantities but in the villages it is still a luxury reserved only for festive occasions. Beef is forbidden to Hindus.
Kashmiri food is meat-based, slowly cooked for a long time with many exotic spices. Although they are the inhabitants of a cold country, Kashmiris abhor the use of intoxicating drinks. The traditional green tea with spices and almond known as Kahva is consumed during the winters of Kashmir. A Kashmiri meal ends with a cup of ‘kahva’.
All the people of Jammu and Kashmir love non-vegetarian meals especially those prepared from meat and lamb. Kashmiri Pulao is a common dish for Kashmiri vegetarians. Also spices, curd and condiments are common ingredients of Kashmiri cuisine. Muslims abstain from asafoetida (hing) and curds and Kashmiri Pandits abstain from using onions and garlic in their meals. Phirni is a sweet delicacy of Jammu and Kashmir. The Ladakhs eat rice, wheat, millet, local vegetables and fruits, goat meat and dairy products made from yak milk.