Balti cooking and Baltistan
Baltistan has no connection with the present wave of cooking known as
Baltistan (or Balti-yul) is situated in the dry arid Karakoram mountains
between the international borders of China & the northern sector of the
disputed "Kashmir" territories of India & Pakistan.
The word Balti refers to its people - "the people of the rock or those of the
rock". They are of Mongolian & Caucasian descent & speak an arcahic
Tibetan dialect said to resemble 7th Century classical Tibetan.
However in Pakistan & India the word "balti" (pronounced as baahl-tea)
refers to bucket.
The wok-like utensil used in so-called "balti" cooking is known as a
Karhai in these countries & has seemed to have had the name "balti"
added when it became popular in the Birmingham area of the UK, where there
is a community originally from Pakistan who have no origin in Baltistan.
The main dish from Baltistan is a pasta/noodle dish known as "bal-ley"
very little meat is eaten & most dishes are based around root crops,
lentils, wheat & barley.
These facts are based on my several visits to Baltistan where I have
lived with Balti people & eaten the local dishes.
article by - A.Xavier
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