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Inhabitants of Pathra village beat summer heat with Gurues

Post by on Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Pulwama, Aug 14:  In summers a lush green pasture dotted with few mud huts in the upper reaches of South Kashmir’s Pulwama starts buzzing with whip sounds.The women folk after waking up early in the morning begin churning butter- milk inside their mud huts in specially designed small space cut out from a larger room.
The women make sure that they make enough of this domestically produced beverage locally known as Gurues for consumption of the whole family for the next couple of days.
 Gurues was once a common and loved beverage in Kashmir like many parts of the country.
This domestically made traditional beverage was cherished by people of all ages with unleavened bread and nut cutlet.  
 Over the years this tradition of making butter-milk or Gurues at home waned away in the mainland.  However, in certain tribal areas this tradition is still alive.
Pathra, a Gujjar habitation in upper reaches of Pulwama falling under Shopian Forest Division, is one such place where women folk still make this traditional nutritious beverage with great passion.
“Gurues is good for beating summer heat,” Gulzara, 45, said, adding that the modern day cold drinks have no comparison with this homemade beverage.
“It has a soothing effect on the body,” she said.
The middle aged woman said that there are around 9 families residing at Pathra in huts made up of mud and wooden logs.
“Gurues is made in every house,” she said.
She informed that around 7 kilograms of milk are collected in a churn for three days; a small amount of curd is added to catalyse fermentation; then it is whipped by homemade wooden churners.  The wooden churners are pulled by ropes fixed to it.
“It takes up to half an hour to churn butter from the milk,” Gulzara said, adding that butter-milk which separates at the bottom is a byproduct in this process.
She added that after separating butter water is added to the butter-milk. “Some ingredients like salt, coriander or green chilies are mixed to add to its taste.”
She told that they don’t use it in the morning. “Gurues is consumed in the afternoon because of its cooling effect on the body.”
Ghulam Mohammad Tedwa, a Gujjar from Bagh Sangerwani, said that Gurues or butter-milk is good for gut health.
“We would use it for diarrhea patients because of its rehydrating properties,” he said.
Dietitians suggest that Butter-milk is a natural probiotic and good for digestion, hyperacidity, heartburn and other stomach issues.
It contains 90 percent water and electrolyte like potassium. It is also rich in calcium, vitamin B12,  zinc, riboflavin and proteins.

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