SRINAGAR: Varieties of dates from different Muslim countries are served on the Iftaar tables in Kashmir as date consumption picks up during the holy month of Ramdhan.
This year, dealers say, dates from Saudi Arabia have been the most sought after by the customers followed by those imported from the UAE and Iran.
In the past, dry dates from Pakistan and wet dates from Iran were imported in Kashmir but now many high quality date varieties originating from Arabian countries and Middle East are sought by the customers, dealers say.
The dates, considered auspicious by the Muslims to break their day-long fast, dominate the market places during the Ramadhan month. “There are many varieties of dates available in the markets, ranging from Rs 70 per kilogram to Rs 450 per kg. Certain varieties of dates cost as high as Rs 1800 Rs to Rs 6000 per kg but that does not prevent people from purchasing this fruit,” said Mohammad Imtiyaz, a wholesaler of dates at Maharaj Bazar.
“Dates are mostly imported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Muscat, Oman and Kuwait. On an average we sell 20 boxes of dates,” he added.
Farooq Ahmad owner of Sajan Foods, dates like Fard, Ajwa, and Safawi are in demand during the month of Ramdhan.
Bisma Jan, a resident of Rainwari said she prefes Ajwa dates.
“Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recommended us to break fast with dates. We prefer Ajwa because they are tasty and thickly swollen like honey. It gives good taste while breaking the fast with this date,” Bisma said.
Waseem Ahmad, a resident of Khanyar, however said he like the Fard dates. “I think dates are the best blessings from Allah,” Waseem said.