Pickles, Fruits, Dates Business ‘Picks Up’ in Ramzan



A fruit vendor -- Photo:Aamir Ashraf Gujri
A fruit vendor in a Srinagar lane. (KL Image courtesy: Aamir Ashraf Gujri)

With the start of Ramzan, sale of pickles, fruits and dry fruits business has “picked up” in Kashmir.

The markets in the valley especially in the summer capital’s commercial hub, Lal Chowk remain flooded with fresh fruits as well as dry fruits, dates and pickles during the entire month of the fasting.

Various types of pickles are available in the market and people buy a new variety of pickle every day.

An elderly told KNS that the demand of the pickles increases manifold because this Kashmiri item is very old and it has been consumed for years and every one in Kashmir likes it.

Gulam Qadir Sunoo, a pickle whole seller from Habba Kadal said that during the month Ramzan his business increases. “All kinds of pickles are available with us like the one’s made out of fish, chicken and we have almost 90 kinds of pickles with us.”


Collection of Dates

Traditionally, Muslims in valley and elsewhere end their fast with dates and water as dates are an immediate source of energy and potassium.

People of valley have started making their preparations to buy items like dates to end their fast at Iftaar in Ramzan. Dates are available at almost every grocery store. Most of the street vendors switch to selling of dates during this month.

Shabir Ahmad, a local shopkeeper at Kokar Bazaar in the alleys of commercial hub of Lal Chowk said, “These days people buy dates and mostly they buy wet dates and that is why we have kept the wet dates more to fulfil the demand of consumers. We have a variety of dates ranging from Rs 80 to 1200 a kilogram.”

Another shopkeeper from the same market believes people ‘like’ imported dates particularly from Saudi Arabia. “People ask for the brand dates of Saudi Arabia especially Ajwah, Mabro and all these qualities are available in the market. We bought all the varieties from Mumbai which the hub an International trade,” says Fayaz Ahmad, a grocery storekeeper.

He said that dates come in packaging which remain in demand throughout the holy month of Ramzan. This time, we have bought different varieties to fulfil the demand of customers.


Despite increase in prices of fruits, people in summer capital switch over to fruits rather than consuming drinks during the Ramzan.

Most of the people said they consume fruits in this holy month to break their fast along with dates and water.

“It is our routine in every Ramzan to consume fruits than every other stuff like drinks in this holy month. We buy a dozen of bananas every day to quest the hunger while breaking the fast as it is an important source of energy filled with nutritional punch and potassium,” Muntazir Jabeen, a local said.

People across the valley also buy fruits to earn rewards by delivering it to Masjids which is then distributed equally to the people who reach Masjid ahead of Iftaar for prayers.

“Besides a large quantity of dates, we receive variety of fruits from the people in the evening which we then distribute equally amongst those who are present in Masjid ahead of Iftaar,” said Abdul Ahad Kaloo, President of Masjid Usmaan-e-Gani at Chattabal in old city.

The shopkeepers and dealers said that they were already expected the sales of cold drinks would go down with the onset of this holy month. “This year, Ramzan falls in summer and the sales of drinks remain almost negligible during the day hours,” said Rafi Mohd Gagloo, a shopkeeper at Gole Market Karan Nagar.

Ramzan, one of the five pillars of Islam, is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims must abstain from all eatables including water from dawn to dusk – a discipline believed to better their souls.


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