Ghulam Qadir Seeno, a man in his late seventies, is a living illustration of idealism, confidence and progress — setting benchmarks for others to follow. He had lost three of his family and a promising transport organization in the contention during the 90s yet he never lost hope. Today, more than 30 years into the business, he has earned himself the title of ‘Pickle King of Kashmir’. ‘Senoo Kashmiri Pickles’ in Habba Kadal area of Srinagar, has become a must visit for pickle lovers and foodies. Senoo specializes in preparing more than 100 different varieties of pickles.
He is credited for introducing new varieties of pickles in Kashmir made from apricot, amla, garlic, lemons, mutton, chicken and fish. The racks of the shop are loaded with compartments loaded up with dry and wet, prepared pickles. Discussing the medical advantages of pickles he says, “Pickles if consumed in the right amount, are good for digestion. Some are beneficial in curing stress and depression, which is common these days among people.”
Likewise there are pickles of natural products like mango, cherry and seeds like carom (Ajwain) accessible in his shop. “Ajwain is helpful in reducing acidity. Garlic is known to be good for heart patients and fights cholesterol and respiratory problems,” he adds.
Three decades into the business has seen him mastering the art of pickle making, earning him several awards and a well known name in the business. The preparation of each of the varieties is an arduous job, taking months to prepare and may cost up to 800 rupees per kilogram. He says he sometimes has to work day and night with his workforce involving a lot of time and effort. It is his passion for the art that has kept him going.
The pickles at Senoo’s have captivated the taste buds of everyone. Individuals from distant places come and relish the pickles from his shop. The reason for the enormous number of clients, Senoo says, is the virtue and utilization of value flavors in the creation of pickle.
Other than Jammu and Kashmir, Senoo’s pickles are well known in different states and nations. He gets orders from customers from the Middle-East nations and Bangladesh. However, for the past two years, his business has been hit because of COVID 19 pandemic. Senoo, helped by his son Abdul Majeed, is proud that his son will carry forward his legacy and the native culture. Majeed sees a huge scope to promote the pickles of Kashmir and marketing them internationally through online platforms.