While there are some immutable rules for dried vegetables, others change from one family to another. Dried vegetables are never combined with fresh ones, so some families even sun-dry sliced onions just to use in these winter dishes. And as sun-dried vegetables are considered warming to the body’s system, they’re not considered suitable for a hot summer’s day. When we sat down to supper, the dining table was hidden under a profusion of traditional tinned-copper Kashmiri tableware laden with dishes: dried bottle gourd (young calabash) stewed with chicken in a sauce vibrant with mustard oil, turmeric, and ginger; chile-spiced, earthy dried turnips and lamb; fennel-laced dal with dried eggplant; hard-cooked eggs fried in a sauce of piquant dried tomatoes. Weeks of resting beneath the sun’s bright rays had intensified their flavors, concentrated their sugars, and altered their texture, lending them a satisfying chew. The skill of the ladies of the Andrabi household consisted in knowing what dried vegetable to keep al dente, the better to contrast with the accompanying ingredients. The firm bite of dried eggplants counterbalanced the creaminess of puréed green lentils; the turnips were as meaty as the lamb that accompanied them. It was robust survival food from a northern clime’s cold-weather larder, but with its splendid flavors and textures, it was also so much more.