Several foodstuffs and teas from an area of high esophageal cancer risk in Kashmir (India) were studied under simulated gastric conditions with a realistic nitrite concentration for the formation of N-nitroso compounds. N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosoproline (NPRO), N-nitrosothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (NTCA) and N-nitrosopipecolic acid (NPIC) were the main products in different foods. Significant amounts of NDMA were formed from dried fish (20 micrograms/kg), dried and pickled vegetables (35.6 micrograms/kg and 7.3 micrograms/kg), locally grown Brassica oleracea ('Hak') leaves (69.9 micrograms/kg), and the traditional tea 'Kehwa' (9.2 micrograms/kg). The highest level of NTCA was formed in smoked fish (3294 micrograms/kg). 'Salted tea' prepared according to local method formed considerable amounts of NPRO (360 micrograms/kg) and NPIC (5870 micrograms/kg) along with 3 yet unidentified non-volatile N-nitroso compounds. High values of 4315 micrograms/kg NPIC were also obtained following nitrosation of red chillies and mixed spice cake ('Wur') under simulated gastric conditions. These results suggest the possibility of an appreciable endogenous formation of N-nitroso compounds from local foods in Kashmir.