The nip in the air is just perfect to guiltlessly dig into all the spicy meaty spreads and curries. And talking of spices, what can be better than a delectable spread from the heaven on Earth — Kashmir — to lend you that much-needed warmth this season with the region’s array of fragrant spices and lavish meals.
Perhaps that’s the reason why several eateries in the city are hosting Kashmiri food fests this month, complete with the quintessential gushtaba, yakhni and sizzling hot kebabs. “Kashmiri cuisine is a winter-centric cuisine that involves a lot of meat-based dishes.
Meat keeps you warm and involves a lot of spices in cooking,” says Deepak Khera of Tarami, adding, “The spices that are used in Kashmiri cuisine lose their flavours in summers. Their flavours are at their best only in the winters, hence it’s the best time to savour these dishes.”
Chef Ramit Wason of Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla agrees. “Yes, it is in fact the distinct use of spices that make Kashmiri cuisine so aromatic and flavourful, and winter is the perfect time to enjoy the wazwan. The meats, nuts, ghee as well the spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and saffron help in keeping the body warm,” says Wason.
So, if you were looking for a good reason to feast, here are some eateries that you can visit. Bon apetit!
A mini Kashmir
Where: Edesia, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla, Phase 1
Masterchef Quoom, along with his team, has flown down from the picturesque land of shikaras, whipping up traditional Kashmiri delights including the Roganjosh, Tabak Maaz, Kashmiri Bater, Gushtaba, Kanti Kebab, as well as vegetarian delicacies such as Waari Muth, and Nadru Malai Kofta. Don’t miss the batter-fried apple jalebi. Enjoy your meal in the mini-Kashmir created inside the hotel with shikaras, pherans, carpets and kangris with songs of Kashmir Ki Kali in the backdrop.
On till: December 7
Price: R1,800 per person
Where: Tarami, 30 A, first floor, Hauz Khas Village
The snow-capped peaks, smouldering sigris, and the crisp cool air of the valley come alive here through the Kashmiri festival of Koshur Gharas Wazwan, bringing the authentic tastes, flavours and spices of meals cooked and shared across Kashmiri homes.
Kashmiri Koshur Wazwan brings together dishes culled from the long standing oral tradition, with recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. The special menu includes delectables like Dahi Kebab, Haaq Shammi Kebab, Kashmiri Bhatti Kokur, Koshur Fish Pakora and Kanti Gosht
On till: December 21
Meal for two: R2,000
Where: Paatra, Jaypee Siddharth, 3, Rajendra Place
From Yakhni to Rogan Josh, Dum Aloo to Phirni, brace yourself to savour the rich food of Kashmir at this place that’s hosting the ‘Paradise on a Platter’ festival.
The preparations draw inspiration from old Kashmiri preparations that evolved over hundreds of years and is highly influenced by Iranian, Afghan and Central Asian styles of cooking. If you are a true foodie, you’ll enjoy the succulent kebabs and kormas cooked in fragrant yogurt, ghee and traditional spices.
On till: December 9
Price: R1,150 (veg) and R1,350 per person
Where: Vibe Hotel, The Lalit Traveller, 12/7 Mathura Road, near Toll Plaza Faridabad
Aromas from the snow-capped peaks come alive through the month-long Kashmiri fest here, complete with lip-smacking items such as Murg Shorba, Tabak Maaz, Paneer Haq, Rishtah-Gushtaba and Phirni.
On till: December 31
Kashmir at home
Want to throw a Kashmiri-themed bash at home? You can call up the Kashmiri Kitchen at 9582856612 and get a chef from the outlet serve a lavish wazwan for your guests from shinning copper degchis, kahwa from samovar and even provide usable decor pieces including Kashmiri floor mats.
The menu will include authentic gushtaba, rogan josh, mirchi korma, phirni and more.
Price: R700 (per head for a group of minimum 15 people)