We all know that Kashmiri food is heavenly especially for non-vegetarians. Lamb meat is a key ingredient of most dishes and the liberal use of spices like saffron, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves add warmth and comfort to the curries. But did you know that Kashmiri vegetarian fare is equally delectable? I found that out last week when I was invited by The Hotel Hindustan International to try out the dishes that make up Kashmir Ki Curry, a Kashmiri Food Festival at Kalash. The festival is on till 5th March and is a treat for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Here’s what I loved.
Kashmiri Gosht Yakhni Shorba – the traditional kashmiri style broth cooked with mutton and flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg and mace. A light start to what can become a very hearty meal!
Lamb Shammi Kabab with Chuski Sauce – minced lamb kababs with onion, lentils, herbs, spices and served with fried eggs and a yogurt based dip.
Machhli Methi Tikka – Bekti marinated with methi and cooked in the tandoor.
Nadru Shammi Kabab with Mint Yogurt – Nadru or lotus stem is a popular ingredient of vegetarian Kashmiri dishes. I’ve never had anything with nadru before and I was very impressed by this kabab which reminded me somehow of alu tikkis. Cooked with mild spices, the melt-in-your mouth kabab is a must try. Also, don’t miss out on the Nadru Yakhni, cooked in yogurt gravy.
Goshtaba – the star of any Kashmiri meal is the classic Goshtaba or meat balls cooked in a yogurt gravy and flavored with aniseed. This dish is normally eaten towards the end of the meal to help in digestion. The fresh meat is marinated in saffron and cooked in the yogurt gravy over slow fire.
Mutton Rogan Josh – another signature dish of Kashmir. This is a flavorful mutton dish cooked with coriander, cumin, red chili powder, fennel seeds, garam masala, tomato pulp and yogurt
Mutton Biryani – Soft and succulent mutton, dry fruits and rice cooked in mutton stock. That is what makes up this kashmiri version of a mutton biryani. If you are vegetarian, the Kashmiri Vegetable Biryani or Pulao are great options.
Khubani ka Halwa – nothing can be more comforting than a bowl of apricot or khubani ka halwa. Light and not too sweet, end your meal with this dish.
What: Kashmir Ki Curry
Where: Kalash, The Hotel Hindusthan International
On till: March 5, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, 7pm to 11pm
Meal for two: Rs 1,400-plus