Kashmiri Food Festival at Shangrila – Zaika e Kashmir
“Kashmir” The word is enough to get all the attention possible. Be it the breathtaking scenery, Food, or the political views, It will have your attention. But this blog is not about the scenery or politics, but my favorite subject FOOD.
Wazwan, known for being the pride of the Kashmiri culture and identity, is a royal thirty-six-course feast that is prepared exclusively on festive occasions and weddings in Jammu and Kashmir. The culinary art skills of preparing Wazwan, along with the age-old recipes are exclusively passed down through generations and are treasured within a few families in the vale.
Chef Gagandeep who is the executive chef of Shangrila is very passionate about replicating authentic cuisines. He wants to solve that one problem everyone wants a solution for, which is, How can I try the authentic cuisine of a particular region without even traveling there. As part of this experiment, he usually invites chefs from across the country and the world to give his customers the most authentic dishes possible. Now he managed to do it once again with Chef Mushtaq, a Kashmiri cuisine expert and a third-generation Waza who has come all the way from Srinagar.
One can swear by Chef Mushtaq’s Tabak Mass and Rista and Gushtaba. I have tried various Wazwan/Kashmiri food experiences before but this time it was intense. It was as intense as the word “Kashmir” can be. The reason, This was not Gushtaba which was packed from Kashmir or spices readymade, All of the ingredients were brought from there and the Gushtaba was hand-pounded here in Shangrila and this is made every single day.
This Food festival is available for customers to try in Ssaffron which is located on the 18th Floor of the Hotel and will be on between 21 Feb 2020 to 1 March 2020 for both lunch and dinner.
I was invited and welcomed with Kehwa, the Kashmiri Tea which is in saffron Yellow color and this is a combination of Green Tea leaves, Almonds, Saffron, Cinnamon sticks. But when served its a plain tea full of flavors and no residue and no milk.
Something you should also know is there are no starters in Kashmiri Cuisine, It’s straight away the main course. So we jumped on to the food right away, There was Veg version for Bangalore Epicure and Non-Veg version for me.
Amongst Veg we got Tamatar Chaman, Chokwangan, Nadruyakhni along with Bakarkhani (Kashmiri Bread/Naan). The idea is to dunk your bread in the goodness of the gravies and then have it. The taste literally takes you to the peaks of Kashmir and Back.
Tamatar Chaman is a Tomato gravy made with Kashmiri Spices and Paneer marinated in it. This was one of the best paneers I have had in a long time. The dishes weren’t too spicy but were very flavourful, Tomato was a key ingredient here and a typical Kashmiri Pundit Dish. This was followed by Nadru Yakhni, Nadru means Lotus Flower stem this marinated in curd and loaded with Kashmiri spices. A dish that will keep you wanting for more. These lotus stems are so crispy even after cooking, You can’t stop eating them. The third gravy was Chok Wangun, Which means eggplant Gravy. This is the one which has an eggplant as their key ingredient and no it’s not baigan ka bartha. A dish with Kashmiri spice mix of coriander, shahjeera, cardamom, carom, fennel, asafoetida and red chili powder.
After all this amazing veg extravaganza we were now presented with Non Veg, Which is what I was waiting for. Bakarkhani (Kashmiri Bread/Naan) was accompanied by Gushtaba, Marchwangan Korma and Aab Gosht. The star of the meal for me was “aab Ghosht”. I will get to that later.
Gushtaba is lamb meat which is pounded continuously for over 3 hours till it becomes supremely soft and almost a paste,This is then made into a ball and cooked in a yogurt based gravy. A dish that you must have when trying Kashmiri Cuisine. You really dont need anything to go along, You can just have it directly. The tastiest meat balls I have ever had.
Tabak Maaz is another show stopper that you don’t want to miss. This is Lamb meat slow cooked in ghee with the ribs. This is first marinated and boiled in water and then the final step is cooked in its own fat and ghee. This is something that’s not exotic to look at but you will love it from the first bite. I belted 3 of them.
Marchwangan Korma was next up and this is Kashmiri Mutton Gravy. This was an ultimate dish loaded with Kashmiri Chiliy powder and goodness of Kashmiri Spice mix and this was just perfect dish to try with the breads and even white rice.
Showstopper for me on the list was Aab Gosht. This dish was something for me as I tried it for the very first time. This is a dish where the lamb is cooked in MILK. Yes its almost like a dessert. I couldnt stop eating it and one of the rarest and authentic dishes of Kashmiri Cuisine. A Must have if you are at this food festival.
Pls don’t miss to try the phirni loaded with saffron and almonds. A Must have dessert from the menu. Overall this is a food festival from Shangrila that you don’t want to miss.
Address: Hotel Shangri-La, Level 18, 56-6B, Bengaluru 560056 – https://goo.gl/maps/JcpnVxsWSrAzLrcE9
Chef Mushtaq, a Kashmiri cuisine expert, and a third-generation Waza will be in residence at Ssaffron to delight guests with a carefully crafted menu of delectable and aromatic Kashmiri cuisine. Guests are invited to enjoy opulent delicacies such as Tabak Maaz, Waz Kokur, Seekh Kabab, Tamatar Chaman, Dum Aloo, Rista, Gushtaba and more during the pop-up at Ssaffron from 21 February to 1 March 2020.