Since childhood whenever we went for any ‘biye bari’ (wedding) or ‘nemontonno’ (invitation) – Kashmiri aloo dum was an integral part of the menu those days. I always wondered, why is it so called.
Later when I grew up, we started exploring Kashmiri cuisine We started trying all the possible Kashmiri restaurants and all the Kashmiri food festivals curated in the city. Over the years I have fallen in love with the wazwan. If we look for the meaning of Wazwan, it means a multi-course Kashmiri meal, in which the Kashmiri’s are fondly known for their warmth, culture, identity etc.
The moment I got to know about this wazwan festival at Saffron, in Radisson Blu I was elated and rushed the very next day. The ambience and hospitality was mention worthy. There were ample options for not only the non-vegetarians but also for the vegetarians, which is thoughtful. They had two special chefs flown in from Kashmir for this festival.
Out of all that I tasted, the ones which stood out were the kokur shorba (aww, the spices), nadru ki shami (lotus stem with dry fruits in the kebab form), tabak maaz, tawa sarson machchi, dum aloo, modur pulao (It stands out), kokur saag .
For desert we had phirni (it was the perfect sweet and cold dessert to sum up everything) and the rasmalai.
They went the extra miles to serve us paan in a bed of ice, which gave a touch of “celebration”.
What I missed were those Kashmiri breads or roti – like Shirmal, Girda, kulcha, lavaas/ lawaas etc.