Bohri Food Fest at K3 restaurant, JW Marriott

Five years ago, I visited a friend in Mumbai, and chanced upon a Bohri wedding that was taking place in her neighbourhood. Invited for the celebrations, I found myself tasting Bohri food for the first time.The flavour of the food stayed with me, and years later, I got the opportunity in Delhi to revisit the taste when I got an invitation from K3 restaurant at JW Marriott to attend a Bohri Food Festival.

I was introduced to Chef Musakir Khan, in town from Mumbai to organise the festival. Before the meal, the Chef explains Bohri food to me. He says, “A Bohri meal starts with a pinch of salt and is followed by sweet dishes. Traditional Bohri food is eaten by eight people from a large plate. It gives the feeling of community eating.”After the pinch of salt, I startmy meal with Malida. It is a suji dish, mixed with eggs and boiled milk, and then fried with ghee and melted jaggery and dry fruits. Chef Khan has more than 16 years of experience with Bohri food. His knowledge of the cuisine is amazing. Explaining the speciality of the cuisine further, he says, “We use very little spice and oil in our food. We don’t use red chillies.”

The next round of dishes arrives, which includes nargis kabab, meat cutlet, chicken patty and kokum batata. The non-vegetarian starters are succulent and tender. My main course comprises the popular dabba gosht and mutton biryani. In dabba gosht, mutton pieces are marinated in ginger, garlic and chilli, stewed with whole spices in a cashew and onion gravy, topped with an egg and baked. The meat is boiled to make it tender and then cut into small pieces. Then macaroni, egg and cashew are added to the mix before it’s put in the oven. The dish is very different from the usual non-vegetarian fare, and highly enjoyable. The mutton biryani is also quite different from the ones we usually find in restaurants. In this version, the garlic and ginger are added before the Dum is put in. “Only those people can make the perfect Bohri food who have knowledge and understanding of this cuisine. And perfection comes with years of experience, as well as spending time with this Bohra community,” adds Chef Khan.

This fest ends on May 4. Meal for two: 3300 plus taxes

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