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Wazwan fest

OSAMA JALALI
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EATING OUT Kashmiri feast, without a wedding

Valley of delightsThe fare at Tarami
Valley of delightsThe fare at Tarami

As an ode to the snow capped peaks and smouldering sigris of the Valley, comes a food festival at Hauz Khas’s only authentic Kashmiri restaurant Tarami. The festival ‘Koshur Gharas Wazwan’ is on till December 21. Kashmiri Koshur Wazwan brings together dishes culled from the long standing oral tradition, with recipes which have been handed down through generations. Wazas — traditional chefs — have been brought from the Valley to give the food authentic Kashmiri flavours. The festival menu has good vegetarian starters. Dahi Kabab— a common starter these days — is made differently as a curd burst kabab. Wearing a fine golden crust, the kabab is delicate and just melts in the mouth.

The next variant, Haaq Shammi is appealing for its blend of Kashmiri and Mughlai flavours. The radish and walnut chutneys complement the kababs well. Kashmiri Bhatti Kokur marinated with chilli paste, saunf and saunth is one of the best roasted chickens I’ve had in recent times. The chicken pieces are juicy and tender. Fish Tuji, with the same marination, in mustard oil has good subtle flavours, but the one that stands out is the Kanti Gosht — a really nice dish with boneless lamb chunks tossed with onion and chillies.

Mutton Badam Korma is a dish that epitomises Kashmiri flavours. Cooked with milk and almonds, its gravy is thick and creamy. Methi Maaz is a delicacy with subtle flavours, balanced spices and tender mutton offal. But if anybody loves to eat good spicy food I would suggest the Marcshwangen Kokur Tujj— a red chilli gravy having boneless chicken tikkas in it. It brings tears to my eyes and forces me to order a dessert.

No regrets there, though. Opting for Moong Dal Halwa over the Gajar Halwa, I find it delicious.A meal for two comes to Rs.1200.

OSAMA JALALI

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