Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kashmir Food Festival

It is either about very spicy food or about mild taste with very little salt in Kashmiri food. Though Kashmiri cuisine is more commonly known for its non-vegetarian items, Country Club Inn & Suites, Sahibabad, was all set to capture the food world with their vegetarian platter of Kashmiri cuisine at the Kashmiri Food Festival from January 21 to 31.The festival at the only Five-Star Resort in Ghaziabad was a 10-day event, where every one was promised the true delight of Kashmiri food in a soothing environment. The fare flavour of Kashmiri food came all the way from the culinary expertise of Pandit Ashok Raina of Waza Baithak, Sinagar.       ( Ladakh Valley )

'Tatva', one of the finest restaurants in town, was serving the vegetarian Kashmiri platter, including delectable starters like Nadru ka Choorma, Aaloo Choora, Nadru Tikki and Surkh Angeri Paneer Tikki, served with Akhrot ki Chutney. The starters themselves were so alluring that even those who are not feeling hungry end up yearning for more.  They were followed by the Badam Subz Shorba, the soup with fewer spices letting you enjoy the flavour of Badam. The melodious instrumentals of Shiv Kumar Sharma and songs of Kailas Mehra, Shamima Dev and Rajinder Kachruu added flavour to the aura as well as the food.

Following was the main course platter which looks equivalently yummy. Dum Aalo, one of the famous vegeterain Kashmiri dishes, along with Haak, Paneer Kaliyan, Mutter mushroom, Bhodarwa Rajma and Chyoke Wangan was dished up with Madhur pulao (sweet rice) and Sada chawal (plain rice). Kashmiri Lavasa bread, the usual flat Indian bread with sultanas and nuts baked into it was served along with the platter. Although sweets does not play an important role in Kashmiri cuisine yet to add to the fare Indian sweet platter inclusive of Rasmalai and halwa was served. Last but not the least the platter completed with the arrival of Kahva (green tea) served with two Khatai. It is a great drink for health. ( Peach Fruit )

The food was flavoursome and incredibly appetising. Also the well- decorated entrance with the Special Kasmiri species and Kashmiri artifacts like carpets, antique Jamawar shawls were also on display.  An extremely filling dinner for two came to an affordable price of Rs.1110 only.

Explaining the Kashmiri food style, the Chef says that the Kashmiri cuisine is rich in taste and exotic in flavour. It is very rich in fragrance with the flavour of the spices used like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron, etc. Apart from the basic spices, curd is used in the preparation of food with other addictive spices like dry ginger and 'saunf' (aniseed) to give a particular flour and smell. "Here in Tatva we were using the special species of Kashmir to let our visitors have the actual taste and flavour of the cuisine," said Rashi Jain, the senior Chef-De-Party.    ( Ayurveda Holidays )

"We are planning to come up with more food festivals with vegetarian delights. We are planning to cover each state one by one," said Sushil Chugh, the general manager of Country Inn.   

Chef recipe:
Haak (Leafy Greens)

o 1 kg haak (saag) l 2 cups of mustard oil
o 1 tsp asafoetida liquid  l 5 whole red chillies
o 5 whole green chillies l salt to taste
o 2 cups of water

Clean the haak, cut the stems out and leave the whole leaf in a vessel. Wash it under a running water tap and drain. Heat oil in another vessel. Let it cool down, add asafoetida, cook for a few seconds. Add water and bring to boil, Add haak, salt and green chillies to the boiling liquid.
Simmer for few minutes. Deseed whole red chillies & add to the haak. Serve with boiled rice.

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