In a line: Take your tastebuds across a culinary journey with authentic flavours from Kashmir.
Where: Caraway, The Grand
Price for two: Rs. 3000(approx)
Dates: 20th January- 30th January 2017
Timings: 7:00-00:00 hours
Heaven on earth, Kashmir, is known for its picturesque beauty and its rich and flavoursome food, that is perfect to ignite your taste organs and leave you craving for more!
If you’re in a hunt for some delectable tabak maas or falling off-the-bone roganjosh doused in spicy gravy or are simply wanting to unwind a hectic day with a cup of warm kahwa, Caraway in association with Saal, is all set to take your palate on a culinary journey across the beautiful land of Kashmir.
Caraway, the Indian speciality restaurant at The Grand, has been adorned to give an overall Kashmir-like feel. Upon entering, the small paper mache shikaras, kangris, carpets, pashmina shawls and other handicrafts were the first to catch the eye. Those, along the backdrop of traditional Kashmiri music, all together, set the mood right for me to indulge into some authentic Kashmiri flavours.
The menu is replete with plenty of options to choose from, but the main highlight would be the dishes from Kashmiri Pandits, which are not available elsewhere in Delhi. Var, a dish prepared with rice and walnuts, that was similar to a khichdi, arrived as the amuse bouche, and was perfect to set the palate for the extravagant dishes to follow. While I enjoyed the crispy deep fried fish, talith gaad, with the typical green chutney, the unusual lotus stem kebab, nadur shammi, would be my pick with some creamy walnut chutney.
Their version of ollu bukhara is done up with minced mutton koftas, stuffed with ollu bukhara(plums), in a deep crimson gravy, instead of the traditional way of using mutton with bones. The flavours on the other hand, are as traditional as it could get. The gaad nadur was a spicy and rich gravy that had chunks of perfectly cooked lotus stem along with morsels of fried fish.
While the non-vegetarian dishes didn’t miss the mark, the vegetarian dishes turned out to be so much better than what I had expected. The yoghurt gravy based dum aloo were flavoursome and had a mellow hint of cardamom and cumin, the kashmiri saag, haakh, on the other hand, was simple and elegant. However, the limelight was stolen by the humble brinjal. An explosion of flavours, the sweet, sour and spicy chok wangun is an absolute must have, even for the non-vegetarians.
The simple kesar phirni was very mildly sweetened and was served in an earthen pot, which rendered a mellow rustic feel to the dessert. Shufta was a complete contrast and was a rich dessert, prepared with dried fruits and sugar syrup, topped with chandi warq. The meal couldn’t have concluded on a better note!
Confession: Overall, the Flavours of Kashmir festival at Caraway is certainly a must try for those who are in a lookout for some authentic Kashmiri food. I hope the festival comes back soon to Caraway, and next time, for a longer duration perhaps.