Mention Kashmiri food and the few cuisines that you could think of are Rogan josh, Dum aloo, Yakhni, and Wazwaan, among others. But trust us, Kashmiri delicacies are much more than that. If you are craving for or want to try Kashmiri delicacies in Mumbai, head to Shikara in Sanpada. The restaurant is hosting a Kashmiri Food Festival that gives you a taste of why Kashmir is called the heaven on earth not only in terms of scenery but also in terms of culinary items.
Shikara’s concept of the floating houseboat over an artificial lake is a scene that depicts the houseboats on the Dal Lake in Kashmir. The iconic restaurant since the early 90s is one of its kind with Shikara seating style. The restaurant in collaboration with home chef Jasleen Marwah is organising the food festival to bring awareness amongst the audiences and to familiarise them with Kashmiri cuisine. “Kashmiri Cuisine is one of its kind, owing to the richness and unique flavours. Our palates are well acquainted with various regional cuisines, but when the Kashmiri cuisine is in the discussion, we don’t see enough audiences having tried the regional delicacies,” says Ruhi Mehra, Director of Shikara. She further adds, “Kashmiri Food is simple, full of flavours but rich in taste, with ingredients that play beautifully with your taste buds and leave an enchanting experience. To revive and introduce this experience, we at Shikara felt the need to introduce the Kashmiri Food Festival, to relish this cuisine, which is often described as platter from heaven.”
The vegetarian menu at the food festival will have Palak Shorba with paneer, Nadur Monji, Dum Olav and Paneer tandoori as starters, Palak/Haaq saag, Ruwangan Chaman, Rajmah with shalgum, Nadur Yakhni, Chokh Wangun in the main course and Kong Phirni, Shufta and Kehwa in desserts. While the non-vegetarian menu will have Tabakh maaz, Chicken kanti, Mutton Kebabs as starters, Rogan Josh, Maaz Yakhni, Dhaniwal Korma, Mutts in the main course and Kong Phirni, Shufta, Kehwa in desserts.
There’s a common perception that Kashmiri cuisines are heavier on the non-vegetarian side especially mutton. While the menu in the food festival features a variety of vegetarian dishes. “We love our meat dishes, yes. There are some mouth-watering and unique vegetarian Kashmiri dishes that are a big part of the cuisine and a must try from the valley. Lotus stems (nadru), leafy greens and many other vegetables are grown in abundance, back home. Since in winters getting access to fresh supply used to be hard, a lot of such vegetables were dried and garlanded in summers, for use in winters,” says Jasleen Marwah, Kashmiri home chef and curator of the festival. She further adds, “In our festival, we have made a conscious effort to feature a few such dishes that are very different in flavors from each other. One such dish is nadru yakhni. It is a curd based dish made with lotus stems. Also, when tossed in batter and deep fried these stems make for an amazing snack and almost look like fries, and that’s why I call them nadru fries.”
Kashmiri Food Festival
Cost: Veg thaal – Rs 999, Non-veg thaal – Rs 1,499
When: January 19-21, from 7:30 pm onwards
Where: Shikara, Hotel Highway View, Opposite Railway Station, Mumbai Pune Road, Sanpada, Navi Mumbai