This Kashmiri Food Festival At Shikara Is Going To Make You Fall In Love With Food All Over Again!

In association with home chef Jasleen Marwah, Shikara Restaurant is hosting a three-day 'Kashmiri Food Festival', bringing the delicacies of Kashmir to Mumbai

This Kashmiri Food Festival At Shikara Is Going To Make You Fall In Love With Food All Over Again!

When you're asked about your favourite cuisine, your prompt response ranges from Italian to Mughlai but there's one cuisine which is highly underrated and unexplored. To make your taste buds tingle and to add the 'Kashmiri Cuisine' to your favourite's list, this Kashmiri Food Festival has come your way! 

What's The Story?

Shikara Restaurant (Navi Mumbai) is hosting a three-day 'Kashmiri Food Festival' in association with home chef Jasleen Marwah. Bringing the flavours of Kashmir to the city, this food festival promises to clear the misconception of the cuisine being similar to Mughlai. 

In an attempt to revive the cuisine's lost glory, a food festival is being organised at the restaurant, that is modelled like a shikara — the iconic Kashmiri houseboat — floating on an artificial lake. Jasleen Marwah has curated the dinner fare that is on offer from Jan 19 to Jan 21.

This Is What You'll Get To Eat There

Jasleen Marwah's take on 'Kashmiri Food'

Many spices like onion, garlic, that go into conventional gravies in desi food, have little or almost no space in Kashmiri cooking, she says. "Our primary ingredients are sund (dried ginger) and saunf (fennel). These are two things that go into almost any dish. Fresh ginger is used less as is jeera and dhania powder; haldi too is used rarely," Marwah says. 


Besides popular Kashmiri dishes like the rogan josh and the phirni, the selection at the festival also offers tabakh maaz, which is slow cooked mutton, nadru yakhni, a preparation of lotus stems, again in curd, chokh wangun, whole brinjal cooked in tomato gravy and rajma, to name a few. "The Kashmiri rajma is different from the Punjabi ones -these are very dark red in colour and relatively smaller in size. It's cooked with shalgum (radish) as that is seasonal," Marwah adds.

Contrary to popular perception, Kashmiri cuisine is heavy on vegetables too. "Even though staple Kashmiri food denotes rice and mutton, we love our greens. The haq saag or knolkhol is a popular side dish, the nadru yakhni is a delicacy as is the chokhwangun. We also have the Kashmiri achaar, which is any seasonal vegetable tossed in saunf, red chili paste and mustard oil." Ghee and mustard oil are a must in most dishes, while only whole spices are used, such as green and black cardamom, dal chini, Kashmiri mirch and hing.

"My food, however, has a more homemade touch to it," says the 40-year-old chef who calls Mumbai her home now.

Marwah believes the misconceptions about Kashmiri cuisine is due to inadequate exposure to the authentic fare. "Most people who have tried my food have said how refreshingly different it is from the 'Kashmiri food' they had sampled until then. Authentic Kashmiri is hard to come by until perhaps you visit the Valley." 

The restaurant Shikara had started off as a haunt for authentic Kashmiri fare alone. Ruhi Mehra, director, says, "But soon, guests began to request for more options and we had to veer away from what we had set out to do. Now that there's a nip in the air, it makes for a good time to revisit our roots and to familiarise foodies with Kashmiri cuisine."

So head to Shikara and indulge in some delicious, lip-smacking food! 

Location: Hotel Highway View, Opposite Railway Station, Mumbai Pune Road, Sanpada, Navi Mumbai

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