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Monday, Sep 23, 2002

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Kashmiri delights

Nothing can deter the spirit of a true Kashmiri pandit: Aurangzeb could not do that and neither can the terrorists of various outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba.

That was evident at The Park, where V.K Dhar, a celebrated Kashmiri chef, has been spreading the delectable `Wazwan', the traditional Kashmiri banquet. A Kashmiri food festival has opened at the Bamboo Bay restaurant of this seaside hotel and it will be on till October 29.

"Authentic Kashmiri cuisine is a gourmet's delight and it stands apart from the other cuisines of our country as spices are boiled and not fried like the rest to give exotic flavours and aromas. The cooking process is also long, elaborate and tedious. It is a known fact that Indian traditions and culture are greatly influenced by historical happenings, and so are the cuisines. That Central Asian cuisine has influenced Kashmiri dishes is visible in the festival and that is the reason a lot of lamb meat is used," says the chef.

To tickle your taste buds the cuisine provides an array of appetisers like Nadur Monji (lotus root patties served with mint yogurt dip), Kashmiri Kalmi Kabab (charcoal grilled chicken, drumstick flavoured with nutmeg) and many others.

In the main course you have Saunfiya dum ka jheenga, Gadeh, Goshtaba, Murg qalia and other varieties in the non-vegetarian section. For the vegetarian, the famous Dum aloo, Methi chaman., etc., are available, with a variety of rice and wheat items prepared in both styles.

A Kashmiri meal is never complete without a sweet dish, and the chef has Gajar Ka Halwa or Kehwa for the epicurean, ready to be served.

Though we have to think twice to experience the beauty and hospitality of `the paradise on earth' considering the present conditions, the hotel has done its best to give you a feel of it by creating an ambience with a shikara and the stewards dressed ethnically.

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