Sample a celebratory menu, by a vasta waza from the valley
LAVISH, delicately spiced, yet robust. Take your appetite along for this elaborate feast in fine Kashmiri tradition that promises to awaken the most jaded taste buds. Curated by chef Gautam Chaudhary in collaboration with a vasta waza (head chef) specially flown
in from Kashmir with his bag of magic spices, the t radi t ional 3 6 – cour s e spread has been thankfully whittled down slightly, keeping the specials intact. The Wazwan naturally pampers meat lovers with beautifully cooked lamb, though chicken does happen to make a sort of guest appearance.
Start off with tabak mas — flattened ribs cooked in spiced milk and then fried to a dark, crackling texture. Quite a spectacular dish on its own. And the more predictable murgh gadh, cubes of chicken with green chillies and tomatoes. Soups are light and brothy, made from lamb stock flavoured with yogurt and saffron, but do leave some space for the mains, like the classic rogan josh, with the rich redness of Kashmiri chillies, hintsof aniseed and ginger.
The star of the show is the gushtaba — meatballs served in a yogurt-based gravy, a dish oncedescribed by Jawaharlal Nehru as the Cashmere of meats.
“It is tedious and difficult to make but the hours of hand-pounding the meat ultimately gives it that unique texture and flavour. An art
form with the wazas,” says Chaudhary. There are interesting breads, and chutneys made from walnuts and onions, a fluffy pulao riddled with nuts and a vegetarian menu that covers exotic lotus stems, cottage cheese and another classic dish—dum aloo or baby potatoes simmered in a rich red gravy. End your meal with some phirni and a steaming cup of khawa— green tea spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and saffron.`1,250++. At Pink Poppadum,Hyatt Bangalore, Trinity Circle.Details: 49361234