‘‘Agar Firdaus bar ru-e-zamin ast, Hami ast o- hami ast o- hami ast.”
– Jahangir, Fourth Mughal Emperor.
Kashmir indeed is the heaven on Earth, with nature’s beauty sprawling across every corner of the state. This beautiful valley is also a foodies paradise with some unique dishes prepared in their homes and also served in food joints.
Since #WinterisComing, Over the Moon Brew Co. decided to host its first Kashmiri Food Festival showcasing some of the best from the valley. It will be on till November 3rd, 2017 only on À la carte. Some of the items will be on their regular lunch buffet too.
Along with few other top city bloggers, I was invited for a menu tryout yesterday and the kitchen team under the guidance of Masterchef Sanjay Raina showcased some of the best from the offerings for this festival.
As usual, Gopal Thakur was on his toes to ensure that each and everything served to us were made fresh and quick. The best thing about Over the Moon Brew Company is their service and promptness in case of any inconvenience.
Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Kashmiri culture and identity. Almost all the dishes are meat-based using lamb or chicken. It is popular throughout Kashmir, besides, Wazwan is also served internationally at Kashmiri food festivals and reunions.
Here is the list of items served to us some of them are part of the Wazwan platter very common with Kashmiri Cuisine.
Tabaak Maaz – I loved the crispness which was retained yet it was not over fried. The ribs were tender and easily separated from the meat.
Mutton & Veg Seekh Kabab – Such well done seekh kabab is rare if not properly handled. The veg variant was dry and soft almost melting in the mouth. The mutton variant had oodles of ghee and the meat was flavoured & spicy.
Chicken Kanti & Paneer Kanti – Kashmiri version of the tikka. A typical tossed street food with loads of onions & tomato. It can go very well with butter roti/phulka. I liked the paneer because it was shallow fried before tossing with the vegetables.
Veg Shami – Though it is not entirely Kashmiri and primarily belong to the Mujahirs who migrated from the different regions of India to Pakistan. It is mainly made out of mutton keema and the vegetables couldn’t do justice to it.
Gushtaba – My second favourite dish from the menu we were served since the meatballs were just perfectly spiced to keep it sober for anyone. The gravy was light yet mixed with the pulao it made a great combo.
Mutton Roganjosh – Needs to special introduction. Though the Kashmiri spices in the gravy was apparent, I would have preferred more softer pieces of mutton. They were little hard to chew on which really marred the experience.
Muchh Koftas – Kashmiri keema (sausages) or ‘Mutsch‘ as they call. It’s an extremely spicy mutton dish which can tickle your taste buds to salivate. I am sure your would need a mocktail to cool you down. Since, we had kids in our group, the chef made sure to keep it milder.
Yellow Paneer – Since I love paneer, this simple yet different than usual paneer preparation really encouraged me to try this at home.
Khattey Baingan – This definitely was the star of the day. The tanginess of tamarind with the Kashmiri spices just took me over the moon. I would not have mind to take it in a jar and kept it year long to savour it every time I wanted some kick.
Nadru Yakhni – This definitely was not to my liking. The Yakhni was the only saving grace. I would still prefer crispy fried lotus stem than having it raw in yakhni.
Kashmiri Pulao – Though it was termed but it somehow resembled Hyderabadi Pulao without the sweetness of fresh fruits & dearth of nuts. The spice levels were also high (maybe keeping in mind the local audience).
Saffron Phirni – Though it’s a very common dish, what made the difference was the addition of saffron which definitely enhanced the taste. However, a little bit of care to maintain the consistency need to be taken since it’s the only dessert being served in the menu.
Though the promotion is running till November 3, we have requested them to extend it next week too for more people to tryout. You can walk in or make reservations to attend the festival. For booking, call the restaurant directly.
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It’s Lunch time, so get going. Do share about your experience in the comments section below.