Taste of Wazwan
The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread, and fried chicken.– Maya Angelou
Travel and food go hand in hand. Whenever you visit a new place, you are inclined to try their local delicacy or the dish you crave for. There are people who prefer doing a research about the popular culture, food and cuisine, prior travelling to their dream destination.
And, then there are those who love going with the flow and love to get surprised along the journey by being spontaneous.
When it comes to food which is a celebration in itself there is such thing as a “comfort food”. As rightly said by Ms. Maya Angelou fried chicken will always comfort us in good times and bad.
I remember back in 2013 when I took 2 weeks long vacation trip during winters in the first week of December, I had the chance of tasting the most delicious, mouth-watering, varied dishes of North India. Right from Srinagar to Agra, Mathura, Delhi and Jaipur. Each one of them had different flavors, taste and were rich in culture and heritage.
Surviving the cold of below zero degree temperatures of Srinagar where piping hot food on your plate gets cold till it reaches your mouth you know you need some comfort food to take care of you.
And what’s best than our age old recipes of chicken!
On our 5th Day in Srinagar we visited Gulmarg. Trust me, the words don’t do enough justice when they say it is India’s very own Switzerland or its heaven on earth.
So, after doing all the adventure sports activities at phase I and phase II of Gulmarg we were super hungry and were craving for some Kashmiri traditional Wazwan cuisine which we all had heard about all these years. Even tried making it after watching numerous cooking shows and videos on all the tv channels but that typical flavor remains missing as we all end up making our own versions of the recipe based on our personal judgments and taste preferences.
After a thorough search in the vicinity with adherence to my mother’s acute inspection of hygiene and cleanliness we narrowed down to a boutique style diner named “Bakshi’s Restaurant” who ticked off all the boxes mentioned above.
Due to the odd hour at around 2.30 pm and as the tourists are busy at the main activity area of Gulmarg mountain peaks, the restaurant was pretty empty by then so we were served and catered to our utmost satisfaction.
The interiors of Bakshi’s were of wooden interiors much alike the rest of Srinagar’s home structures due to being in colder region providing warmth and comfort from the outside weather.
As we were famished due to all the walking from phase I to the main entrance at Bakshi’s we couldn’t wait to order, we scanned through the menu and quickly ordered Kashmiri Chicken Masala, steamed rice and some rotis (Indian bread) to accompany.
The food when arrived at our table looked spectacularly delicious with red masala duly coated over the tender looking chicken.
When I put the first bite of chicken which was coming easily off from its bone in my mouth, it melted in instantly with the flavorful heavenly spices. The unique thing about Kashmiri cooking is that it contains blend of spices like cardamom, peppers, saffron, etc. and most importantly Kashmiri red chilies.
Kashmiri red chilies are not at all pungent and hot as they look and as one might think. In fact, they are the ones to give the bright, red color to the dish and often used for this purpose only. Kashmiri cuisine is not one to be known as extremely spicy and is in fact quite medium to less spicy.
These virtues of the chilly have made it to become one of the most staple spice ingredients of any Indian gravy in our households all across India.
Pairing best with the hot rotis which are soft like cotton along with the steamed basmati rice on the side, the entire meal elevates to a whole new different level of being exotic.
Although Bakshi’s restaurant has the food and service matching like no other you can make your own version of Kashmiri Chicken Curry in your home kitchen by following thousands of recipes available online.
The one I enjoyed watching the most and makes me nostalgic about Gulmarg is here.
Now coming to the dessert which marks a meal complete especially for those like me, who has a big sweet tooth, just love to indulge more 😀 . I particularly ordered one from Wazwan cuisine which usually comprises from seven to 36 dishes of mutton or beef, chicken, fruits, and vegetables. As I wanted to taste the culture through the food of Kashmir, I ordered the Phirni (Rice pudding).
Phirni is usually made from boiling milk, coarsely ground rice, sugar, cardamom, saffron and garnished with dry fruits and nuts, etc.
Finally, our ordered Phirni was served to our table and as it was extremely hot in the hastiness of tasting the most coveted dish I scalded my tongue 😛 .
But you know guys it was all worth it I must say!
For those who like their sweets or desserts too sweet or more on the sugary side then let me tell you this one wasn’t much sweet in fact anywhere in Srinagar right from tea to other desserts none of them had much sugar in them like how we usually prefer in the rest of India but that also depends on individual taste and preference.
Phirni can be made with a variety of twists as per your mood and wish.
Here is the most delicious looking Phirni recipe I came across made with season’s favorite and king of all fruits – MANGO
You can watch and learn about some coolest facts of Wazwan Cuisine as our World famous Chef Ranveer Brar talks about them here.
Yummy!!! Truly delicious isn’t it? Liked it? Want to try it? So, why don’t you try these and tell me how both of these recipes turned out for you in the comment section below. Also, let me know if you have ever been to Srinagar and what was your favorite food you happened to try there and what restaurant you loved visiting. Come on, dish out you people you know your CurlyGirl loves to hear all.
Waiting to hear from you!