In my things to do before I bid goodbye is to enjoy a complete Kashmiri Wazwaan, which is normally served during Kashmiri marriages. Wazwaan consists of over 35 options for non-vegetarians and many more options for vegetarian. It is a extremely difficult to get these dishes on a normal day cooking as it requires long preparation and help from experienced wazaas (Chefs).
Ongoing Kashmiri food festival, Wazwan, at Colours ‘N’ Spice at Asiad Village has taken pains to understand the dishes and have gone beyond the obvious – Rista, Gushtaba and Tabak Maaz by including many off-beat dishes to the menu like Waza Kokkar, Dhanwali Korma, Maarchwagon Korma, and Apple Halwa. There were few Kashmiri stalls and Santoor being played at the entrance coupled with decoration of hanging Mogra streamers inside the restaurant. It would have been a complete Kashmiri backdrop if the music played was also Kashmiri. Never-the-less, beautiful live ghazals by singers provided a very soothing experience.
A very interesting mocktail – Appletini made with tempered Kashmiri chillies, freshly grounded walnuts, chunks of apple and apple juice as a base was refreshing and left a nice after taste. Tabak maaz was made better than most places in NCR and Nadru ke kebab were good too. Kokkar Kanti (boneless chicken pieces marinated and shallow fried) was the best of the lot; juicy and tender.
In the main course the only disappointment was the Dum Aloo where normal potatoes were used instead of the Kashmiri version and they were a tad over cooked. Gravy was nice though. All other dishes like Rista, Gushtaba and Rajma were nice without being exceptional. Haakh (Kashmiri Palak) was especially notable because of its fresh taste and melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Ed: Gushtaba is normally eaten towards the end of the meal. Since the gravy is curd based, it helps in digestion.
I don’t know if Apple Halwa is a traditional Kashmiri dish, but using a primary ingredient – apple which comes from Kashmir and turning it into a heavy but a tasty dish was no mean feat. We met the Waza (Chef) Quyoom who has especially come from Kashmir for this festival and thanked him for this interesting dish.
By the time we finished our meal, we were told about ‘Tarami’, a big copper utensil, used for sharing meals with family. Full of Fried Chicken, Seekh Kebabs, Tabak Maaz, Lamb Shank and saag over heaped full of steamed rice and served along with unlimited Rista, Gushtaba, Roganjosh, Maaz Yakhani, Dhanwali Korma, Maarchwaagen Korma, Kehwa and Phirni. It is shared between groups of 4 and priced at Rs3500+taxes.Since I was already stuffed, I decided to give it a miss. I don’t know when I will be able to enjoy complete Wazwaan, but I would come back along with friends before 20th January 2012 (end date of festival – Wazwan) to eat Tarami the authentic way.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.0 | Ambiance: 3.5 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for Two: Rs 1200 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12-3.30pm (Lunch), 7.30pm-11.30pm (Dinner). Please note Wazwan is available for dinner only.
Address: Colours ‘N’ Spice, Asiad Village Restaurant Complex, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi-110049|Phone: 9999911557