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June 26, 2010

'Kashmiri Pandit cuisine' festival in Srinagar

Srinagar:In an attempt to recreate the magic of the Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine, a food festival has been organized in Srinagar. The festival is a joint venture between Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department and the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) in Srinagar. Nitesh Srivastav, IHM Director, revealed that the items prepared at the festival are a result of a thorough research on the Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. "People do not know much about Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine. People used to think that there are only three to four dishes prepared and most of them are vegetarian, but when we started a research and called a Pandit chef from Delhi, we came to know that there are at least thirty dishes done in Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine and which are more spicy than 'wazwan' (Kashmiri cuisine) dishes," Srivastav said. He also said that the idea is to popularize Kashmiri Pandit food, which unlike wazwan, is not very well known. Meanwhile, for many of the visitors at the festival, it was a nostalgic experience. "I thought that it was the same as it used to be twenty years back. In our Kashmiri Hindu community we have dishes like 'Rogan josh' (meat in gravy), 'Dum Aloo' (potato in thick gravy), 'Yakhni' (mutton broth), 'Nadur Yakhni' (lotus stem in yogurt gravy). The preparation here is in accordance with our cuisine," said Vijay Koul, a Kashmiri Pandit. Other mind-boggling variety included 'Haak' (a leafy vegetable), 'Phirni' (almond pudding), 'Kabargah' (lamb ribs simmered in milk), and 'Kahwa' and 'Dodhue Pyale' (sweetened saffron curd). The weeklong fete will conclude on Sunday.

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