Archive for September 3rd, 2011


Restaurant Review: KongPoush

An antique jug appears so that you can wash your hands in the traditional way before you read the menu as you would a most interesting book. Whether you choose to sit in a shikara or at a table, views of the Dal Lake stare at you from the walls, along with other pieces of cloth and wood, all unmistakably Kashmiri. You are left alone to browse through the menu; it is understood that you will take time to decide what you want as you learn that lamb is the most popular meat in Kashmir, and the difference in the eating preferences between Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims.

That the famous potato preparation is dum oluv, and not dum aloo as it has been conveniently bastardized, is another revelation as you understand how each dish is cooked and the ingredients that are used and not used in authentic Kashmiri food. KongPoush (‘Saffron Flower’) also has thaals, if you are too curious and want to try many things all at once, and there is a thaal for the pandit and a thaal for the wazwaan (the muslim), and a thaal that is served when the bridegroom visits his in-laws’ home the first time after the wedding, and a thaal for…

The gravies are thin and aromatic, as is the rice – but the flavours this cuisine offers is but one part of this experience, for the senses are being treated to the sound of the water from the fountain and the instrumental music, and words are exchanged very softly, if at all, and the tash-t-nari reappears, this time before you ask for kahwa, and you wish the elaborate meals here would last even longer because there can never be enough time spent in a place of tranquility.

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September 2011
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