Explosion of Kashmiri Restaurants

“But where’s the dal?” wail a distressingly high proportion of customers to Tarami in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village. Tarami is one of the many new Kashmiri restaurants that have cropped up in the capital in the last six months. And though there are a modest number of takers for Kashmiri cuisine, first-timers expect it to…

Haakh or Collard Greens

No two more dissimilar cuisines could be found than Portuguese and Kashmiri, yet they have a common link: haakh. Known as collard greens, this member of the vast brassica family has a distinct personality and an even more pronounced taste, with its trademark crinkly blue-green leaves along a central stem. Collard greens, along with its close…

The Ghosts who Walk Kashmir

If there are any ghosts wandering around Srinagar City, they’re probably discomfited by how much the city has changed since they passed on. They probably cannot recognize it as the place in which they lived half a century ago. Not because of the pace of life, to be sure, but because of the skewed ratio…

Ahhh Praaague

When my son (now in his 20s) was tiny, he had gone to see a film with his best friend’s family. I never did get to learn the name of the movie, but it had a scene in it, which, described by a 4 year old, consisted of a cupboard with a door. You walked…

The world of vegetarianism

The whole jigsaw puzzle about vegetarians and vegetarian food goes awry in India, more or less. You see, it’s like this: in every other part of the world, vegetarians are a tiny minority, and because of that, they are perceived as exotic birds who subsist on impossibly rare ingredients. Truth be told, they are privately…

Gujarat on a Plate

One can almost picture the Almighty plotting the geography of the state of Gujarat with a twinkle in His eye. “We have to balance the ingenuity of the people of the state with the topography of the land, so because We have endowed them with a fertile imagination, in compensation We can fob them off…

Kashmir’s Dried Vegetables

The first time I ever set foot in Kashmir, it was autumn, and far from noticing the stunning scenery, my eyes were riveted on the windows of the houses I passed. There were drying vegetables strung from most windows, especially those in rural Kashmir. Depending on which part of the Valley I was in, there…

Meat and its Textures

This is all about the glorious textures of meat, from the satisfying chew of chunk meat to the insubstantial lightness of pates. There’s little you can do with a vegetable to alter its texture, but meat, now, that’s a whole different ball game. There’s a grotty little dhaba in the bowels of the Old City…