Ten-second takeaway

Not only non vegetarian dishes such as the Gushtaba and Rista find place on The Oberoi’s new Kashmiri promotion at all-day dining restaurant Le Jardin, but local and seasonal vegetarian produce {from the valley} also gets its time in the sun.

Kashmir calling

When you get an opportunity to try out parts of a real Wazwan {a multi-course royal feast cooked during ceremonies} prepared by traditional wazas or cooks, who have come all the way from the valley, you don’t say no. Bringing these traditional flavours, textures in a buffet format is Le Jardin at The Oberoi. While the menu offers a sizeable number of meaty dishes {mostly mutton with some chicken}, look out for some interesting Kashmiri Pandit vegetarian dishes too. We started off with Nadur Kebab, made with lotus stems, dry mint, whole chillies and black cumin {crunchy and savoury}, Tabka Naat or Maaz, mutton spare ribs simmered in yoghurt and then deep-fried {delicate and really flavourful}, and a kebab created out of rajma that tasted just like mutton mince. All of this was moped up with a selection of chutneys: pumpkin and hung curd {Dodh Al}, walnut and mint {Doon Chetin}, a sweet and tart chutney made of Zirish, blackcurrant-like berries indigenous to Kashmir, and an onion, lemon and chili chutney {Gandh Chetin}.

Main attractions

Brace yourself for all the meat you are likely to consume as part of the main selections here. We started with Kashmiri Chok Wangun {a tangy aubergine and tamarind curry}, Kashmiri greens or haak cooked with kohlrabi, to be eaten with a berry pulao and saffron rice. Keep the Khamiri rotis {without yeast} for the Doudha Ras {mutton cooked with sweetened milk}, Aloo Bukhara Korma {chicken cooked with apricots}, Rista {spongy meatballs cooked in a fiery red gravy} and Gushtaba {meatballs simmered in yoghurt}. But the star of the meal was the simplest of them all: the Mirchvangun Korma, a mutton dish made with cardamom, fennel, and Kashmiri deghi mirch. A dish really big on flavours with the signature red chilli adding it own smokiness to the meat. Vegetarians you will cry tears of joy when you tuck into the Kahsmiri Dum Aloo here. It is unlike anything that is usually peddled on north indian menus as Kashmiri.

So, we’re thinking…

For dessert, there is semolina Phirni and Shufta {a fried paneer and dry fruit pudding}, which we found too sweet. End with a glass of noon chai {treat it as a salty drink and not tea really}, or the delicate Kashmiri Kahawa. #LBBTip: Don’t forget to say hi to Chef Parvinder Bali {at the helm of this Kashmiri affair} who will happily take you through what an actual wazwan traditionally comprises.

Where: Le Jardin, The Oberoi, 37-39 MG Road

When: On till March 20, 12.30pm-3pm and 7.30pm-11.30pm

Contact: 080 25585858 {prior reservation recommended}

Price: INR 3,200 + tax for two

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Check out their website here.

Featured image by: Amrita Bose


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