Wednesday, November 25, 2015

'Wazwan of Kashmir' - K.J.S.Chatrath

Photo source:

                                           Rogan Josh- a lamb dish. Photo source: Wikipedia 

Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine. Almost all the dishes are meat-based using lamb or chicken. It is popular throughout Kashmir, besides being served in India at major hotels and restaurants
In the Kashmiri language, waz means a 'cook' and wan means 'shop'. The ultimate formal banquet in Kashmir is the royal wazwan. Of its thirty-six courses, between fifteen and thirty can be preparations of meat, cooked overnight under the supervision of a master chef called a vaste waze. Guests are seated in groups of four and share the meal out of a large copper platter called the traem. (Text source: Wikipedia)


Monday, November 16, 2015

'Tasty snacks at Obeidulagunj, district Raisen, near Bhopal, India' by K.J.S.Chatrath

I was in Bhopal last week. I was advised that one of the places to be seen was Bhimbetka cave rock paintings. I was also advised that on the way to Bhimbetka from Bhopal one must have samosa-gulab jamun snacks at a particular shop.

Returning back from Bhimbetka, I was half dozing in the car when the driver suddenly stopped the vehicle with a jerk. 'Kya hua (what happened) I asked him opening my sleepy eyes. 'Samosay', was his smiling, one word reply. We had reached the famous samosa-gulab jamun shop.

The name of this small, about 20,000 population town was 'Obeideulapur'. I got down and saw a lttle crowdbusy in eating snacks. I too ordered one large samosa and two gulab jamunas for myself and the same for the driver. 

The samosas was surely big as the samosas go- and tasty with a nice filling of mashed boiled potatoes and just a few peas. The gulabjamuns, incredibly fresh, were dark and floating in a generous helping of of sweet, tasty syrup. We qucikly polished those off and finished the adventure with a nice small glass of tea.
Fresh gulab jamuns being prepared.

While making the payment I saw this impressive photo of the owner of the eating place- 'Puran Pahllwan (Puran, the wrestler).

And how much did I pay for this extravaganza? Calculate yourself! 

While munching this samosa, my thoughts went back a few months. I was in a multi-nationality Group travelling through the Canadian Rockies in a coach. We reached a small, small, town with about 3,000 population at around lunch time. The name of the town was Chemanius. It is famous, inter-alia, for 39 wall paintings depicting its history. Our Group leqader gave us just 45 minutes to take the photos, snatch a bite and reach back in  the coach.  Even if I miss the lunch, I am not going to starve, I told myself and got busy taking photos of those wall paintings, which I would be sharing on my website soon. By the time I finished taking phots I had just 5 minutes left for the bus to leave. No, I just cant be late and give a bad name to 1.2 billion Indians I coaxed myself as I ran towards a small departmental store nearby.  

I had a quick look at the eatables available. All seemed to be having meat of some sort or the other. I shrugged my shoulders and started moving towards the exit. Then a middle aged lady behand the counter said 'Hello'. Hello I replied back and told her Sorry, I was looking for something vegetarian to eat. 

Ah, no problem, I will give you a 'samosa' she said, without batting an eyelid.
My face brightened. I took the samosa paid for it, thanked the lady and ran towards the bus. 

And yes, the samosa was priced at 2 Canadain dollars, had a good stuffing of peas and potatoes and tasted good. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

'Rajma -Chawal at Bhopal railway station, India'- by K.J.S.Chatrath

I was at the Bhopal railway station in central India two nights back.  The train  was at 7.30 pm and I decided to have a quick dinner. The dish I ordered came after a few minutes of wait but was piping hot, in a clean tray and did not have a high dose of chillies. And yes, it looked colourfully pretty. All for Rs.50 only!

Rājmā is a popular Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in a thick gravy with many Indian whole spices and usually served with rice and roti. Although rajma bean is not of Indian origin, it is a part of regular diet in Northern India. The dish developed after the red kidney bean was brought to India from Mexico


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