Nischay Kaul has been working in the publications industry for many years now, but I uncovered his secret passion – cooking!
Nischay originates from Kashmir, the very scenic, highly disputed Northern-most part of India. Here Nischay gives us an introduction to Kashmiri cuisine, and how he’s managed to combine his passion for cooking with his career in publications.
…and he’s even shared his most treasured, authentic Kashmiri Rogan Josh recipe with us!
Give us a synopsis of your career in publications, and how you ended up creating the ‘Celebrity Chefs’ recipe book.
I have always been in the Media industry working for Gulf News, Expat Woman, Explorer and now with Media Republic. Food has always been my passion and cooking is something that I continue to do to de-stress. When I decided to join my ex-boss at Media Republic, our combined passion for food resulted in one of the most talked about ‘Celebrity Chefs’ recipe book last year showcasing signature dishes from some of the world’s most celebrated celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver, Nobu, Pierre Gagnaire, Vineet Bhatia & Ramzi Choueiri. You are a Kashmiri. Very few of us know much about Kashmiri cuisine. Give us an introduction.
Kashmiri cuisine is one of the most delectable and ancient cuisines in the world because of the many foreign influences. It is predominantly meat based and almost every part of the lamb is cooked, making up over 30 varieties of lamb dishes. There are 36 courses in a traditional ‘Wazwaan’ meal. Rice is the staple for Kashmiri community.
How does Kashmiri cooking differ from other Indian cuisines?
Most of the dishes are cooked in Mustard oil and along with Fennel powder in almost all dishes. The cooking style is slow braising and generally takes up a lot of time.
What is your favorite Kashmiri dish?
That would definitely have to be Goshtaba which is pounded lamb meat boiled to a thick paste and laced with fat and formed into balls for cooking in a yogurt sauce.
For a newbie in Kashmiri cuisine, what dishes would you recommend I try?
Kashmiri food is an acquired taste. To start with I would recommend Mutton Yakhni which is a yogurt based dish and easy on the palette.
What Kashmiri dishes do you specialize in?
Mutton Rogan Josh & Kabargah. This time I have shared the authentic recipe for the Rogan Josh and will also share the recipe for Kabargah soon.
Kashmiri Mutton Roganjosh
- Mutton leg (1kg)
- Mustard oil (8 tbsp)
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Cloves (5 nos)
- 1 inch cinnamon (Whole)
- Cardamom (5 nos)
- Asefoetida (Hing) – pinch
- Kashmiri red chili powder – 2 tsp
- Yogurt – 1 tsp
- Ginger powder – 1 tsp
- Fennel powder – 4 tsp
- Salt to taste
Method: Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add cinnamon stick & cloves and sauté till fragrant. Then add mutton and cook until the water dries completely and mutton becomes slightly brown. This will take around 15-20 minutes. Keep stirring at regular intervals. Add sugar to give the mutton a red coating. Pound cardamom and add it along with a pinch of asefoetida. Then add red chili powder and yogurt and mix well. Sprinkle water to avoid the chili from burning. Then add ginger powder along with fennel powder and stir until mixed. Allow to cook for about a couple of minutes on medium flame. Lastly add a glass of water and pressure cook for about 4 whistles. Serve hot with rice or roti.
Are there any good Kashmiri restaurants you can recommend in Dubai?
The only place I’ve heard about is Le Wazwan on Jumeirah road, but haven’t tried the food there yet. Even back home in India it’s hard to find a good Kashmiri restaurant so I suggest find yourself a Kashmiri friend, visit his home and ask him/her to cook an authentic Kashmiri meal for you. Ok Nischay, we will be best buddies now J Thanks for this lovely post, and we will eagerly await your next post with the Kabargah recipe!