Tabakmaaz to Dumaloo: J&K Govt explores gastronomic route to lure tourists back to Kashmir
Srinagar: Come relish the mouthwatering Kashmiri ‘wazwan’ in the company of tulips with foot-tapping music playing in the background.
This is a perfect setting for the two-day food festival being organized at Asia’s biggest Tulip garden next month. Curated by Celebrity chef Sanjay Raina, more than 2000 guests will attend the festival on inaugural day.
“Tulip festival will be inaugurated on April 3. On the sidelines, there will be a cuisine and handcrafts festival. We will have both Muslim and Pandit cuisine. We will have main seven dishes of wazwan and seven dishes of Pandit cuisine. The highlight of Pandit cuisine will be Dumaloo,” Chef Sanjay told The Kashmir Monitor.
After a gap of two years, Jammu and Kashmir government reopened Asia’s biggest tulip garden on March 25. Spread over 600 kanals (20 kanals form one hectare) of land, the tulip cultivation has been done on 200 kanals of the garden area.
Located in the foothills of the Zabarwan hills, the Tulip garden has been the biggest draw for the tourists since it was opened in 2007. More than 1.5 million tulips have bloomed in the garden this year. Last year the floriculture department had planted 13 lakh tulips bulbs, which was one lakh more than 2019.
More than 15 chefs from Kashmir and outside would be preparing the dishes in the garden. There will be two types of seating arrangements. Those people, who’d like to have wazwan in traditional settings, will be served the food on dastarkhawn (dining spread). Other people can have food on round dining tables inside the garden
“We expect more than 2000 guests on the first day. I will have a local team here. Plus four members of my team will be arriving from Delhi. Rates will not be high. These will be user-friendly. The basic idea is that more and more people should come and relish Kashmiri cuisine. I am thankful to JKTDC for doing a fabulous job in coordinating this festival,” Chef Sanjay said.
The highlight of the festival will be the live demonstration of Tabakmaaz and Trout. “I am trying to do live counter of Trout and Tabakmaaz. It will be the first time that I will be doing a live demonstration of Tabakmaaz to create a feel and aura. People can walk into the counter and take away the Tabakmaaz right way,” he said.