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Kashmiri Wazwan feast at Aloft

A Wazwan is a multi-course meal in the Kashmiri Muslim tradition and treated with great respect. Meat lovers won't find a better meal to gorge as almost all dishes are meat based. 

Nook, the fine dining venue at Aloft Cessna Business Park, Bangalore brings the flavours of the Kashmir Valley to Bangalore. Here's a photo tour...



The preparation is traditionally done by a vasta waza, or head chef. Aloft has flown in the globetrotting kashmiri chefs, Abdul Halem and Reyaz...


The first dish was Tabak Maaz, which is made with ribs of lamb simmered in yogurt till tender, then fried. I liked that the meat pieces were soft but still with a little chew in them...


Bohri fried mutton chops had a beautiful blend of spices and equally beautiful presentation...

Colorful chutneys...



Kashmiri chicken tikka...


My drink for the day was Hot Toddy, a mix of Brandy, honey and hot water. It was perfect for my sore throat...


Mutton Shammi kabab...


Mattar Galouti kabab made from ground green-peas...


Paneer tikka...


The dishes for the main course included Gogji Haak. This turnip dish remains my favorite...


Kashmiri naans, unlike other naans are stuffed with almonds, cashews and glazed cherries.The slightly crispy naans with the perfect char were good...


Gosht mirchi korma had the perfect balance of spices and the mutton pieces melt in the mouth...


Kashmiri Chicken pulao...


Tsaman Josh is an aromatic Paneer dish. This simple dish is cottage cheese cooked in a turmeric based gravy...


Murgh Dhaniwal is a Kashmiri chicken korma...


Tchoek vangun is a tart curry of eggplant...


Rawagan Gaad is a Kashmiri fish preparation...


And the desserts...A modified version of Kashmiri Shufta...


 Kashmiri Phirni is a cardamom flavored rice pudding...


Mirchi Ka Halwa was an interesting dessert with mild flavor of green chilies...


It is customary to serve Kahwah tea after the meal. Kahwah is a green tea made with saffron, spices, and almonds or walnuts.

Overall the feast deserves a rave from anyone who likes to eat. Overseen by superbly energetic staff, it was a nice experience. The festival is on till 24th of this month...


Birds at Hebbal lake

Last Sunday morning, I went to Hebbal lake, Bangalore for walk and bird watching. Here's a photo tour of the birds I found there...



The Asian koel is a member of the cuckoo order of birds. I found the female version of it. The Asian koel is a brood parasite, and lays its single egg in the nests of a variety of birds, including the jungle crow and house crow...




A Little egret was seen wading through water. They use a variety of methods to procure their food; they stalk their prey in shallow water, often running with raised wings or shuffling their feet to disturb small fish, or may stand still and wait to ambush prey.Little egrets are sociable birds and are often seen in small flocks. Nevertheless, individual birds do not tolerate others coming too close to their chosen feeding site, though this depends on the abundance of prey.


Some fallen leaves caught in a spider web...


A male Purple Rumped Sunbird was seen hopping around with great urgency sucking nectar.  It has been noted that they maintain special scratching posts, where they get rid of pollen and nectar sticking to their head. The shadow falling on its face made me try for a better shot.


Here's a better shot. When the flowers are too deep to probe, they sometimes pierce the base of the flower and rob the nectar, an action termed as "nectar theft" since the flower's primary purpose of attracting pollinators is foiled.


 Bougainvillea...


A Grey Heron standing motionless, waiting for prey to come within striking distance.



The sausage like fruits of Kigelia Pinnata, the Sausage tree. An alcoholic beverage similar to beer is also made from it. The fresh fruit is poisonous and strongly purgative; fruit are prepared for consumption by drying, roasting or fermentation.


The foul smelling flowers are borne on a long stalk which hangs from branches.


Bats are known to pollinate the large maroon flowers of the Sausage tree...



A Brahminy kite was seen gliding around lazily. It is primarily a scavenger, feeding mainly on dead fish and crabs. They may also indulge in kleptoparasitism and attempt to steal prey from other birds.




An adult female Shikra, which is a small bird of prey. Shikra was a favourite among falconers in India due to the ease with which it could be trained and was frequently used to procure food for the more prized falcons.


Bird details courtesy: Wikipedia

Bangalore flower show 2017


The bi-annual flower show at Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bangalore happens every January and August.  I visited the park on a day when a record was made for the highest footfalls ever.

Here are some flowers and critters I saw...



Talipot palm, which flowers once in a lifetime of 60 or 100 years, was in bloom...










































































































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