Sarposh brings the true taste of Kashmir to Bengaluru with its array of trami, tchot and kehwa
The restaurant, run by Azmat Ali Mir, is an introduction to the intricacies of Kashmiri cuisine
The city is home to a number of Kashmiri restaurants, but for Azmat Ali Mir, who moved to Bengaluru from Srinagar three years ago, nothing came close to what she grew up eating. “Being so far away from home, I wanted to stay connected to my roots in any way possible. So I hosted a Kashmiri dinner for friends and was quite disappointed by the food which I had ordered from a local Kashmiri restaurant,” says Azmat. She then organised a bigger event, and flew in chefs from Kashmir. The event turned out to be a success and it soon snowballed into something more permanent — a cloud kitchen. The cloud kitchen lasted a while but Azmat felt the need to take it one step higher and after numerous hiccups, opened Sarposh in September last year.
A peek into Sarposh’s menu is an introduction to a completely new cuisine. There are sections dedicated to tujje (Kashmiri barbecue), bread, rice, trami (thali-style platters) and chetyn (chutney), in addition to a host of curries, starters and teas. We sat down to a pre-plated meal for two — the Mini Traditional Trami. The meal began with Zafraan Kehwa, a saffron and almond-flavoured drink that is slightly sweetened. “Based on what you are served when you visit a Kashmiri home, you can tell how close or important you are to the family. The Zafraan Kehwa is usually served to special guests to make them feel welcome,” explains Azmat.
After the kehwa, we were presented with a serving of Zafraan Batte (saffron rice), Maaz Seekh Kebab (mutton seekh kebab) and Waza Kokur (chef ’s special chicken). The rice was fragrant, while the seekh was perfectly spiced. We also enjoyed the large portion of barbecued chicken, which was succulent. Then came an array of curries — Rista (pounded meat-balls in red gravy), Rogan Josh (the quintessential mutton curry), Marchwangan Korma (hot and spicy red chilli korma) and Gushtaba (pounded meatballs in a curd-and-mint-based gravy). The Rista is usually served dry, but Azmat felt the need to serve it in a gravy to suit local palates. Similar to the rogan josh, the sauce was smack with the flavour of mutton broth, and spiced with chilli and salt. The mutton in the rogan josh was tender and falling off the bone.
In a traditional wazwan, dishes have a specific order in which they are to be eaten. And so our mini wazwan followed this order too. We then sampled the Marchwangan Korma, a gravy that is as piquant as it is delicious. With our palates on fire, we then tucked into the Gushtaba, which was the perfect antidote. The lightly spiced and tangy curd-based curry features velvety hand-pounded meatballs and is flavoured with dried mint leaves sourced from Kashmir. We drew our lunch to a close with a portion of the Zafraan Firin or saffron phirni, a perfect end to the elaborate meal.
Azmat is clear about her goals for Sarposh. “It’s not about business for me. It’s about introducing people to authentic Kashmiri food and culture. I want people to feel like they are dining in my home,” she says, and we have to agree.
Rs.2,000++ for two. At Indiranagar