Urban Food

Kashmiri Pandit Cusine – A Gastronomical Affair

Most of us associate Kashmiri food with the more popular Wazwan cuisine or the Kashmiri Muslim fare that is robust and does justice to the beauty and serenity of the region. But not many have been able to taste and relish the Kashmiri Pandit cuisine that comes from the Hindu homes in the valley. Just like the ‘Kashmiri Pandits’, their cuisine too is a blend of many cultures maintaining its unique taste and identity. Avid Urban Vaastu reader and homechef, Aditi Wanchoo shares her secret heirloom recipes that were taught by her mother and grandmother. Through the years, her culinary craftsmanship has developed in keeping with today’s tastes but she hasn’t forgeten the rich history that these recipes once come from.

Lyodur Tschaman or Kashmiri Paneer gravy is a popular aromatic and delicious dish


Paneer 150 gms (cubed)
Mustard oil 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida 1 tsp
Dry Ginger powder 1 tsp
Fennel powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Kashmiri red chilies 2
Whisked Curd 1/2 cup
Heavy Cream 1/2 cup
Black Peppercorns (coarsely ground) 1 tsp

How to make:
• In a wok add oil. Once the oil is hot, add hing, dry ginger powder, fennel powder, turmeric and red chillies.
• Cook for a couple of seconds and add the curd and paneer. Keep whisking it so that the curd does not curdle.
• Once it comes to boil add cream to it.
• Let it cook on a low flame for 10 minutes. You can add little water depending upon the Add black pepper and salt. Give it a stir and remove from flame.

Modur pulao is a Kashmiri Sweet Pulao prepared using dry fruits and nuts

Basmati Rice 1 Cup
Sugar 1 Cup
Ghee 4 tbsp
Bay leaves 3 nos
Cloves 3-4 nos
Cinnamon Stick 3 nos – 1 inch
Green Cardamom 10 nos
Black Peppercorns ½ tsp
Saffron Strands ¼ tsp
Chopped dates, Blanched almonds, cashews and raisins ¼ cup
Salt to taste
Water 3 cups

How to make:
• Wash rice thoroughly with water and soak for half an hour. Drain the water and set aside.
• In a small bowl, soak saffron with a tablespoon of water.
• In a small saucepan, add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add rice and cook for about 5 minutes. Ensure that the rice is only cooked 3/4th. Do not cook for long time
• Drain water from the rice and set aside.
• In a non-stick Kadai, heat ghee over medium flame. Once the ghee is hot, lower the flame and add cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom and peppercorns.
• Cook them until peppercorns clutter.
• Now, add sugar, ½ cup of water and cook until they dissolve completely. It should be in thick syrup consistency.
• Add the half cooked rice and give it a stir.
• Now add chopped dates, raisins, almonds and cashews to the rice. Soak dates and almonds in warm water for few minutes for chopping it without efforts.
• Combine them well and pour the saffron water on top of the rice.
• Cover the pan and cook rice over low flame for about 20 – 25 minutes until they are cooked well. Ensure to stir them occasionally to prevent it from being burnt at the bottom
• In case if you have added undercooked rice, add required amount of water. Ensure to check the consistency of the rice often to avoid overcooking




Ingredients Quantity
Iceberg lettuce 50 gm
Yellow pepper roasted 18 gm
Red pepper roasted 18 gm
Green zucchini roasted 10 gm
Yellow zucchini roasted 10 gm
Sun dried tomato 6 gm
Green olives 6 gms
Black olive 6 gms
parmesan shavings 10 gms
Pepper 2 gms
Salt to taste


Ingredients Quantity
“Egg mayonaise or
veg mayonnaise” 10 gm
Garlic 5 gm
Parmesan cheese 3 gm
Olive oil 2 ml

Garlic Cheese Mayonnaise

Use the blender to prepare the garlic cheese mayo dressing and keep aside. Roast or grill the peppers and zucchini keep it cold. Wash the iceberg lettuce in ice chilled water and break the lettuce using hands and let it to dry. Slice the black, green olives and sundried tomatoes. In a mixing bowl add ice berg lettuce,peppers,zucchini,sundried tomatoes ,olives and gently toss finally drizzle garlic and cheese mayonnaise and present as per the picture specification. Serve garnished with parmesan shavings




Ingredients Quantity
medium eggplant,
diced into 1/2” pieces two no
kosher salt
extra-virgin olive oil, divided 2 tbsp
Freshly ground
black pepper
onion, chopped one no
bell peppers, cut
into 1/4” spears two no
bay leaf one no
tomato paste 1 tbsp
zuchhinins slices
into 1/4 coins two no
garlic clove crushed few 3 no
cheery tomato 2 .c
dried oregano
red pepper flakes
fresh basil
crusty baguette for serving

Place eggplant in a colander and toss with a big pinch of salt. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then pat the eggplant dry to remove excess moisture. In a Dutch oven (or a large pot), heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden all over, about 6 minutes, then remove the eggplant. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pot. Add onion, bell peppers and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and peppers are beginning to turn tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until it’s fragrant, about 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in zucchini and cook until tender, about 4 minutes more. Stir in garlic, cherry tomatoes and oregano.


Vegetable Lasagne


Ingredients Quantity
olive oil 1 tbsp
onion sliced 2 no
garlic cloves chopped 2 pcs
zuchnni dices 400 gms
aubergine slices 1 large
red yellow capsicum 2 no
chopped tomatoes 400 gms
tomato purée 2 tbsp
vegetable bouillon tsp
basil leaveas fews few
wholewheat lasagne sheets 6 no
vegetarian buffalo mozzarella, chopped 125g

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the onions and garlic for 5 mins, stirring frequently until softened. Tip in the courgettes, peppers, aubergine and tomatoes with the tomato puree, bouillon and chopped basil. Stir well, cover and cook for 5 mins. Don’t be tempted to add more liquid as plenty of moisture will come from the veg once they start cooking.
Put 4 slices of aubergine in the base of the slow cooker and top with 2 sheets of lasagne. Add a third of the ratatouille mixture, then 2 more lasagne sheets, then the remaining lasagne and veg mix. Cover and cook on High for 2½ – 3 hours until the pasta and vegetables are tender. Turn off the machine.
Scatter the mozzarella over the vegetables then cover and leave for 10 mins to settle and melt the cheese, Scatter with basil and serve with a handful of rocket.


Cajun Grilled Veggies


Ingredients Quantity
baby egg Plant 50 grm
Zuchhini 50 grm
Onion cubs 20 grm
Mushroom 30 grm
bell pepper 30 grm
cherry tomato 20 grm
Fresh pineapple  Cubs 50 grm
Salt T T
Olive Oil 30 ml
Cajun Spices 10 grm
Cajun  spices :-
Onion Powder 20 grm
oregano  dried 20 grm
dried Thyme 10 grm
white pepper powder  10 grm
celery seed 10 grm
garlic powder 20 grm
dried sweet Basil 20 grm
Black pepper powder 10 grm
cayenne Pepper  powder 10 grm
sweet Paprika Powder 50 grm

Mix all the dry powder and keep in Air tight jar

Honey  Lemon sauce
Lemon Juice 20 ml
Grated Lemon Peel
(Blanched) 10 grm
salt T T
Honey 100 ml
Butter 100 ml
Corn starch 10 grm
water 100 ml

Marinate all the vegetable with cajun Spices and skewers in Bamboo stick. Combine water and cornstarch; set aside. Blend remaining ingredients in saucepan; stir in water mixture. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture thickens.


Avacado cheese Taco Boats

Serves: 1-2
Prep time: 20 Minutes

100 gram organic chickpeas (soaked overnight and pressure cooked 3 whistles)
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1 cup grated cheese
Shredded carrot {one piece}
Sliced red onions {one medium}
Finally chopped lettuce {4-5 leaves}
and spring onions {three pieces}
1/3 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
5-6 taco shells

4 tbsp tahini
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic, smashed
2-3 tbsp cold water
Pink salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients for the dressing until smooth.
Combine all ingredients for the taco boats (except the tortillas) in a bowl and lightly mash, until everything is mixed together.
Scoop about 2 tbsp of the filling mixture into each tortilla, drizzle with tahini sauce and serve.

To make Tahini Sauce at home:
Roast a cup of white seasme seeds in a pan.
Allow it to cool. Grind well. Add a spoon of Olive oil & blend well. Set aside for 2 hours. Once done use the sauce as directed.