Snow-capped mountains with a river valley, the beauty of Kashmir is believed to be unmatched. I remember how I was mesmerized the first time I googled the images on the Internet. The scenic views took my breath away and I started dreaming of travelling to this beautiful part of our country but in vain. My father got caught up in some urgent work and we had to cancel our trip to Kashmir. As much as I was trying to act normal, deep inside, I was heartbroken. The foodie that I am, I was not only excited about the sightseeing experience but also about their food. 

The good part is that I did not give up and finally, (no I haven’t been able to travel to Kashmir yet) I dug out a place in Delhi to try Kashmiri food and guess what? I reserved it for my birthday lunch. Super thrilled to try out the Kashmiri fare, I did some research and then a glimpse of the menu at the restaurant and I knew what to order. 

While rice is staple in the valley, it is their hot curries which are to die for. What I observed was that yoghurt is used extensively in most curry bases and though chicken dishes are a hit, it is mutton that has an entirely separate fan base in the region. 

Here are some of the best mutton curries from this meaty cuisine that should definitely be on your bucket list. 

1. Mutton Yakhni 

A famous yoghurt curry of Kashmir, the succulent mutton pieces are dunked in a ginger and fennel seeds gravy that is light and not high on spices. The consistency of the curry is thin and soupy, making it perfect for steamed rice and roti. 

2. Gushtaba

The velvety lamb spheres are made from minced meat and thrown in a yoghurt gravy. The difference lies in the way the curry is spruced up with cardamom and cloves, making it a spicy affair. 

3. Mutton Rogan Josh 

Most popular and well-known from the Kashmiri fare, this mutton rogan josh is a hot red curry which is made from khada masalas (a mixture of spices) that lend it the fiery taste. 

4. Rista 

Cooked in mustard oil, the minced meat is rolled into meatballs and mixed with a light curry. Strong hints of cumin and cardamom find their way into the gravy. The meatballs are chewy yet very smooth. 

5. Kashmiri Aab Gosht 

The gosht aka mutton is tossed along with pepper and a brown onion paste which lends it a unique flavour. It is then that the milky gravy gives rise to an aromatic Aab Gosht. 

6. Kashmiri Koftas 

While you might confuse these for Rista or Gushtaba at first but one bite in and you will know the difference. These deep-fried mutton balls are made from minced meat and coated with an egg batter, binding them into koftas. Thrown into a red curry, the koftas tend to become moist while retaining some of the crispness. 

When there are such exotic dishes on the Kashmiri platter, why would you want to miss out on any, right?