Kashmiri Bread in Bangalore you ask? Yes and gorgeous ones at that, all you need to do is head out to Orzuv Hub in Whitefield. And yes it is absolutely worth the drive.
I have always heard so much about Kashmiri bread. The charm of the Kashmiri kandur or bakarkhaniwala (bread baker) in every street, every corner of Kashmir. There have been times when I have read stories about them and transported in the gorgeous valley to buy one from the kandur and then sit with a cup of noon chai wrapped in a warm shawl bitting into the sweet nankhatai like kashmiri bread called Kulcha. Sounds so romantic isn’t it?
Who knew that I would and could find them right here in Bangalore? When Saina pinged me on whether I want to try a small family run cafe in Whitefield selling some Kashmiri bread, my answer was an obvious yes. Orzuv Hub, located on the Whitefileld main road in a plush old style green Bungalow is a hub for all things Kashmiri. It has a gorgeous store which sells handcrafted Kashmiri sarees, dresses which have been given a contemporary look and more.
Outside in the lawns is the seating area for the cafe. A place where your tastebuds come alive and transport you the beautiful valley. Heaven on earth like they call it. Saba Bhat from Bombay, a Kashmiri hailing from Bombay has put her heart and soul in setting this place up and it shows. The baking is all done in the traditional tandoor setup, the kandur being called from Kashmir to give you that authentic taste. As close as possible anyways.
The Kashmiri kulcha, more like a nankhatai to me, crisp and buttery is usually a morning bread served with the famous Kehwa. I was sold, it was like biting into comfort and familiarity in a new package. Excellent kahwa too.
The Lavassa, is closer to our naan yet so different. The delicate thin bread is perfect with some succulent kababs, pickled onions and OMG delicious Doon Chzetin (walnut chutney). The Doon Chzetin is almost like walnut butter, a bit of spice, a bit of bitterness and delicious all around.
The Kashmiri bread Girda needs to introduction, all of us have atleast heard of it if not tasted. Girda is a crusty, golden bread with delicate indentations made by hand, served with Harissa, a Kashmiri mutton dish, slow-cooked through the night and tempered with onions and butter. Another excellent combination for Girda is the Charwan, stir-fried lamb’s liver with tamarind. I had it with the charwan that day and absolutely loved the combination, though honestly I think girda is perfect by itself too with a slather of warm butter.
And I saved my favourite one for the last, I always used to do that as a child. Keep the best bite aside on the plate as my last bite. I think I am starting to do more and more of that with my blog posts too. Pushing my favourite things for the end. Czochworu – an exquisite, soft round bread sprinkled with sesame or poppy seeds. Chewy, dense and almost an Indian version of the bagel. I absolutely adored this one.
An afternoon bread that can be eaten with a smear of butter or dunked into your cup of salty nun chai. But you know what was my favourite way of eating it? As a sandwich ! Almost on a whim, while chatting and tasting stuff, I slathered the cut bread with butter. Spread some Doon Chzetin (walnut chutney) on it, added some mutton seekh, in went a few onions. And god I had my new favourite sandwich.
Saina and me joked around, that my recipe development skills were in action right now. I hear the Czochworu sandwich is making it to the menu soon.
Orzuv also offers the celebratory traami on weekends. A Kashmiri thali with slow-cooked, authentic delicacies, it includes kehwa, starters such as the tabakmaaz or kabargaah (fried lamb ribs), waaza kokkur and more. I cannot wait to try that but in the meanwhile, I continue to use Dunzo to get my favourite Kashmiri breads home.
For more information, check out Orzuv’s FB Page