For years, they've tickled the tastebuds of the national capital's denizens. Now, for the first time, some of New Delhi's well-known food outlets have come together to cheer the people of Kashmir by serving their delicacies during the holy month of Ramzan - and that too late into the night. It's one more sign of peace returning to this troubled land.
From iftaar to sehri - the time during which Muslims are allowed to eat during Ramzan - there is much festivity in Kashmir Haat at Srinagar's Lal Chowk city centre, where food outlets like Karim's, Khan Chacha, Tunday Kebab and Hyderabad Sultan Biryani have put up stalls serving their authentic dishes to the people of Kashmir.
Surprisingly, the event attracts many patrons even after the sun sets. This is something unusual for the Kashmir Valley as earlier all business outlets were shut down 30 minutes before iftaar.
"We are receiving a huge response. People are coming here even late at night and that is surprising," Sheikh Samiullah, head of Loudbeetle - an event management company that has organised the event in collaboration with another company, The Wings, told IANS.
Akeel Hassan, executive director of The Wings, said the festival has also been started at other places in Srinagar.
"Since we are receiving very good response, we have started this festival at other places like Hazratbal and the old city," Akeel told IANS.
The brainchild of the Jammu and Kashmir ministry of tourism and culture, the main aim of the food carnival is to celebrate the night culture.
"This festival is a celebration with religious sanctity. Throughout the globe, Ramzan is celebrated with such festivals. So we decided to bring in the charm to the state," Zameer Qadri, a consultant with the ministry, told IANS.
"People come in during late evenings and offer prayers in gatherings. This way, we are celebrating Ramzan," he added.
Nithya Balaji aims to provide quick and delicious vegetarian recipes in her blog 'Nithu's kitchen'.know more