- NL Sena
A trip down memory lane.
Has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted your plan to take that long trip? Is the ongoing lockdown making you crave going off-road? Fret not. If you can’t go to the highway, Rocky, Mayur, Prashant, and Abhinandan — the team behind shows like Highway On My Plate, Vital Stats of India, Jai Hind, and Rocky and Mayur's Food Xpress — will bring the highway to you!
So, here goes the newest offering from Newslaundry: Highway On My Podcast. The creators of the much loved TV travel show revisit their travels across India, sharing stories, anecdotes, trivia, and — for when the roads are open and inviting again — recommendations on food, culture, people, and much more.
In this episode of Highway On My Podcast, Rocky, Mayur, Abhinandan and Prashant reminisce about their travels through Jammu and Kashmir from back when Ladakh was a part of the erstwhile state.
The journey kicks off with a visit to a high altitude warfare training school to experience the harsh training that soldiers go through to survive the difficult terrains in Siachen and other high altitude posts. The gang talk about their visit to a winter training school in Gulmarg where Rocky was “rescued” in a mock operation by the army from a three-foot cavity of snow. Rocky says he survived his 3-5 minutes under the snow thanks to his “veins of steel and dashing good looks”.
They then move to Pahalgam, where they stay at a not-so-great hotel. However, they have a very special breakfast next to the gushing Lidder river, eating Lavasa, a type of Kashmiri bread, with hot tea in crisp sunlight. Jammu and Kashmir is the land of breads, Mayur says, and they bake 13 to 14 different kinds.
The group discusses how their search for an authentic Wazwan was unsatiated — right until Prashant had his first tryst with it at a Kashmiri wedding. Wazwan, Prashant explains, is a multi-course meal where four people share a huge plate of food and eat with their hands. As Rocky says, a typical Wazwan includes up to 25 dishes such as Zafrani Murg, Safed Murg, Methi Maas, Tabakh Maas.
Abhinandan describes the Khajuria hotel which, according to the whole gang, serves some of the best Rajma Chawal in the country. What makes it special is the dominance of ghee on the plate along with pomegranate chutney. Heading towards Srinagar, Abhinandan talks about the beautiful drive while Rocky talks about the famous Kashmir willow cricket bat that has helped him score runs over the years.
In Srinagar, Mayur describes the dingy Mir Bakery where he tried the delicious Czochwour, a traditional bagel-like bread. Elsewhere, Prashant sampled a goat-tail preparation with Girda bread. Rocky talks about the Khayyam Chowk in Srinagar, which is a bustling street by day and a barbecue hub by night.
Heading towards Ladakh, the group discuss a visit to a donkey sanctuary, the fine owner of the Upper Zing Zing Bar who provides food and shelter at minimal rates, the delicious mutton curry in Khosar, and Rocky’s tiff with a local. This and a lot more, only on Highway On My Plate.
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