Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Kashmiri culture and identity. Almost all the dishes are meat-based using lamb or chicken with few vegetarian dishes. Kashmiri food is mild in taste and rich in flavor with high use of hot spices like cardamom, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and safron.
Some of the dishes you should taste when you are in Kashmir!
Rogan Josh, an aromatic lamb dish is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine. It was introduced in India with the coming of the Mughals. Robust with flavours of browned onions, various spices and yoghurt, it is a very healthy low-fat dish. Try it with rice or naan and you will yearn for more.
Yakhni or Yoghurt Lamb Curry
Yakhni is a world famous and an authentic Kashmiri delicacy, then you must taste. Yakhni is lamb cooked in yoghurt based gravy, flavoured with mawal flowers, black and green cardamoms, onion paste and dry mint leaves with aromatic fennel seeds. Have it with well cooked rice to enjoy the true flavour of this mouthwatering Kashmiri dish.
Seekh Kababs are minced meat roasted on skewers over hot coal. Someone preferably eldest in tarami divides kabab equally among four.
Tabakh Maaz is a glossy meat made of lamb ribs that are cooked twice and then simmered in yogurt with spices till tender. It’s then fried thoroughly and served in dry form.
It is a large mutton piece.
Waze kokur or waza chicken
wo halves or two whole chicken are cooked and garnished with chopped coriander and melon seeds.
Underneath all these dishes, lies Methi. It is a sort of stew usually made with lamb stomach and flavored with methi or fenugreek leaves. Don’t be a baby. It’s really good. There are 4 small divisions of methi .
Rista is a red colored Kashmiri Kofta or meatballs in red gravy. Four ristas are served to each Trammi.
Roganjosh or Red lamb
Rogan, means “oil or fat” and Josh means “intense heat”. Thus, Rogan Josh means made in oil at intense heat. This is a meat dish in which tender lamb is cooked with kashmiri spices. There are no tomatoes added to this traditional dish; not even to enhance color. The colour comes from mawal or cockscomb.
The word ‘dhaniwal’ refers to coriander in the local Kashmiri language. Dhaniwal Korma is mutton korma cooked in a lot of coriander or dhaniya and yogurt based gravy .
Marchhwangan korma or Mirchi ka korma
Marchwangan means red chilly in kashmiri. This dish as spicy as it sounds. Mutton korma is cooked with fiery hot Kashmiri chillies and spices.
Lahabi Kabab or Moachi Kabab
Lahabi kabab is a diamond shaped kabab which is flattened and pounded meat cooked with spices, yogurt and coriander.
Aab gosht is sheep ribs cooked in a milk based gravy and flavoured with green cardamoms and saffron. This is a mild dish with tender and juicy meat cooked in milk without any hot spices.
Palak Rista or Waza Palak
This is simply palak dish. Sometimes served alone; occasionally mixed with small pounced mutton rista balls.
Paneer(Cheese) is called Chhaman in Kashmiri. Paneer is simmered in tomato sauce, flavoured with spices and fennel seeds (cheese with Tomato gravy). Each tarami has one piece served by waza which is then equally distributed.
Dodhè Ras or Doodh Ras
Dodhè Ras is meat cooked in a sweet milk gravy. Each tarami is served a big single piece of Dodhè Ras maaz(meat).
Doon is walnut in kashmiri . This chutney is made with walnuts, yogurt and chillies. Walnuts are found in abundance in Kashmir and no home kitchen is found without them.
It is made with sliced onions which are soaked in vinegar and flavoured with dried mint leaves and red chilli powder. This chutney is very spicy .
While most of the Kashmiri cuisine dishes are non-vegetarian, there is something very special prepared with potatoes for the pure veggies. Dum Olav or Dum Aaloo, one of the most famous dishes of Kashmiri food. Dum Aaloo is cooked with yoghurt, ginger powder, fennel and other hot spices to give it a unique flavour and aroma. You can have it with chapatis or naan to get the most out of this all time favourite and popular Kashmiri cuisine dish.
Mutton is one of the major items used in the everyday food of the Kashmiri people and you can find almost 30 varieties of Mutton dishes in Kashmiri food. Among the many mutton dishes one of the most popular is Aab gosht. It can be made in two ways either Kashmiri or Iranian. The Kashmiri dish is made using milk and several spices including cardamom and black pepper. Yummy!
A traditional delicacy of Kashmir, Goshatba is minced mutton cooked in flavorful yogurt gravy and spices. This dish is prepared on royal occasions and it indeed has a royal taste and flavour which can tease you appetite to urge for more. Hence it is popularly known as a “dish for the Kings”. Don’t forget to try these delicious balls on your trip to the heavenly Kashmir!
Pulav is the name given to sweetened Kashmiri rice prepared using cinnamon, a little saffron, milk, ghee, sugar, cashew nuts, almonds, green cardamom among several other ingredients. This dish is sweet, flavored and healthy with saffron as a main spice which gives it beautiful colour and taste. And this saffron is also grown and in Kashmir itself. T
Lyodur Tschaman is cottage cheese cooked in creamy turmeric based gravy. One of the very few popular vegetarian dishes which are a part of Kashmiri cuisine, Lyodur Tshaman is cooked almost everyday in the Kashmiri households.
Wazwan ends with the Yaknhi which is the last dish, after that a final desert is served , Phirni is cool creamy delicious dessert made of sooji and milk, garnished with dry fruits.
Here are some facts about Kashmiri wazwan
Wazwan is a combination of many dishes, which is being cooked during marriage & other functions, a team of Waza’s (special shefs) prepare the food and serves to a huge gathering of guests. Marriage dates are fixes basis the availably of waza (Chef for wazwan) cooking.
Wazwan is cooked in special nickel-plated copper vessels over simmering fires of wood, preferably from old fruit trees.
Wazwan compromises of 20 to 30 dishes depends upon how many you want to prepare.
The red colour in kashmiri cuisine is usually derived from either the Kashmiri chillies or cockscomb flower called mawal. Kashmiri Cuisine use lots of dry fruit.
Wazwan is served by the team of waza’s and a group of 4 persons sit together and eat on a dastarkhwan or sheet, usually white in color and share the meal in a Traem (A big copper plate).
trammi is covered with the carved Sarposh, when served and placed between the 4 persons and removed, there is an aroma of different dishes that makes your stomach churn. A big paper tissue covers the entire ingredients of traem/trammi before you could finally catch glimpse of mouth watering wazwan.