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Kashmir Cuisine

The Kashmir is not just a paradise for the Tourists only but also for the lovers of good food. The state offers a variety of exotic recipes bearing a distinct seal of the state. Secret behind the mind-blowing cuisine of the state lies in the books of history which speaks of the invasion of Kashmir by Timur in the 15th century AD. This resulted in the migration of hundreds of skilled cooks from Samarkand to cater to the royal tongue. The descendants of these cooks gifted the state the unsurpassable tradition of Wazwan, the delectable aromatic banquet of Kashmir. Wazwan consists of 36 course meal, essentially, meat based prepared by Wazas (cooks) under the supervision of Vasta Waza, the Master Chef.

Three different styles of cooking prevail in the state as Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims and Rajput follow their own traditions and proscriptions in cooking. Kashmiri Pandits refrain from the use of onions and garlic, while Muslims love mostly non-vegetarian varieties and avoid the use of asafoetida (hing) and curds. Variations in recipes can also be observed in the different regions of the state. Cooking pattern as seen in Ladakh differs to that Hindu Dogras. This is also due to change in locally produced crops.

Vegetarian Food Varieties of Kashmir:

1. Kashmiri Dum Aloo (Potato)
2. Haak- Kashmiri Spinach
3. Kashmiri Pulao
4. Zafrani Pulao (Saffron flavoured pulao, Indian recipe)

Wazwan, Wazwaan - Traditional Kashmir Cuisine

Wazwan, a multi-course meal ( 36 - course served on weddings and special occasions.) in the Kashmiri tradition, is treated with great respect. Its preparation is considered an art. Almost all the dishes are meat-based (lamb, chicken, beef). Wazwan is mostly restricted to the Muslims of Kashmir and they regard it as the pride of their culture and identity. It is popular throughout the country and served internationally too at Kashmiri food festivals

  • Rista (meatballs in a fiery red gravy)
  • Rogan Josh (tender lamb cooked with Kashmiri spices)
  • Tabak Maaz (ribs of lamb simmered in yogurt till tender, then fried, can be served as a snack/side-dish)
  • Daniwal Korma (a mutton curry with lots of coriander)
  • Aab Gosht (spicy lamb curry)
  • Marchwangan Korma (an extremely hot lamb preparation)
  • Kabab (minced meat roasted on skewers over hot coals)
  • Gushtaba (a velvety textured meatball in white yogurt gravy, a specialty)
  • Yakhni (delicately spiced yogurt curry)
  • Ruwangan Chaman (Cheese squares with Tomato gravy)
  • Dum Oluv (potatoes cooked in yogurt gravy)
  • Nadir Yakhn (lotus stem in a delicate yogurt sauce)
  • Hak(with nadir/vangan) (a local variety of greens)
  • Nadir Palak (lotus stem with spinach)
  • Mujh Chetin (a sharp radish and walnut chutney)
  • Phirni (a dessert of semolina thickened in milk set in earthenware cups with nuts and "varq"-silver leaf)


 

Kashmir Kehwa (Kehva) Herb Tea:
 

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons kashmiri green tea

  • 4 pinches saffron

  • 2 cardamoms, slightly crushed (elaichi)

  • 8 blanched almonds, chopped (badam)

  • 1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)

  • 2 cloves (laung)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey

     

Directions:

  • Boil 3 cups of water along with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and pour over the tea. Leave to infuse over a very low flame for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, dissolve saffron in a little water by rubbing it gently.

  • Strain the tea and add the saffron liquid together with almonds.

  • Sweeten if you like and serve hot.


     


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