Kashmiri Wazwan is a traditional multi-course feast that has its origins in the Kashmir Valley, a region situated in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. It is a significant aspect of Kashmiri cuisine and culture, and the meal is typically served on special occasions like weddings, religious festivals, and other important gatherings.
The Wazwan comprises of an elaborate menu consisting of up to 36 dishes, and it is typically served on a large plate called a trami. The meal is usually eaten with hands, and it is a communal affair where people sit together on the floor to enjoy the food.
The preparation of Wazwan is an intricate process, and it is usually carried out by a team of skilled chefs called Wazas. The Wazas have traditionally been a community of professional cooks, who have passed on their culinary skills from generation to generation. The Wazas are experts in preparing the different dishes that make up the Wazwan, and each of them has a specific role to play in the preparation of the feast.
Famous Dishes of Kashmir
The centerpiece of the Wazwan is usually the Rogan Josh, a lamb-based dish that is cooked in a rich and spicy tomato-based gravy. Other dishes that are commonly served as part of the Wazwan include Gushtaba, a meatball made with minced lamb and cooked in a yogurt-based gravy; Rista, a meatball made with minced lamb and cooked in a tomato-based gravy; and Tabak Maaz, a dish made with fried lamb ribs.
Apart from these meat-based dishes, the Wazwan also includes several vegetarian dishes like Nadru Yakhni, a dish made with lotus stems cooked in a yogurt-based gravy, and Dum Aloo, a dish made with potatoes cooked in a rich and creamy gravy.
How the food is served in Kashmir
The Wazwan is also known for its distinctive style of serving the food. The meal is usually served in a sequential manner, with each dish being brought out one by one. The Wazas serve the food to the guests, and they ensure that each guest is served in the same manner. The guests are expected to eat the food with their hands and to eat everything that is served to them.
In conclusion, the Kashmiri Wazwan is a unique culinary tradition that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Kashmir Valley. The feast is not just a meal but a communal celebration, and it is an essential part of the Kashmiri way of life. The Wazwan is a testament to the skills and expertise of the Wazas, who have dedicated their lives to the art of cooking. The Wazwan is not just a meal, but it is also a way of preserving and passing on the traditions of Kashmiri culture from one generation to the next.