We all have that one Kashmiri friend who proudly proclaims the Kashmiri Wazwan as being the star attraction of the Kashmiri cuisine. This ultimate Kashmiri banquet, having thirty-six unique dishes, is so vital to the Kashmiri festivities that even dates are changed and postponed according to the availability of the special cook called Waza. Wazwan is considered an extremely generous gesture of hospitality.
The concept of eating with fork and knife is foreign to this Kashmiri feast, as people mostly prefer to eat with their bare hands. Wazwan is kind to non-vegetarian food lovers, as vegetarian dishes are minimal and can easily be counted on our fingertips. The Kashmiris have a unique fondness for their mutton, chicken, their chutneys, and even the famous Kashmiri tea called Kahva. Though we would love to list all 36, for starters, here are 10 dishes that come in the Wazwan.
1. Rista Curry
This famous red curry from Kashmir is vital to the Wazwan. It basically comprises of some Kashmiri meatballs, made from the meat from a lamb’s leg. These mutton balls are then flavoured and spiced in shallot gravy.
2. Lahabi Kebab
This kebab is usually made with minced lamb meat flavoured with some ginger, garlic, salt, and garam masala. Also known as Moachi Kebab, this appetizer can be served dry with a dip or with a tomato and yogurt curry!
3. Doudha Ras
Because why does Wazwan only mean tomato and spice? Here’s something nice. This succulent lamb curry is cooked in sweet milk- and minimally flavored with spices such as cardamom and cinnamon which makes it taste even sweeteer.
4. Safed Kokur
This tasty chicken-based specialty is made by splitting a full-chicken into two halves. The chickens are then cooked with ground cashew nut and poppy seed paste to give it a whitish look, and then garnished with coriander leaves.
5. Ruangan Chaman
This is a dish most North Indian households would relate to! Paneer is cubed and mixed with a thick tomato and milk-based gravy which is then flavoured with spices- including fennel seeds, garam masala, ginger powder and the likes.
6. Muji Chetin
Apart from the other chutneys such as walnut and apricot chutney, this is the one that is slightly different. This chutney is made by combining radish and yoghurt, and is uniquely spicy yet an integral part of the Wazwan cuisine.
7. Rogan Josh
Out of all the dishes, this is the one most people know of. Rogan means ‘oil’ and Josh means ‘intense heat’. What lends this tender lamb recipe a unique flavor is that there are no tomatoes in this dish. The unique flavor comes from the mawal or cockscomb flowers that are indigenous to Kashmir.
8. Waza Palak
Only the second vegetarian dish on this list, Waza Palak is simply spinach leaves cooked until soft and spiced in the typical Kashmiri way. And of course, there’s always an option to add spiced mutton balls to the dish!
This Kashmiri dish is a yogurt-based curry made mostly with chopped lotus stems. There is abundance of curd in the curry and the flavor is further enhanced with spices such as fennel seeds and cardamom. Lotus stems is also sometimes replaced with mutton meat.
The finale in the Wazwan which is served exclusively after everything else is done. These lamb meat dumplings are sweet and creamy in texture with a sumptuous curd-gravy. The specialty in this dish is that the meat is minced with the fat in order to make it even more delicious!
Experience the magic of the Kashmiri Wazwan and let us know what all dishes you tried and liked!