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|This article is part of the series|
Kashmiri cuisine (Kashmiri: कॉशुर खयॊन / کأشُر کھٮ۪ن; Kashur khyon) is based on the ancient tradition of this area. The Rigveda mentions the meat eating traditions of this area. The ancient epic of Kashmir, namely the Nilmatapurana informs us that Kashmiris were heavy meat eaters. This habit persists in today's Kashmir.
The most notable ingredient in today's Kashmir cuisine is mutton, of which there are over 30 varieties. Also to be noted are Balti curries, popular in the United Kingdom for their exotic tastes, that have spread from the Baltistan region of Pakistani Administered Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine 
Kashmiri Pandit cuisine has had the earliest influence on Kashmiri cuisine. Beef is strictly forbidden in both Kashmiri Pandit and Kashmiri Muslim cuisines, in keeping with the age old Kashmiri tradition known as Kashmiriyat. The Nilamat Purana records that the Brahmins of Kashmir have always been heavy meat eaters (lamb, mutton). The two most important saints of Kashmir, Lalleshwari and Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali were vegetarians for spiritual reasons. Meat is cooked in Kashmiri Pandit festivals and forms an important part of Kashmiri Pandit identity. Some sample Kashmiri Pandit dishes include:
- Rogan Josh (lamb cooked in spicy red gravy)
- Yakhni (lamb cooked in curd based gravy)
- Matschgand (minced lamb meatballs in spicy red gravy)
- Qabargaah (Fried Rack of Lamb; The Kashmiri Muslims refer to this same exact dish as "Tabakh maaz")
- Kaanti (lamb pieces in red hot gravy, usually eaten as a snack and not part of the main course)
- Syoon Olav (Meat with Potatoes cooked in spicy gravy)
- Syoon Pulaav (Meat Pulao)
- Modur Pulaav (Sweet Pulao, usually as a dessert)
- Lyodoor Tschaman (Cottage Cheese cooked in creamy turmeric based gravy)
- Dum Oluv (Whole Potatoes cooked in spicy red gravy)
- Muj Gaad (Fish with Radish)
- Nadir-Waangan (lotus stems with Brinjal)
- Nadir-Haaq/Gogji/Monji (lotus stems cooked with Spinach or Radish)
- Raazma-Gogji (Kidney Beans with Turnip)
Tea drinking is a very important part of Kashmiri Pandit culture. Two of the most important types of tea that the Pandits drink are "Sheer Chai"(salted pink tea with almonds) and Kehwah(sweet green tea with almonds and cardamom). With tea, they often eat certain types of bread/bakery such as "Katlam" and "Kulcha" topped with Kashmiri Butter made from fresh milk.
Wazwan, a multi-course meal in the Kashmiri Muslim tradition, is treated with great respect. Its preparation is considered an art. Almost all the dishes are meat-based (lamb, chicken, fish).Beef is generally not prepared in the Srinagar region,but is popular among the other districts. It is considered a sacrilege to serve any dishes based around pulses or lentils during this feast. The traditional number of courses for the wazwan is thirty-six, though there can be fewer. The preparation is traditionally done by a vasta waza, or head chef, with the assistance of a court of wazas, or chefs.
Wazwan is regarded by the Kashmiri Muslims as a core element of their culture and identity. Guests are grouped into fours for the serving of the wazwan. The meal begins with a ritual washing of hands, as a jug and basin called the tash-t-nari are passed among the guests. A large serving dish piled high with heaps of rice, decorated and quartered by four seekh kababs, four pieces of meth maaz, two tabak maaz, sides of barbecued ribs, and one safed kokur, one zafrani kokur, along with other dishes. The meal is accompanied by yoghurt garnished with Kashmiri saffron, salads, Kashmiri pickles and dips. Kashmiri Wazwan is generally prepared in marriages and other special functions. The culinary art is learnt through heredity and is rarely passed to outside blood relations. That has made certain waza/cook families very prominent. The wazas remain in great demand during the marriage season (May - October). The essential Wazwan dishes include:
- Marcha-wangan korma
- Sheekh kabab: spicy ground lamb on skewers
- Gushtaab: Chopped lamb with spices cooked in oil, milk and curds
- maach kebab
Kashmiri beverages 
Noon Chai or Sheer Chai 
Kashmiris are heavy tea drinkers. The word "noon" in Kashmiri language means Salt. The most popular drink is a pinkish colored salted tea called "noon chai." It is made with green tea, milk, salt and bicarbonate of soda. The particular color of the tea is a result of its unique method of preparation and the addition of soda. The Kashmiri Pandits more commonly refer to this chai as "Sheer Chai."
Noon Chai or Sheer Chai is a common breakfast tea in Kashmiri households and is taken with breads like baqerkhani brought fresh from the Sufi, or bakers. Often, this tea is served in a large Samovars.
At marriage feasts, festivals, and religious places, it is customary to serve Kahwah, or Qahwah (originates from a 14th century Arab coffee, which, in turn, was named after an ancient beverage of the Sufis) - a green tea made with saffron, spices, and almonds or walnuts. Over 20 varieties of Kahwah are prepared in different households. Some people also put milk in kahwah (half milk + half kahwah). This chai is also known as "Maugal Chai" by some Kashmiri Pandits from the smaller villages of Kashmir.
See also 
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