Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Muslim Kashmiri cuisine, the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Kashmiri Muslim culture and identity. Almost all the dishes are meat-based using lamb or chicken.It is popular throughout Kashmir, besides being served in India at major hotels and Restaurants. Wazwan is also served internationally at Kashmiri food festivals and reunions.
The ultimate formal banquet in Kashmir is the royal Wazwan. Of its thirty-six courses, between fifteen and thirty can be preparations of meat, cooked overnight by a master chef.
Guests are seated in groups of four and share the meal out of a large metal plate called the traem. For Kashmiri Muslims the meal begins with invoking the name of Allah and a ritual washing of hands in a basin called the Tash-t-naer, which is taken around by attendants. Then the traem arrive, heaped with rice, quartered by two seekh kababs and contains four pieces of methi korma (chicken or mutton flavored with a spice mixture containing dried fenugreek (methi) leaves), two tabak maaz (twice-cooked lamb ribs, initially braised with ground spices and milk, then browned in butter), one safed kokur (chicken with white sauce), one zafran kokur (chicken with saffron sauce), and the first few courses. Yogurt and chutney are served separately in small earthen pots. All the items ranging to about 20 items, are served thereafter by waza( the person who cook the meat). Seven dishes are a must for these occasions — tabakh maaz, rista (meatballs in a red, paprika-saffron-fennel spice gravy colored with alkanna tinctoria), rogan josh, daniwal korma (lamb roasted with yoghurt, spices and onion puree, topped with cilantro leaves), aab gosh (lamb chunks cooked with a fennel-based spice mixture, cardamom and partially evaporated milk), marchhwangan korma (chicken legs/thighs cooked in a spicy browned-onion sauce) and gushtaba (meatballs cooked in a spicy yoghurt gravy). The meal ends with the Gushtaba. Nowadays the count for serving the dishes has reached 40.
List of main dishes
- Maithi maaz
- Rista (meatballs in a fiery red gravy)
- Lahabi Kabab or Moachi Kabab (flattened mutton kababs cooked in yogurt)
- Waza Kokur (two halves or two full chicken cooked whole)
- Daeni Phoul (mutton dish)
- Doudha Ras (mutton cooked in sweet milk 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)
- Waza Palak (green spinach cooked with small pounced mutton balls known as Paliki Riste)
- Aab Gosh (lamb cooked in milk curry)
- Marchwangan Korma (an extremely spicy lamb preparation)
- Kabab (minced meat roasted on skewers over hot coals)
- Gushtaba (this is a velvety textured meatball in white yogurt gravy,a specialty)
- Yakh'n (delicately spiced yogurt curry)
- Ruwangan Chhaman (cheese squares with Tomato gravy)
- Dum Aelva (potatoes cooked in yogurt gravy)
- Muji Chetintin (a sharp radish and walnut chutney)
- Phirni (a milk pudding thickened with semolina or ground rice, flavord with cardamom and optionally saffron, and set in individual bowls/cups with slivered nuts and varq-silver leaf)
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