Kashmir Cuisine – Wazwaan
The history of Kashmir’s traditional cuisine, Wazwan, dates back to the last years of the 14th century when the Mongol ruler Timur invaded India in 1348 during the reign of Nasiruddin Muhammad of the Tughlaq dynasty. As a result, there took place a migration of trained weavers, woodcarvers, architects, calligraphers and cooks from Samarkand to the Kashmir valley. The descendants of these cooks came to be known as “Wazas”, who are the master chefs of Kashmir. Throughout the history like its culture, Kashmir cuisine has stood high and unrivaled by any other state in India.
In fact, Kashmir is famous for its hospitality. A gourmet’s delight, Wazwan is the ultimate name in Kashmir banquet. This royal cuisine of Kashmir has been influenced by Iranian, Afghan and Central Asian styles of cooking, despite which it has been able to create an identity of its own. Many big names have shown their weakness for this aromatic cuisine. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, is said to have often extended his scheduled visits to the Kashmir Valley due to his weakness for the local cuisine.
What makes the Kashmir Cuisine special is the detailed preparation and traditional presentation of sumptuous meals, which comprises 36 courses. All this makes ‘wazwaan’ a spectacular and royal repast. Seven dishes typically form an inseparable part of the feast – ‘tabakh maaz, rogan josh, rista, aab gosh, dhaniwal korma, marchwagan korma and ghustaba. Firin and kahwah (green tea)’ conjure delicacies that are rich in taste and texture with mouth-watering aromas.