If the beauty of Kashmir is a treat for the eyes, Kashmiri cuisine is a feast for the taste-buds!
The famous Kashmiri Wazwan, a must at weddings, is a delight that must be sampled. A multi-course meal in the Kashmiri Muslim tradition, it is treated with great respect and its preparation is no less than an art.
Most of the Kashmiri dishes include lamb, chicken and fish. And what a feast it is – the traditional number of courses for the wazwan is thirty-six! Of course, nowadays the number has reduced, as have the appetites!
Prepared traditionally by a vasta waza, or head chef, with the assistance of several wazas, guests are grouped into fours. After a ritual washing of hands, it’s time to tuck in. A large serving dish is piled high with rice, decorated and quartered by four seekh kabab, four pieces of meth maaz, two tabak maaz, sides of barbecued ribs, and one safed kokur, one zafrani kokur, along with other dishes. All this, accompanied by yoghurt garnished with Kashmiri saffron, salads, Kashmiri pickles and dips!
Kashmiri food is mild yet rich in flavour. It is spiced with cardamom, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and saffron. While Kashmiri cuisine is largely non-vegetarian, there are some tasty vegetarian options as well. Eager to sample the Zaeka-e-Kashmir – the famed Kashmiri cuisine? Here are some dishes to try…
A signature recipe of Kashmiri cuisine, it was introduced by the Moguls. Browned onions, various spices and yoghurt combine with mutton to create a flavourful dish, best eaten with rice or naan.
Yakhni Lamb Curry
Lamb cooked in yoghurt based gravy is a traditional favourite. This dish is flavoured with mawal flowers, black and green cardamom, onion paste and dry mint leaves with aromatic fennel seeds. Well-cooked rice is a good accompaniment to this lovely dish.
Also known as Dum Aaloo, this veggie delicacy is a fragrant and light preparation of whole baby potatoes cooked in thick yoghurt gravy, with ginger powder, fennel and other hot spices. Loaded with nuts and dry fruits, the flavour and aroma of this dish is special, indeed.
Minced meatballs cooked in spicy red gravy, it is difficult to practice restraint when faced with this delicious sample of Kashmiri cuisine. Mutton koftas are simmered in a base of red chilly, fennel, ginger, cardamom, cumin, asafoetida and bay leaf. Drizzled with desi ghee, the result is lip-smacking.
A special served at festivals, it combines fish cooked with radish or nadur. The flavours of fish and lotus stem combine to create a unique taste while hot spices and herbs add to its flavour and aroma.
This is yet another of the 30-odd mutton dishes that are popular in Kashmir. The Kashmiri version sees the cooked meat combined with thickened milk and a blend of several spices including black pepper, cardamom, mace, fennel and browned onion paste. Finger-licking good!
Minced mutton balls simmered in a flavourful gravy of yogurt and spices, this is a dish fit for kings. This traditional Kashmiri recipe would be prepared at royal events.
This sweetened Kashmiri rice is prepared using cinnamon, saffron, milk, ghee, sugar, cashew nuts, almonds, and green cardamom among other ingredients. The result is a dish so wonderful, it will leave you craving more! Book your Kashmir Tour package with Kesari Tours to experience amazing Kashmiri Cuisine.