Discover the richness of Kashmiri cuisine with Wazwan, a 36-course culinary feast that blends exquisite influences and aromatic spices into a unique gastronomic experience.
Wazwan is a culinary extravaganza in Kashmiri cuisine, consisting of no less than 36 exquisite dishes. The preparation of this feast is considered an art form and a point of pride in the culture and identity of Kashmir. Although most dishes are meat-based (lamb, chicken, fish), Wazwan includes an exquisite selection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes designed to satisfy all palates.
Origins of Wazwan
The history of this Kashmiri culinary tradition, known as Wazwan, dates back to the late 14th century when the Mongol leader Tamerlane invaded India in 1348 during the reign of Muhammad Nasiruddin. This invasion brought the migration of weavers, woodcarvers, architects, calligraphers, and cooks from Samarkand to the Kashmir Valley. The descendants of these cooks came to be known as “waza,” the masters of Kashmiri cuisine.
Kashmiri cuisine is characterized by the masterful use of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and saffron, giving the dishes a distinctive flavor and aroma. Despite influences from Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asian cuisine, Kashmiri cuisine has carved out its own unique identity. Non-vegetarian dishes are considered a sign of lavish hospitality and are prevalent at official feasts. Typically, a typical Wazwan meal consists of no more than one or two vegetarian dishes.
What makes Kashmiri cuisine so special is the meticulous preparation and traditional presentation of these sumptuous meals, which comprise up to 36 dishes. Among them, seven typical dishes that are inseparable from the celebration: Tabakh Maaz, Rogan Josh, Rista, AAB gosh, korma dhaniwal, korma marchwagan, and ghustaba. Each one is a delightful symphony of flavors and aromas that evoke the rich culinary heritage of Kashmir. Additionally, the feast would not be complete without green tea, known as Kahwah, which is the perfect beverage to accompany these delights. Kashmiri cuisine is a true work of art, where tradition, flavor, and hospitality come together in an unforgettable feast.