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Here’s A Mouth Watering Guide To Kashmiri Wazwan That Will Make You Crave For It.

Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Kashmiri cuisine, usually served in a Trammi or traem. Mostly served during weddings, the very name is enough to bring aroma of your home town when you are outside the valley. Just say the word “Wazwan” in any Kashmiri home and there is not a single person who would not say “Aab ounthe mei, bathe taraem wathiha” (You made my mouth water wish someone could send me a Taraem).

  1. Wazwan is cooked in special nickel-plated copper vessels over simmering fires of wood, preferably from old fruit trees.
Wazwan fire wood
Wazwan being cooked in copper vessels

Photo credits : Babar Jeelani

2. Between fifteen and thirty preparations of meat are cooked overnight under the supervision of vaste waza (master chef). wazwan dishes

3. The red colour in kashmiri cuisine is usually derived from either the Kashmiri chillies or cockscomb flower called mawal. Kashmiri Cuisine use lots of dry fruit .

mawal cockscomb kashmir wazwan
Mawal Flower Source

4. It is in fact the availability of Waza that determines the marriage schedule in Kashmir.

5. Wazwan is not a simple meal. It’s a ceremony. Guests are seated in a group of 4 on a dastarkhwan or sheet, usually white in color and share the meal in a Traem.

wazwan dastarkhan
Four People having wazwan in a Trammi

6. It begins with washing of hands in a basin called the Tasht-è-naer or Tash Naer, which are taken around by attendants- either the waza or the close relatives join him in serving.

People wash hands in an arrangement called as “TASH NAER “

People wash hands in an arrangement called as “TASH NAER “

7. Tash is a copper vessel filled with water and naer, in which guests wash their hands.

Tash Naer
Tash on left and Naer on right Source

8. In case you happen to eat the wazwan with fork and knife, people will think there is something seriously wrong with your hands. So, DON’T ever use fork and knife or else you will be sarcastically called an angrez and people will think you are showing off. Eating with hand is like sone pe suhaga. 😛

9. Anyway, as this tash-t-nari is taken away, a ceremonious entry by attendants is made bearing Tramis/Traem.

distributing trammis wazwan

Source 

10. Trammi or traem is a large and beautifully engraved copper platter. Trammi is covered with sarposh (sought of lid, that keeps food warm).

Trammis covered with sarposh
Trammis covered with sarposh Source

Disclaimer: The following images maybe disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. Read at your own risk .

11. When the lid of trammi is removed, there is an aroma of different dishes that makes your stomach churn. A big paper tissue covers the entire ingredients of traem/trammi before you could finally catch glimpse of mouth watering wazwan.

trami wazwan sarposh

Source

12. A typical trami looks like this

Trammi KashmirMouth Watering Wazwan  in Trammi Source

13.  And consists of a heap of rice and the first few courses which include:-

A) Seekh kabab’s . Trammi is quartered by 2 long Seekh Kababs. They are cut in halves when served. Seekh Kababs are minced meat roasted on skewers over hot coal. Someone preferably eldest in tarami divides kabab equally among four.

kashmiri kabab

         kashmiri kabab kebab wazwan

 Source                              Source

kabab trami
And To The Trami Source

B) Tabak- maaz : Tabakh Maaz is a glossy meat made of lamb ribs that are cooked twice and then simmered in yogurt with spices till tender. It’s then fried thoroughly and served in dry form.

Tabakh maaz recipe

Tabakh Maaz Wazwan Kashmiri food
Tabkh Maaz Source

C) Daeni Phoul : It is a large mutton piece.

D) Waze kokur or waza chicken: Two halves or two whole chicken are cooked  and garnished with chopped coriander and melon seeds.

Waza kokur wazwan chicken
2 Kababs 2 Kokur pieces ,1 Dani Phol  and Methi Source

E) Kashmiri Methi : Underneath all these dishes, lies Methi.  It is a sort of stew usually made with lamb stomach and flavored with methi or fenugreek leaves. Don’t be a baby. It’s really good. There are 4 small divisions of methi .

Methi Kashmir wazwan
Four Small Divisions Of Methi

Source

13. What follows then are a number of dishes that are served by wazas .

A) Rista: Rista is a red colored Kashmiri Kofta  or meatballs in  red gravy. Four ristas are served to each Trammi .

rista kashmir wazwan       Ristas Kashmir wazwan

Source                                                                                                       Source

B) Roganjosh  or Red lamb: Rogan, means “oil or fat”  and Josh   means “intense heat”. Thus, Rogan Josh means made in oil at intense heat. This is a meat dish in which tender lamb is cooked with kashmiri spices. There are no tomatoes added to this traditional dish; not even to enhance color. The colour comes from mawal or cockscomb.

rogan josh wazwan
Rogan Josh Source

C) Daniwal Korma . The word ‘dhaniwal’ refers to coriander in the local Kashmiri language. Dhaniwal Korma is mutton korma cooked in a lot of coriander or dhaniya and yogurt based gravy .

daniwal korma wazwan kashmir
Daniwal Korma Source

D) Marchhwangan korma or Mirchi ka korma: Marchwangan means red chilly in kashmiri.  This dish as spicy as it sounds. Mutton korma is cooked with fiery hot Kashmiri chillies and spices.

Marchwangan Korma kashmir wazwa

Source

E) Lahabi Kabab or Moachi Kabab: Lahabi kabab is a diamond shaped kabab which is flattened and pounded meat cooked with spices, yogurt and coriander.

motchi kabab wazwan lahabi
Diamond Shaped Lahabi Kabab Source

F) Aab Gosh : Aab gosht is sheep ribs cooked in a milk based gravy and flavoured with green cardamoms and saffron. This is a mild dish with tender and juicy meat cooked in milk without any hot spices.

aab gosht wazwan kashmir
Aab Gosht Source

G) Palak Rista or Waza Palak – This is simply palak dish. Sometimes served alone; occasionally mixed with small pounced mutton rista balls.

waza palak rista wazwan

Source

H) Ruwangan Chhaman  or Tomato paneer or Waza chamman: Paneer(Cheese) is called Chhaman in Kashmiri. Paneer is simmered in tomato sauce, flavoured with spices and fennel seeds (cheese with Tomato gravy). Each tarami has one piece served by waza which is then equally distributed.

wazwan paneer chamman

Source

I) Dodhè Ras or Doodh Ras: Dodh means milk . Dodhè Ras is meat cooked in a sweet milk gravy. Each tarami is served a big single piece of Dodhè Ras maaz(meat).

J) Yakh’n or Yakhni: Yakhni is a popular mouth watering Kashmir dish. It is a yogurt based curry and is either made with lamb or lotus stems. It is prepared in curd along with spices and does not have turmeric or red chilli powder. Bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms and fennel seeds lend primary flavours to this curry. The difference between yakhni and Aab gosht is that Aab Gosht is made with milk instead of yogurt.

yakhni wazwan
Yakhni Source

K) Ghustaba: It is the finishing dish served in Wazwan. Before serving gushtaba, guests usually prefer to have fresh rice so that they can relish it with sumptuous gravy without mixing with flavours of other dishes. Gushtaba is a dish of minced velvety textured mutton balls cooked in curd and spices. It is similar to Rista, but cooked in aromatic yogurt based gravy (Yakhni) and larger in size. Traditionally, gushtaba is made with minced mutton and the lamb fat together. The mutton is hand-pounded, using a wooden hammer on a stone or wooden block.

Ghushtaba Wazwan Kashmir

Source

gushtaba wazwan kashmir

Source

In addition to above there are other dishes as well:

Haak: Letuce is popularly known as Haak in Kashmiri. It is the most popular vegetarian dish. Haak leaves are green in colour and look a lot like spinach. BUT THEY ARE NOT SPINACH. It is cooked in mustard oil and kashmiri chillies. There are varieties of it: monjji haak and wastè haak. Hakh is usually served on Mehndi Raat in weddings.

haak kashmiri wazwan
Haakh Source

PULAO : Kashmiri pulao is a very popular rice dish prepared with dry fruits and nuts. Kashmiri pulao, unlike normal pulao recipes is not spicy. Kashmiri Pulao is  mildly sweet royal pulao flavoured with saffron and aromatic spices.

kashmiri pulao wazwan

Source

Curd is usually served in an earthern pot. Salad, pickle and chutney are either served separately in small pots or in 1 plate.

Salad wazwan kashmir
Chutney And Salad

Source

Kashmiri plate chutney
Salad and chutneys served in copper plate Source

The various chutneys in Wazwaan are:

A) Doon Chetin or Walnut chutney  or akhroot Ki chutney: Doon is walnut in kashmiri . This chutney is made with walnuts, yogurt and chillies. Walnuts are found in abundance in Kashmir and no home kitchen is found without them.

Walnut chutney
Walnut chutney Source

b) Gande chetin or Onion chutney:  It is made with sliced onions which are soaked in vinegar and flavoured with dried mint leaves and red chilli powder. This chutney is very spicy .

Onion chutney gand chetin
Red chutney is Onion chutney

Source

C) Mesheid Al Chutney  Or pumpkin chutney  or Dodh Al ( Bottle Gourd in Yoghurt): Dodh Al is made with very simple ingredients such as Pumpkin, dates, cardamoms, dry nuts and dash of honey. This chutney brings a slight sweetness to the table of spicy food.

Masheid Al chutney wazwan kashmir

Source

D) Muji Chetin: Muji Chatin or Radish chutney or mooli ki chutney is made with radish and yoghurt . This chutney goes best with piping hot Kashmiri food. Radishes are very good for health and have a cooling effect on stomach

Wazwan ends with firni: Firni  or Phirni is cool creamy delicious dessert made of sooji and milk, garnished with dry fruits.

phirni firni kashmir

Source

Wazwan is like an art. Wazwan has become a yardstick for measuring one’s ability to cook. Any dish that turns out to be tasty is often compared to wazwan.

If you haven’t had wazwan, I suggest you to go for it ’cause you’re missing out on a reeeeaaaaaally delicious package. And, if you are a Kashmiri, well, SORRY for playing with your taste glands 😉

Video Kashmiri Wazwan

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