Wazwan: Delicious Traditional Kashmiri Meal

| July 27 , 2015 , 11:04 IST
Picturesque houseboats on Dal Lake, refreshing Noon Chai (traditional tea beverage), few Kashmiri delicacies and snow capped mountains – a perfect holiday plan for a travel freak. But if you visit this beautiful place and come back without a taste of its extravagant Wazwan, your trip remains incomplete! To an outsider Kashmiri cuisine begins with Mutton Rogan Josh and ends with Khatte Baigan, but this is far from the truth. Traditional Kashmiri thali, Wazwan is known for its delicacy and elaborateness. It is one of the most important multi-course meals in Kashmiri cuisine and demands loads of preparations, substantial time and effort. Wazwan comprises around 36 dishes, including Rogan Josh, and is prepared on big family occasions like marriages. The head chef is known as VastaWaza, who does all the essential preparations. Out of 36 dishes, we bring you recipes of a few dishes.
Ghostaba A dish prepared with minced mutton balls cooked in curd and spices. Ingredients: 1 kg minced lamb (lamb + lamb fat), 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon ginger powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 2 teaspoons Kashmiri garam masala, 1/2 cup curd, 2 tablespoons ghee, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup khoya, 1 cup milk, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 4 cardamoms Method: Mix cayenne, fennel, ginger, coriander, and 1 teaspoon garam masala in minced lamb. Add little curd and ghee and make a smooth paste. Make balls out of the mixture and keep it aside. Now heat ghee in a pan, and add sugar, khoya, curd, garam masala and salt to taste. Once it is cooked, pour in the milk and add balls and simmer till the liquid evaporates and the balls are tender.
Tabak Maaz
Tabak Maaz This starter is prepared from juicy mutton pieces, simmered in yogurt and later fried and cooked in warm masalas with goodness of milk and saffron. Ingredients: 1 kg lamb ribs, 1/2 litre milk, 5-6 black cardamom, 5-6 green cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 2-3 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon roasted cumin, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 3-4 cloves, 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder, 2 teaspoons garam masala, pinch of asafoetida, ghee, oil and salt as needed Method: Mix milk, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, roasted cumin, cumin seeds, cloves, dry ginger powder, asafoetida, garam masala with ribs and a pinch of salt in a skillet. Bring to a boil and cook it on simmer. Once ribs are tender, remove them and in case if any liquid remains dry it out. Now, fry the ribs in hot oil and remove them to a warm platter.
Rista It is a delicious meatballs dish simmered in a spicy red gravy. Ingredients: 800 grams minced mutton, 2 teaspoons cardamom powder, salt to taste,1 teaspooon ginger powder, 2 teaspoons asafoetida, 3 to 4 teaspoons red chilli powder and moval extract Method: Take mince boneless mutton in a bowl add brown cardamom powder, salt to taste and 1 teaspoon ginger powder. Mix it well and make balls of about 3 inches diameter. Now, heat oil in a vessel add salt, asafoetida, red chilli powder and a glass of water. Stir it until it leaves the red colour. Now add around 8 glasses of water along with the rest of the spices and bring to a boil. Once it boils add meat balls one by one and let it boil for an hour. Add the moval extract and simmer for around 15 minutes. Best to serve with steamed rice.
Dhaniwal Korma
Daniwal Korma This main-course dish is made with lamb, which is cooked in yogurt based curry and topped with loads of coriander. Ingredients: 1 kilogram lamb leg, 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup desi ghee, 12 ½ cups water, 1/3 cup onion, 1 teaspoon garlic, 8 cardamoms, 4 cloves, ¼ teaspoon saffron, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 ½ teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 3 tablespoons chopped green coriander and salt to taste Method: Boil water in a pan, add meat and boil it. Blanch for around 2 to 3 minutes and later drain water. Cool meat and put it under cold running water. Put blanched meat in a pan and mix it with pure ghee, onion paste, yogurt, cloves, garlic, green cardamoms, salt, saffron, coriander powder and turmeric. Cook til ghee separates from the mixture. Add little water just make meat tender. Leave it with little water and sprinkle the black pepper powder and stir. Garnish it with coriander leaves before serving hot.
Nadir Yakhni
nadir Vegetarian dish cooked using lotus stem cooked in yogurt sauce with the flavour of cardamom and bay leaves. Ingredients: 500 grams lotus stem, 2 cups yogurt, 2-3 sliced onions, 2 tablespoons ghee, oil for frying, salt to taste, 6 cloves, 2 inch cinnamon stick, 6 cardamom, 3 black cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, 2 teaspoons Kashmiri mirch, 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder, 1 teaspoon fennel powder and 2 teaspoon pudina powder Method: Cut the edges of lotus stem and peel them. Now, cut them in small diagonal pieces. Soak them in water for some time. Add salt in water and boil the slices in it. Now, fry onion slices till it gets brown and later grind it with a little water. Whisk yogurt with half cup of water and strain. Boil strained yogurt stirring continuously, stop once it changes its colour. It will turn into yellow. Mix fennel and ginger powder with a little water and then add onion paste. Heat ghee and put some cinnamon and cloves, once they start crakling add onion mix, kashmiri mix and sauté. Add lotus stem and boil yogurt and sim gas after it gets boiled. Add shah jeera, salt and cardamom in the end, after lotus stem is completely cooked. It tastes best with naan and roti.

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