Although the ultimate ceremonial feast in Kashmir is known as ‘wazwan’, the cuisine itself is known to be a blend of different unique styles - that of Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims, and the one influenced by the Mughals
Mention Kashmir and our minds would immediately get transported to enchanting valleys, snow-capped mountains, and cold winds, as we picture 'heaven on earth'. Besides its picturesque beauty and handicrafts, the Valley is also known for rich and aromatic cuisines.
The delicious and fragrant dishes of Kashmir are steeped in traditions, and have evolved through generations. While the lavish use of whole spices - like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves - adds warmth and comfort to Kashmiri curries, the extensive use of Kashmiri red chillies livens up its dishes like nothing else. People also use mustard oil, which adds a unique pungent flavour to the dishes, while desi ghee makes it richer. Curd also plays a major role in marinating kebabs and curries, adding depth to the dishes.
Although the ultimate ceremonial feast in Kashmir is known as ‘wazwan’, the cuisine itself is known to be a blend of different unique styles - that of Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims, and the one influenced by the Mughals. Wazwan is a combination of the word 'waz', which means chef, and 'wan' referring to an array of meat curries and other elaborate dishes. The feast consists of mostly meat-based dishes, and is a princely 36-course banquet, with about 15-34. Lamb meat is the highlight of the menu, comprising some of the popular dishes - including Gushtaba, Rogan Josh, Rista, Tabak Maas, Dhaniwal Korma, and Marchwangan Korma.
Mutton delicacies are a major part of Kashmiri cuisine, and if you are a fan of Kashmiri mutton delicacies, we’ve got you some of the best ones here.
1. Mutton Rogan Josh
One of the popular Kashmiri delicacies, and a signature dish at every Kashmiri restaurant, mutton rogan josh boasts a spicy and rich curry, where meat is cooked with onions, spices, and yoghurt. The generous use of Kashmiri red chillies lends a dramatic red colour to the curry, which is sure to impress every meat lover. Did you know rogan josh was originally brought to Kashmir by the Mughals?
Also known as goshtaba, it is basically tender meatballs cooked in milk-based gravy. It is said, gushtaba is served towards the end of the meal, before dessert, and is an integral part of Kashmiri wazwan. It is also known as ‘the dish of kings’ in the region.
3. Tabak Maas
One of the most popular snack dishes of Kashmir, tabak maaz is a lip-smacking dish. It is made using lamb ribs - which is cooked in milk, ghee, and a melange of spices - wrapped in gram flour batter, and fried until it turns golden. It is a popular delicacy across Indian and Pakistan.
Picture succulent meatballs simmered in a red spicy gravy, rista screams indulgence. And while it can be compared with gushtaba, it is the cooking style of the gravies that makes all the difference. A favourite item of wazwani cuisine, rista is perfect for your weekend brunch, intimate gathering, or dinner.
5. Dhaniwal Korma
Tender mutton pieces simmered in an earthy curry of warm spices including peppercorns and ginger powder, besides saffron, coriander, and yoghurt, Dhaniwal Korma is a lavish affair. Aren’t you slurping already?