WELCOME TO KASHMIRI CUISINES
Kashmiri cuisine dates back to the 1500s when Taimur invaded India. Also, the cuisine had undergone major changes when migrant workers such as architects, calligraphers, woodcarvers, weavers and cooks from Samarkand entered Kashmir. Their descendents are the Wazas (cooks), and this is why they are so good at preparing wazawan. The wazawan is a formal banquet in Kashmir cuisine.
Being influenced by its neighbors, Kashmir has the best of both sides. In addition what it originally had as its own Kasmiri cuisine, Kashmir also has contributions from the East (India) and the West (Pakistan). Prior to partition, Kashmir also had a great deal of influence in its cuisine. However, there is a slight difference in the meals consumed in the Indian territory and those that are independent. This is because of the differences in beliefs. Mutton, chicken and fish are the major part of meals and preprations are their specialities. Aside from these foods that must be present in nearly all their meals, rice is another important one. In fact, rice is the Kashmiri staple diet.
Methodology of preparing dishes are important in Kashmiri Cuisine too, the same rules apply.
Kashmir’s have their own means of preparing foods, and one of their important methods employed includes seasoning and marinating meat.
This is an important step, and the period for marinating and seasoning depends on the type of texture and taste you want your cooked food to develop.
Many of the methods of preparation, such as marinating meat have come from India.
The use of spices to season and marinate meats especially is from India.
Also, the introduction of certain spices in the marinating process is important too. The use of herbs is also important in preparation.
When meats such as mutton are marinated or seasoned they produced the best taste for Kashmiri dishes. This method also allows the meat to soften, and sometimes this method is employed to overnight cooking.
WAZAWAN preparation is the formal method, and believed to be one of the best as well.
Much of the 36-course meal is cooked after being seasoned and marinated. This is due to the fact that much of the meal contains chicken, mutton and even fish.
As an example, one of the portions of this meal includes the RISTA, which means meatballs.
These are made of finely pounded mutton. These meatballs are cooked in gravy.
Also, SEEKH KABABS and TABAK MAZ that are cut from the rib portion and then fried are seasoned too.
In addition to the above-mentioned dishes being seasoned and marinated, there are others as well that are treated in the same way.
KABABS that are marinated over night may also be served the next day. Their taste improves over night, as the texture and taste of the mutton improve.
In Kashmiri cuisine, this main method cannot be ignored, and if these methods of preparation are not followed, the food produced will not have the same taste.
Festive times in Kashmir bring out the best of Kashmiri cuisine. In addition to the crisp vegetables, fresh fruits, and dry fruits, there is a range of delicious non-vegetarian food items.
Meat-based dishes take hours and hours of preparation. Some of them that are cooked in mustard oil or ghee are left to reach their best taste over a very slow fire. While this takes place, fennel, dry ginger, saffron and red chilies are added.
Generally, there are two ways of preparing dishes in Kashmir; the Pandit way and the Muslim way. However, both are interesting and have their own delicious tastes. This is why Kashmiri food has a wide variety to offer, and their methods of cooking have also been widened with experiences from both sides.
At festive times, you will find MUSH KALARI, which is a tribal cottage cheese cake. This is usually fried and served along with green pepper and salt.
There is also the TABAK MAAZ, it is a lamb spare ribs that are cooked in milk. These are also fried before being served.
Another real treat is KARELA YAQNO and HAQ, which are served throughout the year in Kashmir.
HAQ is actually whole greens cooked in clear mustard oil and water too.
GUSHTABA is supposed to be the last meal on a meal course. This is made of mutton that is pounded for several hours. It is then formed into balls and then mixed in yoghurt sauce, and cooked over a gentle flame.
Kashmiri restaurants offer you an elaborate variety of food. This includes dishes such as RISTA, KALIA, WAZA CHICKEN and KABABS.
RAJMAH SHALGAM, DAM ALOO, and CHUK WANGUN. This range includes some vegetables dishes as well for vegetarians.
Although there aren’t many vegetarians in Kashmir, this explains why meats are so commonly cooked and consumed.
Kashmiri cuisine is truly a delight with its wide range of foods both in Vegetarian & Non vegetarian.