Lifestyle, Food Items

Wazwan – The Royal Delicacy Of Kashmir

Wazwan - The Royal Delicacy Of Kashmir

Think of a Kashmiri wedding and the first thing you envision is a big round plate surrounded by four people filled with varieties of non-veg delicacies. Yes, everybody imagines the same. That’s what we call ‘’Wazwan’’ A Kashmiri cuisine made up of up to 30+ mutton courses. From chopped to mashed and fried to grilled, it has everything you crave for. 

Prepared mainly from mutton, Kashmiri Wazwan is a must have in Kashmiri weddings, no matter how big or small the function is. To those who aren’t very familiar with Kashmiri language, ‘Waaza’ is the cook and ‘’Wan’’ means shop or a place particularly designated to something. The course is a combination of a maximum of thirty-six dishes. The number isn’t limited though. We, the Kashmiri people, are always in the process of showing our creativity with mutton and spices.

wazwaan trami
Source: Google

If we go by a famous Kashmiri saying ‘’Sati Sini Saal Karun’’ (Inviting on seven dishes) it gives a hint that the number of dishes in the beginning must have been seven or so. With the passage of time and increasing art of cooking, the number grew as high as thirty-six. The main dishes of the wazwan are Rista, Roganjosh, Kabab, TabakMaaz, Methimaaz, Marchwangan Korma and Goshtaba. Other dishes are equally important but these are the basics of the cuisine. 

The dishes are mainly prepared from lamb meat using large utensils and are cooked over woodfire. The teams of the chefs have approximately ten members in it and out of them one is the head chef called ‘Wouste”. Fried chicken is also a part of the cuisine. Interestingly, there’s  a separate dish for a separate part of the lamb e.g The ribs are specially kept for ‘’TabakMaaz’ while as the ‘Tail piece’ is spared for ‘’Aabgosh’’ Every dish has a separate taste and a separate recipe. Rista and Goshtaba are two dishes that make it different and a center of attraction for those who have just heard of Wazwan and never tasted it. They are made of chopped mutton and then wrapped in balls. They end up as mouth watering mutton balls. Similarly, TabakMaaz is made by frying the rib pieces on pure ghee. The dishes are cooked overnight by the team. 

preparations for Wazwaan
Source: Google
Head chef supervising wazwan preparations
Source: Google

It is served on a big plate called ‘Trami’ which is shared by four people. Some of the dishes are already placed on the Traami when it is served. After that, Waaza comes and serves the dishes one by one. It takes approximately thirty to forty minutes to complete the course. Like other dishes, Wazwan has extras as well. You are served with different chutneys, pickles, curd, Kashmiri Pullaw and soft drinks. These are in addition to the Wazwan dishes. An average plate has mutton weighing two and a half kilograms excluding chicken and cheese (Paneer) However, the weight varies from function to function depending upon the budget. Some vegetarian dishes are also served during the course. 

Source: Google

You might be wondering how on earth is it possible for a person to have this much at a time. Well, don’t worry, we don’t waste food. Separate bags are provided to the guests so that they can take along the dishes and have them at home with their family members. Over the time, many innovations have been brought in making the feast comfortable and convenient for the guests and hosts at the same time. 

Have you had Wazwan in a Traami yet? If not, make a Kashmiri friend today and ask him/her to invite you to his/her wedding. Many restaurants serve Wazwan in India and abroad but if you want to feel the real essence of it, have it in a traami with three of your friends and feel the difference.