The state of Jammu and Kashmir is not just a paradise for the tourist but also for the lovers of good food. The state offers a variety of exotic recipes bearing a distinct seal of the state. Secret behind the mind-blowing cuisine of the state lies in the books of history which speaks of the invasion of Kashmir by Taimur in the 15th century AD. This resulted in the migration of hundreds of skilled cooks from Samarkand to cater to the royal tongue. The descendants of these cooks gifted the state the unsurpassable tradition of Wazwan, the delectable aromatic banquet of Kashmir. Wazwan consists of 36 course meal, essentially, meat based prepared by wazas (cooks) under the supervision of Vasta Waza, the master chef.
Various tribes and sections of society have added their own flavor to Kashmiri food. The style of preparation of Kashmiri Brahmins or Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims are radically different. Brahmins use generous quantities of curd along with asafetida and ginger in their food, excluding egg, onions and garlic. Muslims use onions, garlic and egg liberally in their food preparations. Saffron and Kashmiri chilies are common spices in the cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meat - Mutton (specially), fish and chicken are essential ingredients in Kashmiri food. Meat is prepared in a number of ways and is usually mixed with vegetables and spices such as cinnamon, saffron, cardamom, cloves and so on. The Brahmins and Muslims in Kashmir prepare similar meat dishes giving their own unique twist to them. Some of the popular Kashmiri meat preparations are:
  • Kashmiri Kebab
  • Rogan Josh
  • Rista
  • Jigar/Kaleyji
  • Methi Keema
  • Yakhni
  • Syun Alu
  • Kabargah
  • Marzwagan
  • Pasanda
  • Hak
Pure vegetarian dishes include dum-aloo - roasted potatoes in curd-based gravy, and chaman- fried paneer (cottage cheese), in a thick sauce. Potato, cottage cheese and a variety of vegetables are used to make interesting combinations of vegetarian Kashmiri food preparations. Both fresh and dried vegetables are used for cooking. These are some delicious vegetarian dishes from Jammu and Kashmir:
  • Hak
  • Rajmah
  • Ladyar Tsaman
  • Nadeir Yakhaen
Rice is a staple diet in Kashmir. It is grown in the lake shores and river banks. Popular rice preparations of Kashmir are:
  • Shree Pulao
  • Mutton Pulao
  • Tursh
  • Zarda
Kulcha is a popular bread made of wheat eaten in Kashmir.
Kashmiri desserts include gulab jamun, sevaiyaan, phirni and barfi among others.
Beverages are an integral part of Kashmiri culture and hospitality. Kashmiris welcome their guests with hot sheer tea and kahwah. They are made in special kettles known as samovars.

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07 March 2019
07 March 2019
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