Wazwan is a traditional multi-course feast from the Kashmir Valley in India. It is a grand meal that is served on special occasions such as weddings, festivals, and other important gatherings. The word “wazwan” is derived from two Kashmiri words: “waz” meaning “cook” and “wan” meaning “shop” or “place where something is made.”
The preparation of wazwan is an elaborate process that involves a team of skilled cooks, known as “wazas.” The wazas are highly respected in the Kashmiri community, and their expertise is passed down from generation to generation. The wazas use a variety of spices, herbs, and other ingredients to create a unique flavor profile that is synonymous with Kashmiri cuisine.
The wazwan is typically served on a large copper platter called a “trami.” The meal is eaten communally, with several people sharing the same trami. Traditionally, the diners sit on the floor and eat with their hands, although tables and chairs are becoming more common in modern times.
The wazwan consists of up to 36 dishes, although the number can vary depending on the occasion and the size of the gathering. The meal typically starts with a variety of appetizers, including “tabak maaz,” which is fried lamb ribs, and “rogan josh,” a spicy lamb dish. The main course usually includes several meat dishes, such as “goshtaba,” which are meatballs made from minced lamb, and “rizala,” which is a creamy lamb curry. There are also vegetarian options such as “nadru yakhni,” which is a yogurt-based curry made with lotus stem.
One of the most important dishes in the wazwan is “wazwan ki waz,” which is the centerpiece of the meal. It is a dish made from the shoulder of a lamb and is cooked with a variety of spices and herbs. The wazwan ki waz is considered to be the most important dish in the meal, and its preparation is a closely guarded secret among the wazas.
The wazwan also includes several rice dishes, such as “zafrani pulao,” which is a fragrant rice dish made with saffron, and “mutanjan,” which is a sweet rice dish made with sugar, nuts, and saffron. Bread is also an important part of the meal, and the wazas typically make several varieties, including “sheermal,” which is a sweet bread, and “kandar tchot,” which is a savory bread made with onions and spices.
The wazwan is typically served with a variety of chutneys and condiments, such as “chaman,” which is a type of paneer cheese, and “dum aloo,” which are small potatoes cooked in a spicy gravy. The meal is often accompanied by “noon chai,” which is a salty tea made with milk and various spices.
The wazwan is more than just a meal – it is a cultural tradition that has been passed down for generations. It is an expression of hospitality, community, and celebration. The preparation of the wazwan requires a great deal of time, effort, and skill, and it is considered an art form in Kashmiri culture. The wazwan is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of the Kashmir Valley, and it continues to be an important part of the region’s identity.
Despite its importance, the wazwan is facing several challenges in modern times. The rising cost of meat and other ingredients, as well as the increasing popularity of fast food and other Western-style dishes, have led to a decline in the demand for wazwan. Additionally,