Lazeez-e-Kashmir, when Gluttony is no sin!

Kashmir has pristine natural beauty to offer us. Even people here are really loving and warm by heart. They truly believe in Atithi Devo Bhava. They go extra mile to see their guests are happy. I had my booking at a hotel in Lal Chowk and within two days got very friendly with the guy who was entrusted to look after to my needs. And after that he simply refused to allow me to stay in the hotel and took me to his house as an honoured guest. Faisal his name, he stays with his younger brother while his family is in some remote village in Pampore. He guided me to locales where no usual tourists visit, treating me to some great food and visiting different temples & mosques while updating me with the local history behind them.

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This article is all about Kashmir’s enticing offering, its food especially Wazwan! Faisal told me that he cannot let me leave Kashmir without treating me to authentic wazwan. It’s usually cooked during some special occasion like marriages. One served in restaurants are really not authentic ones, Faisal said. And I did get the chance!

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Wazwan is the most mouthwatering Kashmiri full-course meal, which makes you believe that Gluttony is no sin. And yes, it’s more than just food. It’s the pride and culture, a symbol of hospitality and is treated with great respect. Its preparation is considered an art. The course has some 30 odd dishes and of those 15-20 are all lamb & chicken preparations.

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Tash Naer, the basin provided to guests to wash hands before starting meal

Wazwan is regarded as the pride of Kashmiri culture and identity. Special cooks called Wazas prepare the full course and take lot of pride for the same. The wazas take up a good part of the night to cook the whole spread and then serve the guests themselves. First the guests are made to wash their hands in Tash Naer, the main course is commenced by the Waza bringing in ornate copper vessels called Traem or Trami, each of which contains enough quantity and variety of food to quench a hungry foodie. Seekh Kebabs, Tabakh maaz, Nudru (lotus stem), Safed Kokur (Chicken), Rogan Josh, Aab gosht, Rista, Methi Maaz (lamb), Methi korma and god knows what all. Can’t even recall the names! It seems like a never ending foodie journey! It’s when the waza brings in Gustaba, you know that’s the ending of the main course which could be way beyond 2hrs from when it’s started. The main course is followed by some absolutely unmissable desserts like Phirni, Halwa, and sweet beverages.

If you are a foodie, make sure not to miss this authentic Kashmiri foodie treat.

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Preparations on from Morning

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Traem or Trami ready to be served.

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And finally you sit down to have Wazwan in their traditional way, seated in groups of four around a communal plate called a Traem or Trami.

 

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6 thoughts on “Lazeez-e-Kashmir, when Gluttony is no sin!

  1. If not anything else, then for wazwan i have to visit kashmir again! Some of those individually we did have though.

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  2. This looks like an amazingly delicious spread, couldn’t stop drooling after reading this post 😉

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