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No other meal defines Kashmiri culture as Wazwan does. It is a sacred meal tradition prepared during weddings and special functions. This multi-course feast includes a wide range of dishes, from meats, rice, breads to desserts. Find all the details here on

History of Wazwan

It is believed that Wazwan came from Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. During the Uzbek Timur's invasion, chefs known as 'Waza' or 'Waz', migrated to Kashmir. So, this is how the term Wazwan originated. Through the ages, chefs have evolved their own style of food preparation. It now has influences of the Kashmiri Pandit cuisine along with Mughal cuisine. The use of extra yoghurt and turmeric is proof of this.

Preparation of Wazwan

Preparation of Wazwan is not like making a normal meal. After all, cooking thirty six courses requires dedication and passion! The 'Vasta Waza' or the head chef works with a team of expert chefs to prepare this elaborate fare. Interestingly, he does not share his culinary art with everybody. It remains a family secret. 

Days before the ceremony, planning and arrangements for Wazwan begins. The kitchen bustles with meal preparations. Wazas arrange for the rice, meat, vegetables and spices. Of the thirty six courses, the maximum consist of mutton, beef and chicken dishes. Mutton and beef, especially, take a long time to cook. They are simmered on low heat overnight until they become tender. Huge copper vessels are used for this.

Wazwan dishes include:

  • Seekh kebab
  • Methi korma
  • Tabak maaz
  • Safed murg
  • Zafrani murg
  • Sweet Rice Pulao
  • Dum alu
  • Rista
  • Nadir palak
  • Nadir yakhn
  • Chaman kaliya
  • Hak
  • Kashmiri kebab
  • Yakhni
  • Daniwal korma
  • Rogan josh
  • Marchwangan korma
  • Aab gosht
  • Gushtaba (last course)
  • Phirni (dessert)
  • Kahwah (tea)

Wazwan Tradition

Did you think Wazwan is just an elaborate course meal? It's much more than that. Sitting down to partake of this meal means getting an experience of ethnic Muslim culture. You will be seated cross legged on the floor in groups of four. After prayers, a waza will place a big utensil in the middle of the circle of four people. This big utensil is called the 'Tash-t-nari'. Each person washes his hands in a basin called the Tash-t-nari while the waza pours water from a jug. Then, huge plates of food called 'Trami' are brought in. According to Wazwan tradition, the trami must be empty before it is taken away. The first course consists of rice and five varieties of meat dishes. These meat dishes are seekh kebab, methi korma, tabak maaz, safed murg and zafrani murg. Salads, pickles, chutney and yoghurt are provided in small bowls. After the trami is cleared, the other dishes start coming in. They are rich, spicy and lip smacking.

After the extravagant main courses, it is time for dessert, and finally, tea. Dig into the sweet rice dessert - Phirni. Kahwah is a fitting finale for this gluttonous feast. This rich green tea is mixed with saffron, cardamom and almonds.

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