redolent with the flavour of the spices used Ėcinnamon, cardamom,
cloves, saffron, etc. -- Kashmiri food can be the simple meal of a family,
or a 36-course wedding banquet called Wazawan. The staple
diet of every Kashmiri is rice, the most preferred being the dense,
slightly sticky grained Kashmir variety, which is prized in the Valley.
chicken or fish are of prime importance in Kashmiri meal and everyday
cooking often combines vegetable and meat in the same dish. Mutton and
turnips, chicken and spinach, fish and lotus root are also very popular
combinations. Pure vegetarian dishes include dum-aloo -
roasted potatoes in curd-based gravy, and chaman- fried paneer
(cottage cheese), in a thick sauce. Non-vegetarian dishes are considered
in Kashmir to be a sign of lavish hospitality and at a Wazwan or
banquet, not more than one or two vegetarian dishes are served. Sweets do
not play an important role in Kashmiri cuisine. Instead Kahva
or green tea is used to wash down a meal.
waza (cooks) preparing Wazawan
is usually served at weddings and parties. The most commonly served items
are rista (meat balls) made of finely pounded mutton and
cooked in a gravy; seekh kababs, tabak maz, or
flat pieces of meat cut from the ribs and fried till they acquire a crisp
crackling texture, roganjosh, which owes its rich red colour
to the generous use of Kashmiri chillies. Yakhni, a cream
coloured preparation of delicate flavour, is made with curd as a base. Gushtaba,
which is the last item to be served in a traditional wazawan,
are meatballs moulded from pounded mutton like large-sized Rista
but cooked in thick gravy of fresh curd base. Dam-Aaloo and chaman
are the commonly served vegetarian dishes - to serve more than this would
indicate an unseemly tendency on the part of the host to economize!
restaurants in Srinagar serve Kashmiri wazawan on their menus. Mughal
Durabar, Ahdoos and Grand, on the Residency Road, offer
authentic wazawan. Similarly, Broadway Hotel on Maulana Azad Hotel
arranges wazawan prepared by professionals.
items of wazawaan
better hotels in Srinagar have attached restaurants, generally serving
Indian, Continental and Kashmiri cuisine. Other restaurants are mainly
located on the Boulevard, Shervani (Residency) Road, Lambert Lane and Lal
Durbar and Ahdoos on Shervani Road, Ruby in Lambert
Lane and Juniper in Lal Chowk are well known for their Kashmiri
cuisine. Solace and Tao Cafe on Shervani Road and Shamyana
on the Boulevard are three known garden cafes. There are also several
restaurants offering Chinese cuisines such as J&K
TDCís Nun-Kun Restaurant near Nehru Park, Alka
Salka on Shervani Road and Lhasa on the Boulevard. Some
restaurants, both attached to hotels and independent, cater to the large
number of vegetarians who holiday in Kashmir. These are mainly located in
the Dalgate Kohna Khan area and on the Boulevard. Amira
Kadal and Dalgate have inexpensive eateries where
you can get simple, well cooked meals.
bakery shop in Srinagar
are a number of bakeries at Dalgate and Shervani Road. Some of them, in
addition to patties and pastries, serve Kashmiri breads like 'sheermal'
and 'baqerkhani', without which no Kashmiri breakfast is
complete. Kashmiris use a variety of breads seldom seen elsewhere.
and tsochvoru are small round
breads, topped with poppy and sesame seeds and traditionally washed down
with salt tea. Lavas is a cream coloured unleavened bread; baqerkhani
is the Kashmiri equivalent of rough puff pastry and kulcha
is a melt-in-the mouth variety of short-bread, sweet or savoury, topped
with poppy seeds.