Wazwan refers to Kashmiri banquet; 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.
Moreover, Wazwan, a multi-course meal (36 - course served on weddings and special occasions.) in the Kashmiri tradition, is treated with great respect. Its preparation is considered an art. Almost all the dishes are meat-based (lamb, chicken, beef). Wazwan is mostly restricted to the Muslims of Kashmir and they regard it as the pride of their culture and identity. It is popular throughout the country and served internationally too at Kashmiri food festivals.
Of its thirty-six courses, between fifteen and thirty can be preparations of meat, cooked overnight by the master chef, Vasta Waza, and his retinue of Wazas. Guests are seated in groups of four (4) and share the meal out of a large metal plate called the Trami.
The meal begins with a ritual washing of hands as a jug and basin called the Tash-t-Nari which are passed among the guests. A large serving dish piled high with heaps of rice, decorated and quartered by four Seekh kababs, four pieces of Methi Korma, two Tabak Maaz, sides of barbecued ribs, one Safed Murg, one Zafrani Murg, along with other foods. Certain dishes that are considered a requirement for Wazwa include:
Rista - meat balls made of finely pounded mutton and cooked in a gravy
Tabak Maaz - flat pieces of meat cut from the ribs and fried till they acquire a crisp crackling texture
Gushtaba - 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.
Yakhni - a cream coloured prepaflavorration of delicate , is made with curd as a base.
Other dishes, such as Dum Kokur (chicken cooked in saffron scented yoghurt), Alu Bukhara Korma (mutton simmered in a splendid sauce of yogurt, almonds and plums are also served.
The meal ends with the Gushtaba. Every Kashmiri wishes to organize the royal Wazwan once in his life time for his near and dear ones.