Kashmiri food can be the simple meal of a family or a 36 course wedding banquet called Wazawan. But it is always rich and redolent with the flavour oft he spices used – cinnamon, caramom, cloves, saffron, …
Mutton, chicken or fish are of prime importance in Kashmiri meal and everyday cooking often combines vegetable and meat in the same dish, as Mutton and turnips, chicken and spinach, fish and lotus roots. 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 tob e a sign of lavish hospitality. Sweets do not play an important role in Kashmiri cuisine. Instead Kahva or green tea is used to wash down a meal.
Wazawan is usually served at weddings and parties. The most cmmonly 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 ist rich red colour tot he generous use of Kashmiri chillies. Yakhni, a cream coloured preparation of delicate flavour, is made with curd as a base. Gushtaba, which ist he last item tob e 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-Aloo and chaman are the commonly served vegetarian dishes – to serve more than this would indicate an unseemly tendency on the part oft he host to economize.
Several restaurants in Srinagar serve Kashmiri wazawan on their menus.