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Traditional Kashmiri Cuisine
The history of modern Kashmiri cuisine can be traced back to the fifteenth century invasion of India by Timur, and the migration of 1700 skilled woodcarvers, weavers, architects, calligraphers and cooks from Samarkand to the valley of Kashmir. The descendants of these cooks, the Wazas, are the master chefs of Kashmir.
The ultimate formal banquet in Kashmir is the royal Wazwan. 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 and share the meal out of a large metal plate called the trami.
The meal begins with a ritual washing of hands at a basin called the tash-t-nari, which is taken around by attendants. Then the tramis arrive, heaped with rice, quartered by four seekh kababs and contains four pieces of methi korma, one tabak maaz, one safed murgh, one zafrani murgh, and the first few courses. Curd and chutney are served seperately in small earthen pots. As each trami is completed, it is removed, and a new one brought in, until the dinner has run its course. Seven dishes are a must for these occassions-- Rista, Rogan Josh, Tabak Maaz, Daniwal Korma, Aab Gosht, Marchwangan Korma and Gushtaba.