Wazwan is Kashmir's most formal meal: a ritual serving before the
guest of all the food there is in the house. This taste of hospitality
must in turn be fully appreciated by the guest, for the wazwan is not a
simple meal but a ceremony. Hours of cooking and days of planning go into
the making and serving of a wazwan. Normally restricted to occasions of
celebration at homes, the wazwan experience includes table settings for
groups of four on the floor where choice dish after dish is served, each
aromatic with herbs and the fresh produce of the region.
First the Tash-t-Nari is passed around, and diners wash their hands from warm water in a samovar. The waza (chief cook) personally supervises each dish which comes out of his kitchen. even the ingredients for the meal have been hand-picked, and effort has ensured that each dish in this rich cuisine is one-of-a-kind. Choice delicacies such as Methi and Tabakmaaz, Roganjosh and Rista, and a variety of Kababs and vegetable preparations are served.
The meal concludes with the Gushtaba, a very exclusive dish, and one that is never refused, Phirni for dessert and a cup of Kahwah, the green tea flavored with saffron, cardamom and almonds, and the wazwan is over - a meal that is an experience in Kashmiri hospitality.