Most notable is the use of mutton in Kashmiri cuisine – Wazwan – along side their dum aloo (a spicy dish of boiled potatoes) thus, the following recipe is a simplified “Lamb Rogan Josh” now so familiar in the west!
Roasted leg of lamb
Roast a leg of lamb and change pans half way through putting the fat in a plastic cup; let “the leg” rest and then cut all of the meat off before marinating it in a curry powder solution.
Fry up a chopped onion, then add the tomato puree and tinned tomatoes.
Heat up all of the mixture and add some boiled broccoli, spinach or another vegetable of your choice for nutrition – this avoids having to do a vegetable curry and tastes just fine!
Serve with rice, chutneys and a selection of breads when ready.
Kashmiri cuisine is based on the ancient meat eating tradition of this area of Asia and there are over 30 varieties of the ever so popular mutton used in Kashmiri recipes. Also to be noted are Balti curries that are now hugely in demand in the United Kingdom; their exotic taste and presentation comes from the Baltistan region of Pakistani administered Kashmir.
Beef is strictly forbidden in the Kashmir part of the Sub-continent in keeping with traditional Kashmiriyat hence making lamb so very well prepared and popular!
Wazwan is a multi-course meal from Kashmir’s Muslim community. Their ancient tradition or feasting is treated with great respect, especially in the preparation of food, which for many is considered artistic; most of the dishes are lamb, however, chicken or fish with a range of herbs and spices often complement the Wazwan.
Wazwan is a core element of the Kashmiri culture and identity like Thanksgiving is in America and guests are grouped into fours for the serving up of meals which begins with a ceremonial washing of hands, thus, a jug and basin is passed around the table to each and every person.
The serving dishes are very large and piled high with heaps of rice. Typically decorated and quartered by four kebabs, there are usually barbecued ribs along with many other dishes accompanied by yogurt and garnished with Kashmiri saffron, Kashmiri salads, Kashmiri pickles and dips of your choice.
Kashmiri Wazwan is for major family functions such as weddings and the culinary art is passed down through generations only of the same blood related families; it is very easy to see how the quintessential “Rogan Josh” has since become a popular fusion-food in the west and extremely delicious when done properly.
Nowadays, Kashmir’s worldwide export trade in wool has ceased due to shortages of the cashmere goat and increased competition from China, thus, this area is now more famous for silk-weaving in carpets and rugs though their curry dishes will always have a worldwide reputation.
Put some nuts, sesame seeds or any other “left overs” for that matter in the plastic cup with the excess fat from the lamb and refrigerate overnight – this will be lovely in the morning for the birds so they too can eat curry – even if it is for breakfast!