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Wazwan – an extraordinary Culinary Tradition

Wazwan (1)

Wazwan – the rich culinary tradition of Kashmir – traces its roots back to the 14th Century. The Kashmir valley had always been a melting pot of ancient global influences… especially those emerging from Central Asia. These included culinary traditions; many names and nomenclatures used in Wazwan come from these ancient ties. For instance, the names of dishes like Goshtaba, Rista and Rogan Josh have Persian roots. The term Korma comes from Turkey. The word Kabab has Arabic origins.

The cross-pollination of culinary ideas that led to the evolution of Wazwan began in 1348 CE with the arrival of Timur from the Central Asian kingdom of Samarkand. Timur had planned an extended visit to Kashmir and he brought along a large team of artisans, craftsmen, builders… and cooks. These royal chefs from Samarkand were known as Waza – from which the name “Wazwan” is derived.

The royal chefs were absolutely dazzled when they arrived in Kashmir – dazzled by the variety of spices… the aromatic wonder of Basmati rice… and the fascinating qualities of a rich golden-yellow oil that they had never seen before – Mustard Oil. They recreated their recipes using these ingredients and created an interesting fusion of traditional Kashmiri dishes with Central Asian cooking methods. This marked the beginning of the cuisine that is now known as Wazwan.

Today, Wazwan is the food of celebration… the menu for festivities… the recipe for spreading happiness. And P Mark Mustard Oil takes special pride in having been a part of this exquisite culinary tradition… for more than eight decades.

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