After all this time since my last post about Wazwan, it is NOW that I have finally managed to extract a few "secret recipes" from my mom, considering that she learnt them from a renowned Waza , this was no mean feat, Whew! She just gave in inch by inch and then I made them over and over again till SHE was fully satisfied with the end result, now over the course of next few weeks I would be posting some VERY authentic recipes, so keep a lookout!
I would like to start with the basics - without which any attempts at authentic Kashmiri Cuisine will be futile, so let's acquaint ourselves with these basic ingredients and recipes-
1. DRY MINT LEAVES(pudina/pudn)- A herb used to lend a distinct aroma to certain dishes.
2. CINNAMON(dalchini)- This is actually the bark of the cassia tree which is often substituted for the real cinnamon, this however is more aromatic.
3.CLOVES(laung/roung)- These are dried flower buds and are used in most Indian Homes.
4.TURMERIC(haldi,lader)- This gives food that characteristic yellow colour, it is an orange-yellow rhizome.
5. CUMIN SEEDS(jeera/zur)-In some dishes the white variety is used and in some the black one, both are an integral part of Indian Cooking
6.BLACK CARDAMOM(bari elaichi/badaul)-A very different tasting cardamom from the green variety which has a lighter taste.
7.DRY FENUGREEK LEAVES(kasoori methi)- A special variety of methi which is very aromatic, hence the name- kasoori.
8.SAFFRON(zafran/kong)- The most expensive spice in the world, it is usually used mixed in milk.
9.DRY COCKSCOMB FLOWER(mawal)-This is specifically used in Kashmiri Cuisine and is indigenous to the region.
10. CORIANDER(dhaniya/dhaniwal)-A very important ingredient , the seeds as well as the green leaves are both used a lot.
11.DRY GINGER POWDER(sonth/shount)- This is obtained by drying fresh ginger and the taste is very different from the fresh one.
12. FENNEL SEEDS(saunf/badayna)
13. GREEN CARDAMOM(choti elaichi/eaul)- These are very aromatic and have a delicate flavor, most of the flavor is in the seeds.
17.TAMARIND(imli/tamar)-Highly acidic with a bitter-sweet taste.
18.SHALLOTS(praan)-These belong to the Onion family,but once they are cooked they are more easy to digest.
19.DRIED PLUMS(alubukhara/alubukhar)-These are available at any dry fruit shop, and can be used to make alubukhara koftas(mincemeat stuffed dried plums)
20.ZIRISH- These are small, dry berries indigenous to Kashmir
22. RED CHILLI PEPPER(lal mirch/marchwagan)
SOME BASIC KASHMIRI RECIPES-
Dry roast 1/2 kg dried Kashmiri red chillies, 25 gm black cardamom, 1/2 tbsp. black cumin seeds(shah jeera), 1/2 tbsp. green cardamom seeds, 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon powder, 1/2 tbsp dry ginger powder , cool and grind to a fine powder.
Take 125 gm shallots and 125 gm garlic and grind to a coarse paste, add to the above powder and shape into patty cakes with a hole in the middle , to pass a thin rope, dry cakes in the sun till no moisture is left
Take 2 tbsp. fresh garlic ,add 1/4 cup water ,let stand for 10 minutes ,strain and use as required.
Take about 1 cup yogurt and whisk, cook on high heat till mixture is thick and approx. half the original quantity and has changed colour, use as required
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