Winning the hearts of tourists from all over the world, the delicious cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir has been influenced by the cooking styles of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. However the cuisine of the state has its own different taste. The local cuisine of the state, especially the Kashmir region has impressed many great personalities such as Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. Representing the rich culture of the state, the cuisine has a great flavor. The flavor of the cuisine comes from the aromatic spices used in them. During the festive season a wide variety of dishes are prepared, which are simply delectable.
Consisting of 36 different types of culinary delights, Wazhawan is the specialty of the state. The majority of dishes are non vegetarian. Some of the most delicious dishes of Wazhawan are tabakhmaz, rogan josh, rista, aabgosh, dhaniwal korma, marchingan korma and gushtaba. Polav, a special dish of Wazhawan is something that should not be missed. It is a sweet rice dish cooked in clarified butter and milk. Dry fruits and saffron are also added to it.
Most of the Kashmiri dishes involve the use of curd and asafoetida (hing). Saunf(aniseed), chillies, and dry ginger are the other important ingredients of the mouth-watering dishes of the state. Saffron is used liberally in the dishes. Dry fruits like almonds, raisins and walnuts are the important ingredients of the Kashmiri curries.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir are experts in making different types of rice. Rice is one of the most important dishes of their meals. Also try out 'saag', which is a green leafy vegetable, high in nutritive value. Lotus root is also used in many dishes.
A wide variety of vegetables are also a part of the cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir. Morel mushrooms (locally known as guhchi), a special ingredient, are normally only used during the festive season, as it is quite expensive. The aromatic tea of Kashmir is known as 'Kahava'. It is a special tea involving the use of spices. It is indeed really tasty, try it. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are also fond of fish. Some of the local snacks of the state are Sheermal, baquerkhani, tsot and tsochvoru.