I have been married to hubby for 46 years. He was born in the Kashmir valley which the Mughal emperor Jahangir called “Paradise on Earth.” Now it is disputed territory administered by three countries: India” ,Pakistan and the People’s Republic of China. In 1947 he fled from the beautifull valley as war broke out. He was then raised in Azad Kashmir until the age of 18 and then he came to the UK to study in 1961.
Kashmir is known for the Kashmiri saffron, which is very expensive. But, only a small quantity of it provides flavour to a dish. Walnuts and almonds are available throughout the year. Shah Zira, Kashmiri chillies and honey are the other items which are grown in Kashmir. During festive occasions, the Kashmiris serve a feast called Wazwan. The Wazwan consists of 36 meat dishes prepared specially by highly trained chefs and eaten together. The feast begins with the passing around of the Tash-t-Nari for guests to wash their hands, followed by the various delicacies served in large silver platters or thramis piled high with long grained rice crowned with Dum Kokur (chicken cooked in saffron scented yoghurt), Alu Bukhara Korma (mutton simmered in a splendid sauce of yogurt, almonds and plums) along with methi, Rogan Josh, Kebabs, vegetables, gushtaba, Tabak Maaz (crunchy rib chops), Seekh Kababs and chutneys. The dessert is usually phirni and Kahwah. Kahwah is the green tea, flavoured with saffron, cardamom and almonds.
A form of Wazwan is still performed on a slightly smaller scale within Asian communities here in the UK particularly on special occasions and when you need to impress guests lol.
I have the honour of family, near, far and wide to be called one of the best cooks in Kashmiri cooking. I find it time consuming to write recipes as I never measure ingredients in this type of cooking, it is all by instinct and years of practice. You will find from time to time I will be posting when I remember to write it down whilst cooking.
The reason I am explaining all this is because I want to introduce my readers to The Curry Guy who I admire very much for his great recipes. They are so close to the Kashmiri cuisine I cook that there is no point in me writing all mine down here. The one I will share with you here today is for Rogan Josh. The only difference in my recipe is that I would use mutton or lamb with fresh green chillies instead of red chili powder and a good pinch of saffron. I love goat however and it makes a change to see Dan include this in his recipe.
Brilliant for an Englishman with no direct links to Kashmir lol. check out his website and buy his e-book because one day he could be famous.