With rice as its staple Kashmiri cuisine has seen its evolution over time. The history of Kashmir’s traditional cuisine, Wazwan, dates back to the last years of the 14th century when the Mongol ruler Timur invaded India in 1348 during the reign of Nasiruddin Muhammad of the Tughlaq dynasty.
The cooking style of Kashmiri Pandits who liked the extensive use of turmeric, curd and mustard oil with a deliberate neglect to garlic, onions and tomatoes got influenced by the Turkish, Persian and Afghan cuisine with the arrival of warrior Timur.
Once the Muslims arrived in Kashmir, they got mesmerized by the beauty of this paradise on earth. Kashmir is naturally gifted with the most fragrant and flavoring spices like saffron, Kashmiri red chillies, cockscomb, zirish, etc. Muslims gave an entirely new face to Kashmiri cuisine by bringing those rich spices into use. Muslims introduced saffron, dry fruits, Kashmiri red chillies, butter and clarified butter, and garlic and tomatoes to Kashmiri cuisine. Like Turkish, Persian and Afghan cuisine lamb became a relished food in the new Kashmiri cuisine.
Seven dishes are a must for these occasions – Rista, Rogan Josh, Tabak Maaz, Daniwal Korma, Aab Gosht, Marchwangan Korma and Gushtaba. The meal ends with “Kehwah”, an exclusive and fragrant variety of green tea.
The word ‘dhaniwal’ refers to coriander in the local Kashmiri language. However, unlike other korma dishes that have a rich creamy, nut-paste & yogurt based gravy, Dhaniwal korma is an exception. It is a light and mellow yogurt based curry that has been infused with the aromatic flavours of cloves and cardamoms.
For the Korma
Boil the 2½ litre water in a deep pan and add meat. Bring the water to a boil and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Remove scum from the surface of the boiling water. Drain the water and cool the meat. Keep aside.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with rice
Note: I added two chopped green chillies coz I wanted a little more heat in the korma.
Note: As for the amount of cooked yogurt, I prefer 3/4 (scant) cup since one whole cup made the curry too tangy for my family’s palate.