Situated on the foothills of Himalayan Mountains, Kashmir is referred as a paradise on this earth and is a major attraction for the tourists and the lovers of good food.
It is stated that the Valley of Kashmir was formerly a lake. This was drained by the great Rishi or sage, Kashyapa, son of Marichi, son of Brahma, by cutting the gap on the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-Mula). Cashmere is a variant spelling of Kashmir.
Kashmir is described as a valley and its origin is stated to be from the waters. 'Ka' means "water" and "Shimir" means "desiccate" or "dehydrate". Hence Kashmir stands from "a land desiccated from water". The secret of Kashmir's exotic recipes resulted from the migration of hundreds of skilled cooks from Samarkand to cater to the royal tongue. The descendants of these cooks gifted the Jammu and Kashmir state, the unsurpassable tradition of Wazwan, the delectable aromatic banquet of Kashmir. Wazwan consists of 36 course meal, essentially meat based prepared by Wazas (cooks) under the supervision of Vasta Waza, the Master Chef. Kashmir excels in the preparation of non-vegetarian cuisine mostly meat based dishes with herbs, spices, condiments and saffron. The main characteristic of Kashmir cuisine is the liberal dose of the expensive saffron or kesar, which is produced in the state. The use of Asafetida (hing) and curd is avoided by a majority of the section for religious reasons. Rice forms the staple food of Kashmir.