Wazwan: Ceremony Meal or Colour Bomb?

Wazwan is a culinary art and can’t be separated from Kashmiri Culture. Though Wazwan is micro and macro nutrient rich, it also contains huge amounts of fats. In addition, the colour added to food can have a dramatic impact on the health of a person. The culinary art of Wazwan is handed down through heredity which is considered as an art and point of pride in Kashmiri culture. The cuisine ranges from 7-40 mutton dishes, chicken, vegetables and fruits with firni or halwa as dessert. The chief meat products of wazwan include Kebab, Rista, Tabak-maaz, Rogan-josh, Abgosh, Marchhawangan korma and Gushtaba. During wedding functions or other occasions, one Traemi(mutual platter) is served to four persons and contains 40,000 kcal (1580g of carbohydrates, 1150g proteins and 3120g fats). As it is shared by four members each one receives a total of 10,000 kcal. One of the delicacies Tabak Maaz 100g servings consists of 331Cal, 0% Carbohydrates, 83%, 29g Fat and 17% 13g of Protein.
Different colours are being added to Wazwan to make it delicious and colourful like ‘Sun yellow’, ‘Sun red’, ‘orange red’. The addition of these synthetic colours is very devastating as far as health of people is concerned. Most of the synthetic dyes become poisonous after extended use and causes problems like indigestion, liver disease, allergic reactions. Being an inextricable part of Kashmiri culture it is better to use some natural colouring agents like Annatto (Reddish or orange dye). One should avoid taking wazwan more often. Use of plant proteins to replace fat content meat products and the addition of natural antioxidants such as rosemary extract can reduce or eliminate its effect on health of a person.
(The author is pursuing Masters degree in Forestry at Faculty of Forestry S K University of Agriculture Sciences & Technology Kashmir -SKUAST-K Shalimar Srinagar. Views are her own)

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