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Restaurants & Bars

Authentic (I think) Kashmiri Food in West Caldwell NJ

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Authentic (I think) Kashmiri Food in West Caldwell NJ

Jonathan Sibley | Aug 8, 2002 05:54 PM

I finally got a chance to try Wazwan, in West Caldwell (691 Bloomfield Ave) today (about 4 miles west of Montclair).

I wouldn't expect authentic Indian cuisine in West Caldwell, but this is where a Kashmiri couple decided to open their restaurant (they already owned the space).

The owners are quite nice, and happy to talk about their food. I tasted the following (they were nice enough to give me some small tastes of dishes that I hadn't ordered):

Kabar Gah (Fried tender pieces of goat ribs garnished with spices)

Marchwangan-Korma (Tender pieces of goat cooked with tamarind and hot red pepper Kashmiri sauce)

Rogan Josh (Succulent pieces of lamb cooked in Kashmiri spice, red pepper sauce)

Koakur (Tender pieces of chicken cooked with an assortment of kashmiri spices)

Mixed Fresh Fruit Juice

Kahwa Mugal-Chai (Kashmiri Green Tea flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, and almonds)

The goat ribs were quite tender and fried until the spices on them were nicely browned). They are a bit boney (small bones), but if that doesn't bother you, they were quite tasty (nice taste of cinnamon, among other flavors). This definitely seemed like a "chowhoundy" dish to me, but you decide.

The goat with tamarind and hot red pepper sauce (most dishes can be made with either goat or lamb) was very tasty, but the goat was not tender. The chef said that it is supposed to be chewy, but I found it a bit too much so. The taste was quite nice, though, although a bit on the fiery side.

The Rogan Josh was really good. It is served in some other restaurants, but the chef said that "true" Rogan Josh is Kashmiri and is not prepared the way other restaurants prepare it.

The chicken was also really good, and the sauce seemed a bit milder and richer than the other two sauces.

The fruit juices are made fresh, and mine was a combination of watermelon, blueberry, and some other fruits.

The spiced green tea was also a nice change, and a nice way to end the meal. It had spices and almonds in it.

I forgot to check on the hours, but I believe they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, now, and may only serve dinner on Sundays (Lunch and Dinner the other days they are open). Their phone number is 973 226-3132.

This is a restaurant that would probably fit better in Montclair, but apparently many of their customers come from Montclair . They are near Passaic Avenue, so it looks like one could get there via 280, 80, or 46, as well.

So, if you want to try something a little different, here you are. I don't think you'll find a lot of other Kashmiri restaurants around. Not only is the food different from what one finds in other Indian restaurants, but it's tasty and the owners are nice.

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