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Pahalgam, the cheese lovers’ paradise

Tourist town Pahalgam in Kashmir is adored for its beauty, serenity and the bustling markets but the picturesque town also offers surprise culinary delights that will leave food lovers in awe. For all the turophiles out there, Pahalgam is a must visit place. Home to a local cheese factory that creates traditional cheese Kalari from cow and goat’s milk, a variety of Himalayan cheese can be found in this scenic town. The pastoral nomadic communities rear the cattle and provide this milk to the locals, who in turn make the mozzarella-like Kalari.

Attracting tourists from around the world to sample this cheese and take back lots with them, there are unique varieties available. From walnut, cumin, mustard and black pepper to chilli, fenugreek, there are many types of ‘milk chapati’ or ‘maish krej’ available in Pahalgam. Combine this tasty item with the Kashmiri apples and the marvellous view, you definitely have a winner!

Asif Burza, managing director, WelcomHotel Pine and Peak, said, “For us at WelcomHotel Pine and Peak, preserving the Kashmiri culture is of prime importance and then imparting it to all our guests and patrons during their visit is a delight. Kalari, or Himalayan cheese, is a specialty here and the cheese factory has a charm that attracts tourists and also food connoisseurs. We organise special tours to the factory to give a tour to our guests, who are mostly awed by the making process of the cheese.”

Chef Anil Kumar said, “Our most famous dish is the Kalari Kulcha, it’s a cheese calzone in essence, except it’s a lot more. Kalari has a unique salty flavour that when eaten with vegetables, enhances the taste massively leaving you wanting more. It can be used in other dishes too and is a staple for all us Kashmiris.”

(Picture Courtesy : Himalyan Cheese)

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