kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

The Traditional Kalari Cheese of Jammu and Kashmir

Just like the incredible beauty of Jammu and Kashmir, the flavors of Kashmiri cuisines are also incredible in taste. Kashmiri cuisines are famous for its unique spices and flavors. Among various varieties of Kashmiri cuisines, there are also some famous snacks which make Kashmiris gather on the streets to have a bite of those delicacies.

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Kalari cheese is one of the favorite snacks of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Kalari is a dense cheese and is also called the mozzarella of Kashmir. Like mozzarella, it melts on heating and hardens on cooling. The flavor and taste of Kalari are just fingers licking well.

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

Folklore says Kalari is an authentic traditional cheese of the Dogra dynasty of Jammu and Kashmir. Kalari is indigenous to Ramnagar, a town in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir. As shepherds the Gujjar and Bakarwals are highly dependable on Milk, Kalari is popular among the Gujjar and Bakarwal community of Jammu and Kashmir. This cheese is also called “milk chapatti” or “maish krej” in Kashmiri.

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

Traditionally Kalari is made from Cow’s or Buffalo’s milk but nowadays people also made Kalaris from Goat’s milk, which is whitish in color. Preparation of Kalaris take hard labor and the nomadic women of Jammu and Kashmir have proved to be the best in this task.

Preparation of kalari cheese of Jammu and Kashmir is women power:

Yes, the women play the most important role in Kalari preparation. It is more like a skill that has been passed on among every Gujjar and Bakarwal women folk in Jammu and Kashmir from generation to generation.

Here is how the women of Jammu and Kashmir prepare Kalari:

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

How to cook Kalaris? It’s an art!

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

Cooking Kalari is not an easy task at all. Though you can get the raw Kalaris from a store but cooking Kalari is an art in itself. To cook this local delicacy of Jammu and Kashmir you have to master on Kalari. You might also have to take trials before you get the right taste, texture, and color of Kaladi cheese. A well-cooked Kalari is brownish and crispy from outside while creamy and soft from inside. Cooking Kalari might sound easy as it includes frying Kalari in oil and later flavoring it with salt but many fail to cook this local cheese of Kashmir.

Where will you find these yummy cheese?

The production of Kalaris mostly come from some of the remote hills of Jammu but these are available in every milk shop which cost INR 10-15 per piece.

kashmiri life | Kashmir Culture , food

Mostly these yummy cheese are eaten as a snack in Kashmir served with Kulchas (bread). Thus, Kalari Kulcha is one of the favorite dishes which people of Jammu and Kashmir are in love with. The lip-smacking Kalari Kulchas are sold in almost every street of Jammu region at a cost INR 40 or 50. Usually, people like to have these with a cup of tea. There are also Kalari cheeseburgers and sandwiches available at a cost between INR 50-100.In Jammu people also make a curry with it called “Kalari ki sabzi”.

This traditional Kashmiri Life cheese is unique and delicious in taste. Although it is called the “Mozzarella of Kashmir” but has the aroma and flavor to beat mozzarella any day.


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