Kalari cheese, not to miss in Pahalgam

This Traditional Kashmiri Cheese Is One of the Most Unique in the World. A traditionally ripened Himalayan cheese indigenous to the state, Kalari is made of cow or goat milk and has a stretchy and dense texture, with a mild mozzarella-like flavor. This cheese is also called the milk chapatti or maish krej in Kashmiri. The picturesque town of Pahalgam also offers surprise culinary delights that will leave food lovers in awe. For all the turophiles out there, Pahalgam is a must-visit destination.
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 rare the cattle and provide this milk to the locals, who in turn make the mozzarella-like Kalari. Kalari, or Himalayan cheese, is the specialty in Pahalgam and the cheese factory here attracts tourists and also food connoisseurs from across the globe. The founder, Chris Zandee from the Netherlands, and his manager Gulaam Hassan, have helped the Gujjars increase milk production and taught them how to maintain herd hygiene. This has helped raise the price of milk to respectable levels, economically empowering the shepherds who used to otherwise depend on loans to run their winter pantry.
The cheese comes in unique like walnut, cumin, mustard and black pepper, and chili to fenugreek. The other cheese dishes that are a must-try in Pahalgam are milk chapati or maish krej. One of the 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 flavor 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 Kashmiris.
Today, the main ingredient for making cheese – milk – is still available in plenty thanks to pastoralists like Gujjars and Bakarwals. They are the nomadic shepherds of the Kashmir valley who move their herds of dairy cattle and their own settlements up and down the mountains based on the changing seasons.