Kalari : A Unique Traditional Cheese of Jammu and Kashmir

Kalari cheese is a lesser known cheese in the world. It is produced in Jammu and is described to be as delicious as the mozzarella.

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Packaged Kalari Cheese. Image Source : himalayancheese.com
  • Jammu produces an indigenous type of cheese called Kalari
  • The raw material for Kalari is the milk that is mainly obtained from the Gujjars
  • Kalari is often described to be as delicious as the world renowned mozzarella cheese

Jammu is known all over the world because of the Vaishno Devi Temple. But what remains a mystery is how people are still not aware of the beautiful cuisine of Jammu. Not only cuisine, Jammu excels in dairy products due the vast expanse of pasture lands it has. In fact, Kalari cheese, an indigenous type of cheese made in Jammu is one of the delicacies of Jammu.

In olden days, it used to be made from raw milk fat. There used to be a vigorous process of preparing the cheese. It is so delicious that it is often termed as the mozzarella cheese of Jammu. Cheese markets and producers are widely familiar with this brand of Indian cheese.

The famous Kalari Kulcha. Image Source : traveltriangle.com
The famous Kalari Kulcha. Image Source : traveltriangle.com

The betterindia.com article said, in Jammu, kalari is used to make snacks as well. Fried in the fat, it is garnished with spices and served hot. While the exterior has a crunch taste, inside it is soft and gooey. The Kalari Kulcha is a street snack which is highly in demand in Jammu.

The traditional Gujjar people. Image Source : justconservation.org
The traditional Gujjar people. Image Source : justconservation.org

Today, the milk is still available in Jammu owing to the great number of nomadic farmers who have cattle and whose livelihoods depend on upon cattle dairy. In Kashmir, there is a place called Pahalgam which is the home to a small Himalayan Cheese factory. There, every possible kind of Kalari and Gouda cheese are found. The founder, Chris Zandee and his manager help the Gujjars or the nomadic cattle raisers to increase the milk production, mentioned the betterindia.com report.

So, next time you are in Jammu and Kashmir, do not forget to try out this exotic Indian cheese!




-prepared by Atreyee Sengupta, an intern at NewsGram.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Kalari is unique to Jammu and Kashmir. It is usually made of Cow’s and buffalo’s milk but Kalari made of Goat’s milk is also available.