In search of Kashmir’s nomadic delicacies

by | Jun 28, 2022 | World

Braaden Hamlet, Indian-administered Kashmir – The ringing of buffalo bells and the sound of children playing with the calves tell us we are finally nearing Braaden hamlet. A dog starts barking as we drew closer, alerting everyone that strangers had arrived.Braaden is not much more than 24 simple dwellings made of mud, stretched across a few hilltops within the Great Himalayas. Here is where the nomadic Gujjars come in the summer months, to pasture their livestock and to make and sell the delicious food we are after today.
We had come up from Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, driving about two hours to go through the congested markets of Anantnag and Bijbehara, then on through the weekend rush at Pahalgam, the valley’s most popular tourist destination known for its breathtaking scenery.
Abdul Razaq, head of the Bakarwal family, herds sheep close to his tent while his daughter watches, at Braaden [Sameer Mushtaq/Al Jazeera]
In Pahalgam, the Lidder river welcomes travellers cheerfully, revitalising souls and relieving travel fatigue. But we weren’t done travelling yet, we had to climb 2,414 metres (7,920 feet) above sea level to the Aru valley.
It was a beautiful drive, with the Lidder running alongside and the deep valleys studded with pine trees glittering like a bride’s lehenga. Nature seemed to be welcoming us too, on that single-lane road, as rain showered us sporadically, till we had to reach for our jackets, the swelterin …

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