Ethnic Food Of J&K’s Bhaderwah Adds Zing To Tourists’ Taste Buds, Helps Empower Local Women

Ethnic Food Of J&K’s Bhaderwah Adds Zing To Tourists’ Taste Buds, Helps Empower Local Women

BHADERWAH, Jan 9: Snowy destinations of Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah that are attracting visitors in droves are not only boosting the local economy but also acting as a catalyst to empower women from the area.
The snowy meadows of Guldanda on the Bhaderwah-Pathankot highway and the recently held ‘Vibrant Bhaderwah Winter Festival’, which witnessed unprecedented tourist footfall, are giving a new dimension to the local economy.
Local cuisine, including the GI-tagged rajma, sarson ka saag and makki ki roti (cornbread mustard greens), knoll khol pickle and shatloi (local noodles) have grown in popularity among the tourists.
Bhaderwah Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Bal Krishan said at least 20 women have set up food stalls at Guldanda, Qilla and New Bus Stand, serving ethnic Bhaderwahi food.
“For us, this is a new phenomenon and one of the major highlights of the festival is that for the first time women came out in such large numbers to showcase their culinary skills commercially, boosting entrepreneurship in an otherwise conservative society of the hilly Chenab region,” Krishan said.
Their culinary skills are not only getting admiration but also bringing brisk business. The newfound success and recognition is giving the women confidence to further strengthen their ventures.
“I never thought that I will start earning at this age by cooking sarson ka saag and makki ki roti but my grandson encouraged me to open a stall at Guldanda meadow. Surprisingly, it became an instant hit with the tourists,” Shakuntla Devi (67) of Bheja village said.
She said the newfound success is giving her confidence and self-respect, besides the appreciation of tourists.
“My husband is a cab driver on the Bhaderwah-Sarthal route but the road got closed after the November snowfall and we were struggling to make a living. The sudden rush of visitors has given a new lease of life to us,” said Anuradha Katal (32) Katyara village.
She has been serving the recently GI-tagged local rajma and rice and knoll-khol pickle to the visitors for the past month.
“The positive feedback from the customers has encouraged me to make cooking my permanent profession,” she said.
The tourists who have been converging in large numbers since the first snowfall on October 19 last year are also ecstatic and said their taste buds will remember the zing of ethnic Bhaderwahi food for a long time.
“After Guldanda, the local cuisine is the second best thing we will remember,” said Simran, a tourist from Uttar Pradesh. (Agencies)

Srinagar News

Srinagar News is one of the oldest newspaper in kashmir it was founded by Late Mehraj-ud-Din Wani Sahab in 1975.

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