Shah Matka Kulfi Seller, Saryabal
Shah Matka Kulfi Seller, Saryabal

 

Najwa Shabir    

SRINAGAR – In the heart of the bustling Saryabal market, tucked cosily among a long row of shops that sell a variety of merchandise ranging from garments to kitchen ware, lies a small shop which would usually go unnoticed if it wasn’t for its signature red cloth wrapped matka on the shop front.

The cold earthen matka full of fresh Kulfi immedi­ately brings a smile on the faces of the thirsty shop­pers and the smile only gets bigger as one begins to notice the proper and well-kept sitting space complete with a jug of water, something that stands quite in con­trast with the rest of the eateries found in the market. The bar counter style of seating not only allows one to enjoy a refreshing bowl of fresh kulfi without worry­ing about it dripping all over you or the pushing and the shoving that again is a norm in the area but also leaves enough room for your numerous shopping bags.

Although not massively sized, the ice-cream shop, which goes by the name SHAH (Hot & Cold) still offers enough room for about 10 people at a time. The owner, Shabir Ah­mad, who hails from downtown Srinagar, the land of some legendary matka kulfi makers , like Amma Buda of Bohori Kadal in downtown Srinagar, whose kulfi is remembered even today, greets you with a big smile on his face and happily allows you to inspect the matka to ensure everything is safe and clean even in the darkest crevices of the kulfi and ice filled pot. Once you are done placing your order, he expertly takes out a kulfi from the mould and carefully slits in two before placing it in a bowl and topping with cold noodles.

Sold for rupees 50 per bowl, the kulfi which is pre­pared by the owner at home, isn’t only refreshing on these hot summer days but nutritious too as it’s full of almonds, cashews and pistachios instead of the mere traces that we have grown accustomed to.

Malaie Wali Kulfi
Immediately after finishing your bowl of kulfi, you want to have one more and then another because the perfect taste of the kulfi keeps lingering on your tongue, making you keep wanting more and more.

Sold for rupees 50 per bowl, the kulfi which is pre­pared by the owner at home, isn’t only refreshing on these hot summer days but nutritious too as it’s full of almonds, cashews and pistachios instead of the mere traces that we have grown accustomed to.

The subtle saffron flavour combines well with the delicate flavours of the dry fruits and as you keep on enjoying the kulfi, you begin to get a a hint of cardamom flavour too. The sweetness of the kulfi is well comple­mented by the cold noodles. The balance of flavours is so well rounded that even as one is enjoying spoonfuls of the kulfi, one can’t help but feel sad about finishing it.

Immediately after finishing your bowl of kulfi, you want to have one more and then another because the perfect taste of the kulfi keeps lingering on your tongue, making you keep wanting more and more.

Even though the owner also sells biryani and chicken fry, the Matka kulfi is what attracts the maximum customers and what you need to be trying. Plus it is very rare to find a matka kulfi seller who will agree to do big orders of kulfi for your wedding or any other parties you have coming up in these hot summer months when ­nothing refreshes like an earthy expertly made matka kulfi.

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