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9 Super Fresh Baked Breads to Buy From A Local Kandur In Kashmir

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Kashmir has a great culinary tradition of pairing tea with breads. Now these aren’t your run-of-the-mill bread slices but freshly baked breads. Every area has its own local Kandur, a baker from whom people buy freshly baked breads to go with their morning/evening Kehwa or Sheer Chai. Here are a few breads you MUST try when in Kashmir:

1. Bakarkhani

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This one is soft and flaky. It goes well with tea and even main course dishes like Rogan josh. Bakarkhani paired with Nadur Monj makes for another epic combo. Since it's prepared using a lot of ghee, it remains soft. Its texture is pretty much like a puff pastry, layered and crunchy. It's one of the most famous breads in Kashmir so you’ll find it any bakery, big or small.

2. Katlam

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Picture Credits: Matamaal Restaurant

Katlam, like Bakarkhani is also slightly flaky but the variety differs from Kandur to Kandur. Some make it thick and scone-like, while others prepare a thin and crispy variant which is softer to bite into than the previous one. Pro Tip - Apply some butter to one side for an even better experience.

3. Telvur

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Picture Credits: Adkuloo's Kitchen

Telvur is basically the Kashmiri version of a bagel, only smaller in size. It gets its name from til (sesame seeds) which is sprinkled on top of the bread. You can slather it with butter or just dunk it in a cup of Sheer Chai/ Noon Tea. Unlike the previous two breads, it's not flaky but extremely soft.

4. Chott/ Ghevchott

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Picture Credits: Simirthy Bhagarathy

A Chott has a distinct pattern as the Kandur presses the bread on top with his thumb multiple times. It's the size of a regular Naan and goes well with Kehwa. Ghevchott is just a chott made with extra ghee to give it a softer texture. It's served as a customary dish on special occasions like Ramadan and weddings to be eaten with the main course.

5. Kulcha

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Picture Credits: Kashmir Discoverer

These are Kashmir’s take on English scones. Tiny, round and crispy, these are paired with tea and are one of the most popular breads favoured by all. It has a crispy and crumbly texture, topped with some poppy seeds. Their salty taste makes them the perfect companion for Kehwa.

6. Sheermal

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Picture Credits: India Food Network

This has to be one of the most famous breads because it is available in several Indian cities like Hyderabad, Delhi and Lucknow. Prepared with Maida, it's slightly sweet and has a hint of cardamom. You can opt for the regular chai-bread combo or pair it up with some hot and juicy kebabs for a novel experience.

7. Kashmiri Biscuits

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Picture Credits: Matamaal Restaurant

Most of the bakeries have a fresh stack of these huge freshly baked cookies/biscuits in different flavours, chocolate being the best (duh!). Each biscuit is roughly the size of a palm and is dotted with sesame seeds. These are perhaps the only baked goodies from Kashmir that you can bring back home owing to their pretty good shelf life.

8. Girda

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Picture Credits: The Anantnag Diaries

The dough for making Girda is fermented for almost 10-12 hours to get the perfect texture. Like Chott, Girda too has slight depressions on its surface. But Girda is made with a mix of maida and wheat flour whereas Chott uses only Maida. The idea of winters in Kashmir sounds perfect with some Girda and Noon chai, sitting by the heat of a Kangri.

9. Lavasa

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Lavasa is available not just at the local Kandur’s shop but also street side shops along with Nadur Monj (lotus stem fritters) and Halwa. Some shops even sell it as a combo with kala channa. They are quite thin and usually savoured with Sheer Chai but a few shops also use it to wrap kebabs; similar to the wraps found in several cities.

So many varieties of breads have left us spoilt for choice! Which one will you pick?

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