We were on our way to Gulmarg from Pahalgaum. As the cold and the child got better of us, we were running late but this was something which we could not afford to give a miss. Since the time we had been in Kashmir, we had seen and tasted the local breads which are called roti. A little bit of reading also made us very curious about the local breads and the bakeries. While we got the chance of meeting and interacting with one of the best bakery owners of Srinagar later, spending time at this bakery in a small village was worth the experience.
We were greeted by a young man and an elderly lady whom we later found out were mother and son. A small shop at a quiet village, the bakers were surprised to see a couple with a camera along with a 4 year old getting down from a car in the early morning hours. Perhaps not every day they find customers like this. Like all other localities that we have come across in our tour in the Kashmir Valley, they were warm, friendly and embraced tourists as their own guests.
In Kashmir a baker is known as Kandoor and the main kandoor here was Mehrajdeen. He is the head of family and the chief baker. We invaded the kitchen or the main bakery. The smell was just a condiment to that chilly morning. The uniqueness of the breads was they were soft and moist and there was nothing better than tasting them out straight out of oven. On an average, they produce and sell round about 200 breads everyday.
We spent a sigificant amount of time there and Tugga also wanted his own view of the Tandoor or the oven. When we were coming out, the elderly lady offered a fresh bread and a biscuit to Tugga.
We didn’t only experience a quaint village bakery but also met some warm hearted human beings.