GI Tag for Delicious Kaladi

Dr Banarsi Lal, Dr DD Dogra
It is a pride moment for all of us that Kaladi of Udhampur distt. of J&K got prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag. It will help to increase the income and employment among the families associated with Kaladi. GI will also help to export the Kaladi from Udhampur and future of many families especially the rural youths of the area can be secured.
A GI tag is a sign used on product that has a specific geographical origin and possesses qualities or reputation that are due to that origin. A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or manufactured product originating from a definite geographical territory. It conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin. Kaladi is a famous Dogra cuisine which is originated from Udhampur distt. of J&K. It is made after processing the milk and is the most relished street food snack among the ethnic Dogras. This dish was also relished by G20 delegates in Srinagar held recently in J&K.GI tagging in Kaladi will protect it from counterfeiters and unfair competition. It will help to increase its sales value.
Already many farmers are earning their livelihood through Kaladi making. Through generations, farmers of Ramnagar, Chenani and Panchari areas of Udhmapur distt. have nurtured this delicious milk product. Their expertise in Kaladi making has made this product popular. Recent GI tagging will help to take this product to national and international level and farmers of the area can fetch more returns. Kaladi is very attractive and is liked by all the sections of society. In fact Kaladi reflects and represent the essence of Dogra cuisine. It is also used in the various functions as something auspicious. By proper packaging and branding, it can open some new avenues of income and employment in the area.
Udhampur distt. of Union Territory of J&K is known for many exceptional things and Kaladi is one of them. This district is considered as the home of the world’s most unique cheeses, called as the Kaladi. Kaladi was traditionally made from raw full fat milk, vigorously churned in an iron pot with a wooden plunger-like tool. The molten mass of milk is then separated by adding sour milk or curd called mathar. Once stretched, the flattened cheese is cooled on the black iron pot itself, before being placed in a bowl to solidify. The solidified cheese is then sun dried to help it to lose the moisture. Since the ambient temperature in the mountainous area of Udhampur distt. remains low despite a strong sun, the Kalari dried from the outside yet remains moist inside. Kaladi is widely consumed as a street snack, flattened Kaladis are salted and sautéed in their own fat on a hot griddle. After sautéing, the cheese develops a crisp golden layer on its exterior but retains a soft, creamy, gooey molten from interior. Flavoured with spices and served hot, Kaladi is topped with chopped vegetables and rolled into a kulcha that is served with garlic and chilli chutney. In Udhampur distt. of J&K farmers sell quintals of Kaladi daily and secure their livelihood. Presently the govt. is paying major emphasis on the value addition in agriculture and allied sectors and value addition in milk can help to open new avenues of income and employment.
Udhampur is a hilly district of J&K and about all the households in the rural areas are having dairy animals. In the past there was sufficient availability of fodder as there were many meadows. There was lack of transportation facilities and it was difficult for the rural people to carry their milk to the urban areas. As milk is having a short shelf life so the people were processing their milk in the form of curd, ghee, butter, cheese, kaladi etc. After collection in large quantity, they were transporting these commodities in the urban areas. With the passage of time Kaladi gained the recognisation and now it has become a delicacy of the whole region. Now the visitors always ask for Kaladi of the area. Kaladi is very delicious milk product and is liked by everyone especially the tourists. Kaladi has become a source of livelihood for many farmers of Udhampur distt. of J&K. Kalari from hilly areas of Udhampur distt. of J&K has its own identity and uniqueness. There are certain specific hubs for Kaladi making in the distt. such as Ramnagar, Panchari and Chenani. These areas are known specially for the quality Kaladi and many farmers are associated with Kaladi making. Rural women of the area play the crucial role in Kaladi making.
Kaladi has high energy value, rich in nutrition and contains proteins, carbohydrates and minerals. It is also sold as the Kalari-Kulcha in the market. Kaladi making need skill and knowledge and concerned institutions impart skill among the rural women farmers for its making. In this regards KVKs and Department of Animal Husbandry play the significant role. By Kaladi making entrepreneurship can be developed in the rural areas of Udhampur distt. and many youths who are migrating towards urban areas for income and employment can be employed in their respective areas.
Kaladi is served hot with bread, tomatoes, cabbage and onions. It can also be used in making curry. It can be kept for about one week under room temperature and can be stored for about one month under refrigeration system. Quintals of Kalari is prepared and sold daily in Udhampur distt. of J&K. Kaladi of Udhampur is very famous and is liked by everyone.GI tag will help to promote Kaladi of Udhampur distt. and more avenues of the income and employment can be generated in the rural areas through Kaladi making. Kalari can be a boon to the farmers of Udhampur distt. of J&K and special efforts are needed to scale up and promote its production.GI tagging will help to identify certain organized markets to sale it. It can uplift the socio-economic status of the farmers of Udhampur distt.