Old city livens up for Matka Kulfi after Iftaar

Old city livens up for Matka Kulfi after Iftaar
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Junaid Rather

Srinagar: The breaking of the fast in Ramadhan triggers a feast of a different kind in this old city quarter of Bohri Kadal, with customers lining-up around vendors to taste mouth-watering Matka Kulfi, a traditional ice cream prepared after a day-long effort.
The place has emerged as a unique Kulfi Spot over the years, and vendors say in Ramadhan the sales go on till Taraveeh prayers.
Customers have to wait for their turn to enjoy the Kulfi.
“We have a huge demand for the Kulfi. People from faraway places come here to eat. We are pleasantly shocked to see the response of people this Ramzan,” says Bashir Ahmad, who owns a stall here.
The traditional stalls are appearing as a major attraction for people who come with families and friends often during evening hours to taste the unique and delicious ice cream.
“This place is nostalgic to me. I would come here with my father and now that I am grown up, I come here every day during Ramadhan to taste it to beat the heat,” says Rafiq Ahmad.
On an average, the ice-cream vendors sell around 4,000 to 4,500 kulfis in the evening from 8 pm to 11 pm. On weekends or holidays, many customers leave dejected as the eight kulfiwallas run out of stock.
“A single cone is prized at Rs 30. Some years ago, it would cost Rs 15,” says Bashir.
He adds that with the huge demand for ice creams, they are unable to cater the rush of customers at times.
“It’s a hectic process. We start our day around dawn by boiling milk in deep pans. The sweetened milk is then filtered into cones and kept in ice after mixing all ingredients.”
The vendors informed that the Matka Kulfi was started and popularized by a local, Ghulam Ahmad Badoo, known popularly as Ama Buda.
“He was so famous that if you would have asked anyone about his address in the city, they would have directed you towards his kiosk,” says Mehraj Ahmad, who runs another stall.
He added that for 25 years, he was all alone in the trade. “His quality was so impressive that he would attract customers from the far places of the city,” says Mehraj.
He said the Matka Kulfi they sell nowadays was nothing as compared to Ama Buda’s recipe.