Roaming in Other Side of Kashmir
*disclaimer* As-salamu alaykum & Namaste friends. 'Aap kaise hai?' I'm here in Muzaffarabad & unfortunately, they keep extending the lockdown. I came when lockdown ended but it's been extended, again. So there's not actually much I can do here. I wanted to take you to some tourist attractions. Woah, look at this. I didn't know this was here. I wanna take you to some tourist attractions but just look at that beautiful mosque. I know I say beautiful a lot in these videos but it's true, wow. The big wooden doors in the gold. Amazing! And....
Right here, you have the cemetry. I didn't know that Muslims buried people like that. Like we do in New Zealand as well. Anyway, back to the point of this video, we'll do something here in Muzaffarabad. Because I'm sure a lot of you guys will wanna see the similarities to Srinagar, as well, so. We're gonna go eat at this place called Hotel Pakistan. We're gonna go try their Kashmiri food. And the guy at the hotel, he actually told me that, the Kashmiri traditions aren't so strong here in Muzaffarabad. Now, I don't know if he's from somewhere else (another part of Pakistan he doesn't know) but if that's true, just tell me in the comments.
Because I thought that was a bit strange him telling me or saying something like that to me. Cuz, you know, we're here in Kashmir. So we're gonna go & try a bunch of Kashmiri dishes right now. And I'll just take you for a quick little walk around here. It's raining, obviously, as you can see. So I can show you guys around so I can, you know, see some of Muzaffarabad before I've to get out of here. So stationary shops. This guy's selling rice.
As-salamu alaykum. Kaise hai? Sab thik hai? Four Seasons..this guy's selling juices. As-salamu alaykum ji. Sab thik hai? M: Shukr hai. Aap thik hai? K: Haan bilkul thik hai. K: Abhi main khana khaunga Hotel Pakistan mei. M: Accha. K: Main Kashmiri khana koshish karunga. (nods) Chalo. So that's Four Seasons juice bar. This..K: Ji ye kya hai? Biryani hai, wah! Selling Biryani in there. Oh we got some more meat happening here.
So it's lockdown but a lot of the shops are open, especially, the restaurants. Food's allowed to be open. Wow. He's umm skewering chicken here. Making chicken kebabs. As-salamu alaykum ji. Kaise hai? M: Subhanallah. And he's got, so he's got chicken, chicken here and then...K: Ye beef hai? (M agrees). Beef and ye lamb hai? M: Seekh kebab. K: Seekh Kebab.
So this is beef seekh kebab and beef kebab. And, I'll tell you why the meat tastes so amazing in Pakistan. It tastes so fresh because... They literally kill it before you eat it in a lot of restaurants. They kill on sight. That's why it's so good. Woah we're getting smoked here. He's cooking some seekh kebabs here. As-salamu alaykum. M: Wa alaykumu s-salam.
K: Kaise hai? M replies. K: They're so juicy. Wah! Mmmm, smell in that smoke, is yum. They're cooking it over these, over wood. They cook it over woodfire. And, it just tastes so good. And just look how juicy this is, in here. Very good. And at the back there you can see. Here's all his beef. For the rest of the day. K: Aap Kashmiri hai? M: Kashmiri hai. K: Wah, shabash. Mujhe Kashmir bahaut pasand hai ji.
K: Accha jagah hai. Sabse sundar jagah hai na? M: Mashallah. K: Kaise hai ji? Thik hai? M: Aap kidhar ke rehne vale hai? K: Main New Zealand se hu ji. New Zealand. M: Aap chai peeyenge? K: Nahi abhi nahi. Umm, 5 minute ke baad main Hotel Pakistan mein khaunga. M: Accha. K: Kashmiri khana khaunga.
Thik hai. And so, here, they're preparing all the food here. This is chicken. Can I see this? The spices? And if you just look in there. It's got all the meat & all the spices ready. So they're gonna.....So they're gonna pound that down, and make it into seekh kebab or some kind of kebab. Chalo. Bye. People are sweet here offering me tea. This is different kind of vlog because I'm not turning the camera off. We're just going like that. We're gonna eat soon but I though we should just, you know, walk around the street first. See what's happening.
And so what I can tell you about Muzaffarabad is that it's a very scenic city. It has the Neelam river running through it. It's beautiful like Srinagar is. Srinagar has a river running through it as well & if you just see these shots from my hotel...
You can really see how beautiful Muzaffarabad is on a good day. Like that was the first day I arrived & since then it's been raining. K: As-salamu alaykum. M: Wa alaykumu s-salam. K: Kaise hai? Kya ho rha hai? M: Khade hain. Kaam nahi. Kuch nahi hai. K: Haan bhai. Mujhe maloom hai. Lockdown ke kaaran na? M: Subah se khade hai. Dhakke kha rhe hai. Swat se aaye hue Mazdoor ke liye.
K: Accha. So sab thik nahi hai? M: Kuch bhi thik nahi. K: Accha. M: Pet ke khatir dhakke kha rhe hai. K: Thik hai ji. Apse milkar accha laga. M: Ata mehenga. Chawal mehenga hai. Sara kuch mehenga hai. K: Bye. Thank you. Yeah. They're not too happy, these people. Chalo. A lot of people are out of work & they're standing on the sides of the street. Which is, sad.
*sounds of Muzaffarabad* Let's have a look at this other 'dhaba' first. So..As-salamu alaykum, kaise hai? M: Wa alaykumu s-salam. K: To ye hai samosa. Then we have pakore. Fried eggs. And, oh I forgot the name of those! It's kinda like, little crispy fried chips. And, he's busy mixing something, oh he's mixing pakore. So he's gonna fry the pakore like that right now. Yum. Pakore is a big thing in India & it's a big thing here in Pakistan as well. Bye.
And here is the bread station. He's making naan. M: Kya hua? K: Kuch nahi ji. That guy's like 'What's happening?' More restaurants and my camera is totally soaked right now. Really hope it survives. Oh I gotta show you this. This is... K: As-salamu alaykum. M: Wa alaykumu s-salam. K: Ye chapli kebab hai na? M: Ye maans kebab hai. This is Chapli Kebab/Maans Kebab. And M points. K: Main urdu nahi parta hu. He's showing me the sign to read. I can't read it.
And yeah, he's frying up these, beef patties, basically. And they're so juicy & tasty. And here's how it's cooking. And those who buy, buy the 100s of grams or the kgs. Buy like 250 gms. But, let's get to the restaurant now, because..Oh, wait. There's more. There's more. Heh. K: As-salamu alaykum. Kaise hai ji? Eska naam kya hai? M: Ye kulcha hai. K: Kulcha? This is Kashmiri Kulcha they're making here. And, yeah. I'll come back & get some of this later ok? Shukriya.
K: Ek kitne ka hai? M: 10 ka. K: Thik hai. Main ek lunga. Alright so these nice gentlemen are giving it to me for free. They're not gonna charge me. And, this is, called. K: Ye Kashmiri Kulcha hai? M: Haan. K: Kashmiri Kulcha. And it's like a little, kinda lika a biscuit actually.
I think it's kinda be like a really spicy kinda crispy naan. Mmmm. WOW. M: Ye chai ke sath. K: Han. Han, Han. Main chai ke sath khaunga. Shukriya ji.
Huh. So I just bit it and actually you're meant to have it with tea, the guy told me. So, I got the rest in my pocket here now. I'll try it again with tea. It's basically like...It's kinda like puff pastry. With some spices in it. I don't know how it'd be with tea. I'm not imagining good things. But let's try it. Oh my god. You guys can't imagine how wet my camera is. Should be a real test of the waterproofing of this thing.
Ok, we're back at Pakistan Hotel now. And just see...this huge tandoor behind him where he's cooking the naan bread. How cool is that? And they're using woodfire. You can see they've got the woodchips there, as well. And he's making the naan. And there's the finished product. There, naan.
And I'll just take you inside & I'll show you what's available. So, this is tea. Sugar. He's got this pot with the water in it, boiling. This is nihari, na? Ah, paya. This is paya.
It's, uh, a meat soup for breakfast. Eska kya hai? (man replies) Oh, it's brain. Um, dimag. Now, dimag is mind. This is what we're gonna try today. This is Goshtaba. This is a famous Kashmiri meat ball dish. We've got chole. Chickpeas. We've got palak aloo which is spinach and potato. (Dahi) Wah! Tons of dahi.
And, behind there, we have more aloo cury and this one is umm...Oh this is Kofta. There we have kofta. And Yakhni, I'll try that. And then we have minced meat as well. There. Alright, we're gonna go...Yehi se? (right here?) Kaha? (where?) K: Ji main kaha baithunga? M: Aap idhar hi baith jaye. K: Idhar? Isme? Ok. I got my own little private booth here at the hotel. Thik hai, chalo. This is usually for family, these private booths. K: Ji mujhe Yakhni chahiye, Goshtaba chahiye aur naan. (Confirms) Haan. Thik hai.
Alright. We're gonna try Yakhni and Goshtaba. These are Kashmiri dishes. That's what I wanna try here. Show you guys here. Alright, now, I have an absolute feast here. We have bakra. We have Goshtaba. We have Yakhni. We have Palak saag. And I have Kashmiri daal. And then we have, this is, 'saag matlab' spinach in english. And potatoes.
And then of course huge naan breads. That was his. My friend here is this stranger I've met. He's eating Paya right now. Alright what should I try first? I gotta try Goshtaba cuz this is the most famous dish in all of Kashmir. Oh my god.
Inside the meatball....Inside the meatball...It is all...MMMM..Super juicy, super tender. They have not overcooked this meatball and this is beef as well. And... It's a really strange flavor combination, as you can see, because, you know, it's...white, right? Taste a lot of yogurt & a few spices but not much spice. There's no chili. I don't think it's very (spicy). It's really light in flavor.
Now let's try the Yakhni. This looks like it'd taste the same. Mmmm. Same flavor as Goshtaba. But chicken.
Now this is, kind of, like mutton curry basically. Oh my god. Incredible. The mutton is so tender & there's a ton of chili in this. But, it's got this kinda, this unique flavor that you can't work out what it's yet. This one is just....I know what it tastes like. It tastes like tomato soup back home in New Zealand. That's what I'm getting. Tomato soup with mutton. Mmm.
It's that canned tomato soup flavor. *inaudible* My god. This is a real Kashmiri feast, guys. And I'm feeling so lucky to be here in Kashmir. To be eating this stuff. Now let's quickly try the Palak and the dal-chawal.
So this is spinach, guys. (want rice?) K: Nahi chahiye ji. Ye thik hai. Mmmm. The spinach is different here. It's very organic. It's not all mushed up into a fine paste. It's still very leafy which I like. Flavor was a bit less in it to be honest. Now let's try the Kashmiri...This is beans. Oh this isn't dal. Ye hai. This is beans.
Mmmm. Rajma chawal. Ye Rajma hai. In Pakistan, I don't think they say Rajma. And.. The Rajma here in Kashmir tastes different to Rajma in other parts of India & Pakistan. And, yeah, it's good. It's a typical Rajma. But a little bit more spicy than normal. These 3 here are the real standouts. The Goshtaba, the Yakhni and the Bakra. These are incredible.
And I'm gonna finish this Goshtaba. Just look at that. It's so juicy. And the thing is it's hard to find this stuff. It's hard to find traditional dishes. This comes from the Kashmiri tradition of Wazwan... Which is a massive feast at a marriage and it's like, I don't know, 12 or 14 different courses. And this is one of the courses. Kashmir is absolute heaven for meat eaters, honestly. It's total heaven. (Zabadast). Hai na?
M: Shaadi ke liye Goshtaba. K: Goshtaba sabse accha hai. M: Aur mangwalo? K: Nahi. Nahi. Bahut hai. M: Chai peeni hai? K: Ji. Chai piyunga. Haan ji. (Bakarkhani mangao?) K: Mere pas hai jeb mein. Khana bahut accha tha. Aap ye khaenge? Nahi? Ye khaenge? Ye? Ye? Main nahi khaunga kyunki. Bahut khana hai.
My tea has arrived. And this is not Bakarkhani. This is (thought it was for a second. I got confused) This is Kulche. But you have it with tea anyway. Same with Bakarkhani. Let's give it a go. Hmm. Yeah. It goes. But, I don't really like it. Thik hai. I'll just stick to normal tea. The tea by itself is very good. Fresh milk. None of that UHD rubbish. And (sips) the guys made it traditionally over a stove there.
Aah. It's good and not too much sugar too. Perfect. (Desi doodh hai. Bhains) Haan, bhains se! So this is...He's saying this is from, uh, buffalo. And tastes like it. Ah. I love Kashmir. I love Kashmir so much.
And just to show you...I always pay for anything. I never do sponsorships or anything. This is my bill. Alright that food was good. Bahut shukriya. Shukriya. Thank you. (Pleasure. Pleasure) Shukriya ji. Shukriya. It was an amazing place.
Alright. Just having a quick walk past the mosque now. They're renovating the sides but woah. So the front is kinda gold. And then the other side...You have this. This white marble. Incredible. And then just along here...You have a huge fish market. Like, there's just so much fish here. And I keep walking along here. We do a little loop. All my plans for today have been cancelled cuz of the lockdown but I'm told tomorrow lockdown is gonna end. But I gotta go tomorrow.
So sabzi vala. Oh you can have your chicken feet as well if that's your thing. Kaise hai ji? As-salamu alaykum. Kaise hai? Thik hai? (Bahut badiya) This guy's selling basically Murg (he's selling chicken). And the lady is very friendly in there. Very nice. A fishwala. And these guys selling chicken basically. And, you can buy fresh chicken here in Pakistan. As-salamu alaykum. So I know what this is now. I've stumbled into the meat market on the side of the mosque.
And these are some big pigeons. Some fat pigeons. And these can be eaten for...some kind of recipe for your health. And now we're back on the main street here. We're in between the middle of the valley here as you can see the mountains are surrounding us. We've got a football club over here. A HUGE mosque up there too. Woah, that's a big mosque. And it's just peaceful here. I can't really compare Muzaffarabad to Srinagar.
I haven't spent enough time here and explored it enough. But I can tell you it's one of the most beautiful cities I've been to. The layout of it. These mountains and these hills. It feels like a little bit magical here just cuz of the setting. It's very (yeah) It's very mesmerizing, that's the word. It's a mesmerizing little town. And it is quite small. Population is not so big here.
That was pretty crazy video right? Different. You guys, just getting this view here...you see what I mean, about a beautiful place? The rain has stopped & just walking up to my hotel now. This hotel has the most beautiful view in the world. I know it's a lot of people's dreams to be able to come here to Muzaffarabad. To this side of Kashmir. So.. I feel incredibly lucky to be here. And I can tell you: The people are friendly. The food is incredible. The fashion. The shopping. I did some shopping for my wife today. Beautiful Kashmiri fashion with all that embroidery. So tell me what'd you think of that short, short little excursion out into Muzaffarabad. What'd you think of the place?
You've already seen this in few other vlogs right? Like, just see how beautiful this is. It's just out of this world, this place. There's a huge fire over there. Like a huge fire so yeah. Ton of smoke in the way right now. Just in love with this place. What more can I say?