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‘Nomad Hunger’: Meet the chef promoting Balti food in ‘last border village’

September 28, 2023

Srinagar, September 28: Niyaz Ahmad happens to be the first certified chef from Nubra valley’s Turtuk village in Ladakh region and is now making waves for promoting authentic Balti food.

Stepping away from the allure of high-end hotel kitchens, Chef Niyaz has chosen to return to his roots to promote the authentic flavors of Balti cuisine in Turtuk, renowned as the last village along the Line of Control (LoC).

Turtuk, once the gateway to the ancient Silk Road, emerged from Pakistan’s occupation after the 1971 war. Nestled between the majestic Karakoram Range and the Himalayas, Turtuk is not only a breathtaking locale but a haven for those seeking the true essence of Balti gastronomy.

Niyaz’s vision materialized in the form of ‘Nomad Hunger,’ a restaurant that stands as a culinary oasis in Turtuk. At ‘Nomad Hunger,’ authentic Balti food takes center stage, complemented by an array of Indian and Chinese delicacies.

The restaurant aims to offer not only a delightful gastronomic experience but also a journey through the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

“I always wanted to promote our culture and authentic Balti food, and that is why I left a lucrative job and returned to Turtuk. I am the first certified chef from this region, and I felt I should go back to my roots,” Niyaz said.

“My aim is to promote our culture and Balti food across India and then internationally. So far, I have received a positive response and excellent reviews from visitors who dine at my restaurant. My aim is to provide healthy and nutritious food,” he added.

While the ‘Nomad Hunger’ has already caught the attention of travellers, it has also started attracting popular food bloggers like Omar Rather of ‘Kashmirfoodgram’ fame.

“Visiting Turtuk should be in every traveller’s bucket list. And if you are in Turtuk, then ‘Nomad Hunger’ is a must visit place for foodies. One can find a whole array of authentic Balti food like chanduvale and other delicacies some of which are topped with curd made of yak’s milk,” Omar said.

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M Aamir Khan

Koshur from Bagh-e-MaGarmaL

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