How You Can Start its Business Anywhere
The gastronomic delights of Indian streets have an unfailing charm for the Indians and for foreigners touring India. The authentic aroma, rich spices, unique texture, and pleasurable presentation are only a few adjectives among many to define Indian street food. Each region in India has its own specialty food items. Be it North or South, East or West, you can find tempting roadside delicacies at every famous street corner. One such place that offers incredible mouth-watering delight food is Jammu Kashmir food. Not only Chaats and Bhel Puris, the paradise on earth has a lot more to offer. It is, therefore, that the idea of starting a street food business with Kashmiri street delicacies can hardly go wrong. However, you will have to consider a few things before starting the business which are discussed later in this article.
Let's first explore some famous street foods of J&K.
Street Food of Jammu & Kashmir
1. Kalari Kulcha
The food item that tops the list of every street food vendor and restaurant in J&K is the Kalari Kulcha. The Kalari is the dense cheese made from goat or cow's milk and served with kulcha, vegetables, and chutneys. Recently the dish is improvised and served like a burger where the Kalari is filled into the bun.
2. Kachalu Chaat
Mixed with tangy tamarind and spicy chili flakes, this flavourful aloo chaat is a must-try street food in J&K.
3. Dum Aloo
Popularly known as Kashmiri aloo dum, this creamy yoghurt-based potato gravy is flavourful in every aspect.
4. Monji Gaade
This can be a perfect snack for fish eaters. Fish is dipped into gram flour and rice flour batter, deep-fried with a pinch of salt and food colour.
The Halwa made of semolina (sooji) is served with a 3ft diameter special paratha made of flour. The sweetness is the charm of this dish, which attracts many food lovers to buy and enjoy this food item.
6. Lala Shangram
This crispy snack is made from semolina (sooji) and flour and is sweetened with sugar and then deep-fried in ghee. The melt in the mouth texture of this dish makes it the go-to street food.
7. Nadir Monji
The lotus stem is dipped into the batter of gram flour and rice flour and deep-fried with a pinch of salt in it. As you chew through the crispy outer part of this snack, you will unfold the flavours of the lotus stem inside.
8. Masala Tchot
This is a J&K style of wrap. The chickpeas and radish chutney is wrapped in the soft Kashmiri bread called Lavasa. This is an ideal breakfast dish and can be enjoyed in the streets of J&K.
What makes the Jammu & Kashmir Street Food so Unique?
You can find all kinds of flavours in the street of J&K. Whether it's sweet, sour or spicy, there is everything to satisfy your taste buds. Although people love non-vegetarian food here, it offers an array of delicacies for vegetarians too. The Kalari Kulcha originated in J&K itself and thus the name Jammu Kalari Kulcha. There is a special way to prepare Kalari. The thick cheese is sauteed with salt in its own fat. The Kashmiri aloo dum, which the vegetarians consumed, is made without onion and garlic and is still extremely flavourful because of the in-house spices and choice of potatoes. However, it is sold in different variants that use onion, garlic as well. So whether you prefer veg or non-veg, whether you like sweet dishes or spicy snacks, the J&K street food offers it all.
How can you Start its Business Anywhere?
The above delicacies can be a profitable business idea, here are a few things that you may consider before starting the J&K street food business-
1. The product planning: Among all the above delicacies, you can opt for the most suitable one for your business idea. Planning and deciding on the product will give you more clarity about the kitchen equipment you will need for the business, the raw materials, staff, and investments. Select the food item that requires minimal equipment and can be prepared quickly. However, as fast services fuel sales, you have to keep the quality intact if you want to be on the right track to success. Think about something innovative that can be done with the traditional food of J&K, which attracts a lot of street food lovers.
2. Location is the key: Second, one of the essential things you have to deal with is the choice of location. You have to select the area by keeping your target audience and the competition in mind. The location must be busy and safe for the food cart or food truck. It can be an office area, college area, streets, market, or terminals. Do your research well on the location that would give you maximum exposure to the target audience.
3. Complete the legal formalities: The businesses must register with India's food safety and standard authority (FSSAI) under the municipal corporation. You may need to get other permits, like a fire safety certificate, No-objection certificate from RTO and municipal corporation. Contact your state's municipal corporation to complete all the legal formalities for a trouble-free business operation.
4. Investment & Profits: Depending on the product and location, you will have to invest in the business. Initially, you may need Rs.1 lakh to start your food cart business, and if you are planning to operate your business in a food truck, then you will have to invest approximately 10 lakh rupees. Food cart requires low investment as the minimum raw-material, and lesser staff is required for the business with just the cart charge, cylinder charge, and maintenance charge. On the other hand, you will need two or more chefs, electronic kitchen equipment, a vehicle, and a POS system for a smooth business organisation for a food truck business. You can expect a profit margin of about 50% for the food cart business. However, the profits depend on various factors like sales, product popularity, and your strategy of conducting the business.
5. Marketing: You can reach a wider audience if you can market your product wisely. Talk about how you prepare the food while capturing the traditional essence of the dish. Also, talk about how your food item differs from that of your competitors. Try talking a little about the history or any anecdote associated with the origin of that food item. Marketing is essential to spread awareness about your product. People from long distances travel to popular food vendors. Make sure you have a strong marketing campaign to reach all the street food enthusiasts of that location.
J&K has a wide variety of unique delights that can become an enormous opportunity for aspiring business owners. Consider all the above factors and strategise your business operations in advance. A thorough study of recent trends can be helpful if you want to improvise on the traditional street foods, so you can add only those ingredients which are popular in the current times as a variety of cheese toppings or different chutneys to serve with the food item. A successful business venture is possible through researching, planning, investing wisely, and aligning with state and legal compliance.
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FAQs on street food of Jammu & Kashmir
Q. What are the famous street foods of J&K?
Ans. The famous street foods of J&K are Dum Aloo, Masala Tchot, Nadir Monji, Lala Shangram, Halwa-Paratha , Monji Gaade, Kachalu Chaat, Kalari Kulcha, etc.
Q. How can I start the J&K street food business anywhere?
Ans. First, you have to choose the location and know the legal formalities, thereby contacting the state's municipal corporation. Start by planning, which includes choosing the food item that you would like to sell, financing the business, arranging the raw-materials and equipment, and recruiting one to two people, depending on the type of food item.
Q. Do I need a license to start the business?
Ans. Yes, you have to get registered with the food safety and standard authority of India (FSSAI), and it's a good idea to contact the municipal corporation of your state to know all the legal proceedings and get the permits required to carry the business operations.
Q. Which is the most popular street food of J&K?
Ans. Kalari Kulcha tops the list. Kalari is the cheese of goat or cow’s milk, cooked in its own fat. The preparation is served with vegetables and kulcha.
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