Rahwali’s Kulfi: A Delight That Has Remained Fresh For Generations
There’s hardly any food loving traveler in Punjab who hasn’t heard of Rahwali’s Kulfi. And while that may be what it’s known as, to me it will never stop being Suleman’s kulfi made in Rahwali on G.T. Road Gujranwala.
Suleman was a local folk musician who played the Garvi, a Punjabi rural instrument. He started making Kulfis in 1955, starting the business from a loan of five rupees. He had 6 children and used to live in a house the size of one room.
It was his peer (Sufi master) that suggested starting the business. He had a rehri (cart) of kulfis on GT road, Rahwali, a town in Gujranwala. Soon his Kulfi became very popular among travelers. It’s a general ritual now that the cars, vans, and even big buses stop over and buy these deliciously homemade Kulfis, which are inversely cone-shaped stuck in a stick.
Made from milk, sugar, cardamom, pistachios, and cashew nuts, kulfis are a very popular local snack. It is a traditional equivalent of ice cream, a favorite among children and many adults.
After the huge success of Suleman’s Kulfi, many people started this business on both sides of the road in Rahwali. Now you can see almost 20 identical carts there. They all use the same kind of pictures of Suleman Baba on the flexes they display. Those unaware of the original one are fooled into buying the new ones. However those belonging to the the area, like my family, only buy it from Suleman’s original cart.
While Baba Suleman died few years back, his sons now have a large plant of kulfis along with the same cart. They are rich people and have property on the GT Road.
Azeem, the grandson of Suleman Baba, is taking care of the family business. When asked how many kulfis they sell daily, he said Suleman Baba
The author can be reached @shaheensabiha