Gnohere Krizo (51') scored the winning goal in the second half to fire his side to the first spot in the league table with 32 points from 16 matches.
David Robertson made just a single change to the side that took the pitch in a 1-1 draw against Churchill Brothers as Ritwik Das was replaced by Gnohere Krizo.
On the other hand, Gokulam Kerala's technical director Gift Raikhan made wholesale changes to the starting XI that eked out a 2-2 draw against Mohun Bagan. Deepak K and Mehtab Singh slotted in at the back while Lalmuankima and Russel Alfred were chosen ahead of Suhair VP and Mudde Musa.
Real Kashmir dominated proceedings right from the first whistle as they made the most of their home advantage. Gokulam were not allowed to a get a foothold in the match as Bazie Armand and Danish Farooq were orchestrating play at the centre of the park.
Mason Robertson could have got his name on the scoresheet when he sent a header on target but a brilliant save by Arnab Das Sharma kept the scoreline unchanged.
As the match progressed, Krizo started seeing more of the ball and was a constant threat to Gokulam's defence. But some resolute defending by the likes of Daniel Addo and debutant Mehtab Singh kept the Ivorian at bay.
But six minutes after the break, the 21-year old forward broke the deadlock by latching on to a rebound of Farhan Ganie's goal-bound shot.
Raikhan brought in Suhair VP in the 73rd minute in search of the equaliser but the former East Bengal striker could not change his team's fortunes. During the last 15 minutes, the Malabarians upped their ante but Kashmir's defence was too tough a nut for them to crack.
Both teams will get back in action on February 10 as Real Kashmir will next host East Bengal while Gokulam will host Aizawl FC in Kozhikode.