Sweet beginnings

| Updated on January 08, 2018

A Delhi market dedicated to khoya sells five times more during Diwali

Khoya, an essential ingredient in most Indian sweets, is dehydrated milk — thickened by heating the liquid in an iron wok till it is reduced to a fifth of its original quantity and solidifies. Khoya is also available in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Come Diwali, Old Delhi’s Khoya Mawa market sees a five-fold increase in sales — from 50 tonnes to over 250 tonnes.

Khoya comes in three to five varieties, depending upon its consistency, though the number can vary from region to region as well. Danedaar is what has been reduced with an acidic substance. Because it has more moisture, it is used to make something soft and juicy such as kalakand. Dhapa, which is even softer, is what goes into making gulab jamuns and pantua (the Bengali’s take on the former).

The khoya market in Old Delhi opens at 5am, with different varieties unloaded from the trucks arriving from nearby villages. Sellers pat the produce into neat cake-like roundels, which are then inspected and bought by halwais (sweetmeat makers). Khoya mixed with fruit pulp, or coconut flakes and nuts are used to make barfis. Photos: Kamal Narang

Published on October 13, 2017

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