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Srivilliputhur palkhova -- little has changed in the making of this delicacy

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 09, 2017

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Palkhova has become synonymous with the temple town of Srivilliputhur, as halwa is to Thirunelveli and murukku to Manaparai. These are some of the delicacies associated with the towns from where they originated. And the list could go on and on even to the present day.

Though much has changed around us and we are often reminded of the saying in the Gita that "Change is the only permanent thing in life," nothing seems to have changed either in the way palkhova is prepared or in the packing of the halwa.

The only visible change, however, is in the way the product is marketed today, through the online mode and the cottage industry. And, be it halwa or palkhova, both products seem to be thriving.

A recent visit to Srivilliputhur revealed that every other outlet was engaged in the sale of the milk sweet.

Ask them about the impact of GST, not many seem to worry much, but for the fact that it could become “a bit” more expensive for the customer. “Most of us operate on a small scale and our turnover will not exceed Rs 20 lakh,” said Radha, a saleswoman in a private khova outlet.

We caught up with P Raja, the manager of Q106 Srivilliputhur Milk Producers' Cooperative Society, which, he claims is the oldest, dating back to 1945.

According to him, there were as many as 86 registered cooperative societies until a couple of years ago. “This has now dwindled to 15 functional societies, but there are many private firms, even households, engaged in the preparation of the sweet in this town. They sell the packets in buses, street corners, in trains, and so on. Further, there were not as many outlets offering the khova 10 years back,” he added.

When asked how the town got associated with palkhova, he said the white revolution sparked off large-scale production of palkhova, which originally used to be made with surplus milk, as the people did not know how to dispose off the milk. “There is no secret behind the making of this sweet concoction. It is just milk and sugar.”

The society's daily procurement is around 4,500 to 5,000 litres of milk. “We procure the milk from the door-step of our members,” said Raja.

The daily sale of the khova (Q106 society alone) is 300 kg. It soars to 1,000 to 1,200 kg during Courtallam season.

The society is contemplating increasing the rate of the palkhova from Rs 220/kg to Rs 240/kg from August 15. “We are taxed at 5 per cent under GST. We have borne the tax burden (of Rs 11 a kg) till date. We will be revising it shortly.”

Published on August 09, 2017
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