Mathura/Agra, Aug 18 (IANS) It’s festival time in the Braj region and halwais (sweet makers) are working overtime to meet the huge demand for ghevar, which has beaten all other sweets including the petha of Agra and peda of Mathura hands down.
“The rains have definitely buoyed the spirits. There is an increasing demand for ghevar, besides fancy bangles, clothes and cosmetics for women. The Teej festival early this month saw very good weather and the pleasant spell continues,” said Bankey Lal Maheshwari, a shopkeeper in the Johri Bazar area.
Ghevar is selling at Rs 160 per kg, but the demand for ‘desi ghee ka ghevar’ has pushed up the rate to over Rs 300 per kg at establishments like Bhagat Halwai, Heera Lal and Devi Ram.
“The stocks finished early on Thursday. A large number of families made their purchases a day before, as ghevar parcels have to be sent to the married daughters,” said Girraj Kishore, a sweet-maker in Mathura.
Ghevar — a sweet available only in the months of Sawan and Bhadon, before Teej or Raksha Bandhan — now has several new variants, like malai ka ghevar, chocolate ka ghevar, aam ka ghevar and the like. New flavours and colours are in demand.
The porous circular disc of ‘maida’ mildly fried in moulds is soaked in sugary syrup and dressed with rabri or dry fruits. The crispy ones are not heavy and are available in many sizes.
The taste depends on the quality of the cooking medium. The variety made with ‘desi ghee’ is expensive but much in demand. Its origin is in Rajasthan where Teej is a major festival.
During Raksha Bandhan, also called Saloonau in the Braj area, bridegrooms usually visit their in-laws’ house with boxes of ghevar. In Rajasthan, and now in Agra as well, fenni made of ‘maida’ is also a preferred choice during this season.