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Have you tried the Rajkot peda?
March 23, 2005
et's have something sweet.
You have heard that often enough, haven't you?
That's because Indians don't need an excuse to have sweets! They have them in good times, bad times, normal times -- in fact, at any time!
Take the peda (the local Indian sweetmeat). This milk and sugar concoction is well-known in India and is a must for all special occasions.
More specifically, let's look at the pedas of Rajkot. This local version is fast gaining popularity all over the country despite a history that goes back just 50 years.
Pedas are usually made of mewa. What sets the Rajkot peda apart is the fact that it is made of plain milk.
"My father started this business 50 years ago," says Jayantbhai Sejpal, owner of Jaishiyaram Pedawala. "Previously, only mewa was used to make peda, but my father started the milk pedas, which are popular even today."
Priced between Rs 100 and Rs 250 per kilo, it can last 15 days in normal temperature. It is available in different flavours -- Kesar, Elaichi, Kesar-Badaam, Malai and Chocolate.
People from as far as Kolkata, Chennai, Indore and Mumbai flock to Rajkot to place their orders for the pedas.
"I work with the Western Railways," says Avinash Gondhiya, "and I send pedas to friends and family in Mumbai for special occasions there. The pedas of Rajkot have no competition!"
For the hundreds of peda manufacturers in the city, it is a sweet way to earn a livelihood.
Fifty years ago, there was hardly any shop selling pedas in Rajkot. Today, there are about 300 small and big shops, including dairy farms, that sell thousands of kilos of pedas every day.
So the next time you go to Rajkot, or know of someone going there, be sure to yourself some peda!