20. August 2016 – 12:49
The father of a good friend of mine runs the most famous candy shop in the Kullu Valley. Anyone who has ever tasted Indian sweets, knows that they are very sweet, but also very tasty. The shop was opened by Aju’s (my friend’s name) grandfather in Kullu in 1945. At that time he and his family had to flee what is now Pakistan. First he worked in his new home in the Himalayas as a vegetable seller, then he started with the candy business and became very successful. Now the store continues from generation to generation. The recipes of the sweets of the recipes have been the same, only the furnishing and the staff has changed and is adapted to the present day.
Father and son in the shop – the business is passed down from generation to generation
During my visit, I was not only allowed to snack on the sweet treats, but also to look over the shoulders of the candy makers.
Next door in the kitchen, over a hundred different sweets are prepared from boiled milk, sugar, syrup, nuts and all sorts of exotic ingredients. Here it not only smells intensely of rose water and chocolate, it is also really warm! While the chef forms balls out of cream cheese, one of his assistants stirs syrup in a huge cooking pot. Later, the balls are placed in the syrup and sold as “Bengali Sweets”.
My favorite Indian sweet is Barfi. Barfi is nothing more than thickly boiled milk with sugar, then other ingredients such as nuts or coconut can be added.
In addition to the sweets, the store also specializes in traditional Himachal food. You can get chutneys made from local vegetables and also the local speciality Siddhu (a yeast lump filled with spices) and the so-called Kulvi Dham. Kulvi Dham is a meal consisting of rice and several different lentils and yoghurt dishes, exactly the ingredients that existed a few years ago only in this mountainous region. At that time, vegetables were still a rarity.
Every time I set out on the 40 km long way from Manali to Kullu, I look forward to the Dham in advance!