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Shalibanda khowa market caters to local confectioners

Shalibanda khowa market caters to local confectioners
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The century old khowa (mava) market in Hari Bowli Bela, near Shalibanda caters to the needs of most of the local sweet confectioners, whose demands go up during festivities, particularly during marriages. This important ingredient of sweet is now procured mostly from neighbouring states like Maharashtra owing to the declined productivity within the State.

Shalibanda: The century old khowa (mava) market in Hari Bowli Bela, near Shalibanda caters to the needs of most of the local sweet confectioners, whose demands go up during festivities, particularly during marriages. This important ingredient of sweet is now procured mostly from neighbouring states like Maharashtra owing to the declined productivity within the State.

Situated near Akkanna Madanna temple near Hari Bowli, a new visitor may wonder as to what these traders are selling. But a close watch would make one understand that they are actually selling khowa in bulk quantities. This market in Bela is about 100-year-old and the traders with their temporary asbestos roofing can be seen busy selling khowa.

AS Rama Rao, a Khowa Merchant, is nearly 70 years old. Now the business is being run by a 3rd and 4th generation of these merchants. “For nearly 40 years we used to bring khowa from neighbouring districts of Hyderabad. But for last 20 years this khowa is been mostly supplied from Sholapur of Maharashtra and villages of Chittoor district in AP,” said S Papaiah, who now runs the shop.

He explained that 1kg of khowa is made by more than 4 litres of milk of buffalo or a cow by boiling it in a big vessel on a wooden stove. It takes nearly 20 to 30 minutes to make a khowa. The reason for low productivity of khowa in City is a high prices of milk and only few dairy farms dare to make khowa as the price of milk is Rs 60 per litre.

“Khowa is made in countryside where livestock rearing amongst farmers is common and price of milk is low. In these village of Maharastra, each household makes 4-5 kgs of khowa and this all gathered at a marketplace. From there khowa is supplied to many places, including Hyderabad”, added Papaiah.

For its long life, the khowa is packed in 2 layered plastic bags, which is then covered by a jute bag. In normal temperate it may not last more than 2 to 3 days, but if stored in refrigerator it can last longer for about 2 to 3 months.

Earlier the usage of khowa was high in Gujarati marriages, where nearly 15-20 kgs of khowa was used. But now it has been decreased to 8-10 kgs, as many a Gujarati sweet items are available in market. Many a sweets shops in City continue to patronage the khowa from Baila market for making sweets. Khowa made from cow milk is more yellowish and softer when compared to that which is produced from buffalo milk, which is preferred more in market.

Md Afzal, a owner of MA Khowa Shop said that in the prices of khowa fluctuates daily and is decided by a chief of the market. Currently the khowa price is Rs 180 per kg, but it can touch Rs 250 during festival or marriage seasons.

“The demand for khowa may go up by the end of Ramzan, as people use it in Sheerkhurma (the sweet dish relished by devout on Eid-ul-Fitr),” he said. The Khowa remains an important ingredient in many a sweets like Gulab Jamun, Double ka Meetha, Kheer and several other sweets items.

BY M M Farooqui

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