A delicious milk sweet of Kashi that has been served as prasad in most of the temples for centuries is the humble doodh peda. Made from full fat milk that is in abundance in Varanasi and Ghazipur districts and areas around the Ganga River, this simple milk innovation is hugely popular among locals and visitors and makes its appearance on auspicious occasions, festivities and social functions.
The Banarasi doodh peda is prepared from buffalo and cow milk and the famous danedar khoa (also known as daanedar khoa). Malai peda, kesariya peda and peda made with chaashanee (sugar syrup) is available in almost every sweetmaker’s shop.
The age-old method involves boiling rich buffalo and cow milk (80 percent and 20 percent in volume respectively) in an open vessel on wood fire to prepare the khoa. The grainy texture of the khoa is the key to make the peda soft as butter.
As the khoa has a natural sweetness owing to the excellent quality of milk, only a small quantity of sugar is required. Elaichi and saffron are added in the case of kesariya peda.
Sugar is added along with the freshly prepared khoa and heated on medium to high flame. It is continuously stirred till it reaches the right consistency and texture. The smoothness of the mixture is seen in the way it falls on the tray to cool.
This doodh peda has a good shelf life and can be kept for almost 15 to 20 days irrespective of the weather conditions.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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