It’s hard to define, but good mithai has an essence - something that’s entwined in the ingredients, the glitter, the texture, the consistency, taste and aftertaste, but also stands apart. Khoya, a new outfit that makes Indian sweets, wants to bring out that quality in every piece of meetha they make. Yes, they’re hoping to be your new peda pushers.
Cham Cham My Lady
Launched late last month, Khoya is the brainchild of Siddharth Mathur, director and head of food at Impresario, the team behind Social and Smoke House Deli. Khoya currently offers 14 items, including Walnut Peda, Belgian Chocolate Barfi and Motichoor Laddoo, each made using natural and organic products, packaged in ridiculously pretty paper boxes. (More items are currently being dreamed up in consultation with an array of halwais, chefs and bakers.)
Khoya aims to stay true to traditional recipes, even if the ingredients are more exotic than usual: the idea is to draw attention to the wonders of those preparations, rather than going for radical transformation or deep fusion.
Sid tells us he founded the venture when he realised how undervalued Indian mithai is. “It has a fantastic history and process; there’s tradition to it,” he says. “But we noticed it wasn’t being seen in that way.” The ‘luxury’ space in Delhi is flooded with European confectionary; Indian varieties are all but absent. “We started trials and found that people — especially the older generation — reacted positively. A lot of people don’t gift mithai anymore, even at weddings. We want to go back to that.”
"A lot of people don’t gift mithai anymore, even at weddings. We want to go back to that.”
The sweet fruit of their research took a year to ripen. Ingredients are sourced from trusty vendors whose names are closely guarded, and the two chefs are "experts from Rajasthan." Everything will be fresh and handmade, we’re told, even given Khoya’s focus on large deliveries. They want you to call them before big celebrations such as weddings and baby showers, but will also cater to dinner parties and general hedonism.
An order of 100 boxes, Sid says, will typically take two days to deliver, and may work out to Rs 900 per box. Khoya will also customise its delivery process: if you needed to send out boxes in different batches over three days, they’ll try and match its mithai-making schedule to yours for best results.
They’re already receiving orders from outside Delhi — Sid tells us the team is currently working with “mango-based concepts” for an order from Nagpur — but have no plans to expand operations to other cities. Instead, he feels it makes sense to simply fly down the team and hire a workspace whenever required. Just call him Barfi Richards.
This story was contributed by Akhil Sood, an arts and culture writer living in Delhi.
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