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The bakery, famous for its humble black halwa, has a French connection

Pitch Black and delectable Natural flavours of the awesome Kozhikodan Halwa
Friday, September 23, 2016 - 15:38

It’s not very often that a city honours its most favorite sweet dish with a street name. SM Street, which is said to be Kozhikode’s first major commercial avenue, stands for Sweet Meat Street, and is named after the city’s most popular sweet delicacy – the Kozhikodan Halwa, aka Calicut Halwa.

The famous Malabar Barotta and briyani come pretty close to satisfying your food-lust when you are in Kozhikode, but it is when you end the meal with the pitch black, sweet halwa that you feel complete.

The halwa is thick, heavy and glutinous. The traditional one is just black, but over the years colouring agents have been added to the mix to give it different colours.

One of the places which still sticks to the traditional recipe of the black halwa is the Delecta Bakery in Bank Road.

Started in 1944, it was just called ‘Bakery’ till 1948, says Denil, the proprietor of the shop. “In 1948, a French man who used to buy bread at the bakery everyday asked my grandfather why there is no name for the bakery. My grandfather told him he could choose the name – and he chose Delecta. We have stuck to the name ever since,” narrates Denil.

In the same year, the bakery started making its tea biscuits, which are also popular.

At Delecta, apart from the traditional black halwa, you also get banana and badam halwa. But it’s the black one which is their flagship product.

The halwa is made of maida and jaggery, cooked in coconut oil, to which cardamom powder is added.

The maida is mixed with water to a very thin consistency, almost like milk. The mixture is strained so there are no lumps. The jaggery is then brought to boil, to which the strained maida milk is added.

Now, the hard work begins. Armed with a long, wooden stirrer which looks like a cricket bat, the cooks stir the dish continuously for at least 30 minutes. Eventually it becomes a thick, glutinous substance. Residual coconut oil is removed with a ladle and cardamom powder is added.

“Since we use coconut oil the halwa will last about two weeks, but you can have the badam and banana halwa even after a month,” says Denil.

Watch the video for all ingredients and cooking style, and don’t forget to watch the food and travel show ‘Sutralam Suvaikalam’ on NEWS7 Tamil at 12:30pm every Sunday.

 

 

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