Dharwad Peda: How This UP-Style Peda Landed In Karnataka
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What do Mysore Masala Dosa, Khara Bun Congress and Rava Idli have in common? Yes, they make for excellent breakfast options, but think harder. You guessed it, all of these delicacies hail from the state of Karnataka. Karnataka is home to some of the most advanced IT companies, as well as monuments more than two thousand years old. For a region steeped in such rich history, its cuisine is bound to be a mish-mash of influences, both local and foreign. We know plentiful about the savouries of Karnataka, but can we say the same about the desserts of Karnataka? How many Karnataka –special desserts do you know of beyond the Mysore Pak and Kesari? Did you know Karnataka has its own special peda as well? And while it may look a lot like the pedas you find in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of North India, this peda is a delight you mustn't miss.

Dharwad Peda, hailing from the Dharwad district of Karnataka earned its GI Tag in the year 2007. The Peda was originally made by the Thakur Family who happened to migrate from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh to Dharwad after the break out of a plague, in their hometown, in the early 19th century. Ram Ratan Singh Thakur, did not have a great fortune to fall back on, he was in fact the first-generation confectioner who would prepare and sell the pedas locally. A special feature about these fudgy pedas was that it would be made with the milk of Dharwadi Buffaloes, raised by the Gavalli Community present in Dharwad and vicinity, this milk is heavier than cow milk due to its increased fat content. In the traditional preparation, milk would be continuously heated and stirred until it became thick and creamy, almost like condensed milk. Upon addition of flour, sugar and other flavouring the milk would be stirred again until the barfi obtained a semi-thick, velvety consistency. The pedas would then be shaped and served fresh.  

The Thakur family became renowned across Dharwad for their special pedas. Ram Ratan Singh’s grandson Babu Singh Thakur, further helped boost the popularity of the peda and the family confectionary business by opening a sweetmeat shop in Line Bazaar. Due to this, the peda also came to be known as the Line Bazaar Peda. In a few decades, the store in Line Bazaar became one of the most sought-after shops in the area. The franchise further expanded with stores that opened up in Bangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and Haveri. The recipe of Dharwad Peda has been a closely guarded secret among the Thakur family, there have been knockoffs of the same, but none of them come close to this soft and chewy delicacy.  

Have you ever tried the Dharwad Peda? How did you like it. Do let us know.