Is Almora’s Chocolate Mithai Actually Made Of Chocolate?

With the year almost drawing towards a close, a lot of us have already started planning a mini getaway to hills. This is the time to relax, unwind and surrender to nature. But is any trip to hills complete without a taste of some local delicacies? The cuisine of Uttrakhand is renowned for its extensive use of local herbs, greens and vegetables. The food is simple but high on energy to survive the harsh weather of the mountains. Nuts, jaggery, and sugar are freely used in mithai, which also double as energy bars. You may have heard of Bal Mithai, the Kumaoni brown chocolate-like fudge, made with roasted khoa, and coated with white sugar balls, but have you heard of Almora’s chocolate Mithai? 

Almora is a district in the Kumaon Division of Uttarakhand state, India. And given chocolate was introduced to India very, very late, how can a Mithai, native to this remote, hilly district feature chocolate as one of the ingredients? That’s doesn’t.  

Like Bal Mithai, this chocolate Mithai is also bite-y, chewy and fudgy. It looks so much like chocolate, that it is now referred to as chocolate, Almora’s own. Almora’s chocolate Mithai can be found in almost all big sweet shops of the district, and none of them use even an iota of cocoa or actual chocolate to give this sweet its characteristic brown hue.  

The brown colour is due to caremelised sugar and Khoya. There is great risk of burning the sugar, when you are caremelising sugar to this point that, and that is where the real skills of the sweetmeat makers come into play. It needs high level of judgment and skill to make this right. Timing is key while dealing with Almora’s chocolate mithai, if it is left undercooked, it won’t take shape and if you overcook it by a few minutes, it will become very hard to bite into.

Falsima village of Almora district played a significant role in the popularity of these mouthwatering sweets. The milk and dairy products found in this village are considered top-notch, which resulted in good quality chocolate Mithai. 

Have you ever tried this Mithai? Do let us know how you liked it.