There is good news for Odisha people, particularly for those who have a sweet tooth. Dhenkanal district’s famous sweet ‘Magaji Ladu’ is going to get the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
If Nimapara is famous for ‘Chhena Jhili’, Kendrapara is for ‘Rasabali’ and Nayagarh for ‘Chhena Poda’, Dhenkanal is famous for its ‘Magaji Ladu’.
In this district, wherever you go you will find this round-shaped sweet in roadside eateries as well as in restaurants. It enjoys a base of its loyal customers. Even if you taste it for the first time, you will become a fan of it just at the first bite.
This sweet has a history of around 150 years. A confectioner named Chakradhar Sahu of Sadangi village under Gandia block in Dhenkanal district was the person who first tried his hands at preparing this sweet. The journey it has traversed so far is a glorious one. If someone is paying a visit to their relatives, it is unlikely of they going without a packet of Magaji Ladu.
Its process of preparation is very simple. The key ingredient for this sweet is the cheese made from buffalo milk. Two third cheese and one third sugar are mixed in a cauldron placed on the oven. When the texture of the mix becomes perfect, crushed small cardamom is sprinkled and then it’s given a final stir. Thereafter, bulbs of this mixture are prepared while rolling them in palms.
“If the sweet gets GI tag, people will visit Sadangi to taste Magaji Ladu. It will be a great thing for us,” said a local resident Khirod Chandra Das.
“I am 64 years old. I have been preparing these sweets for the last 20 years. Its demand is increasing,” observed Hrishikesh Sahu, a confectioner.
The Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) had applied for the GI tag in 2020. Later, an expert team carried out the necessary initial tests. If it gets the GI tag, it will be the first food item in the district to get the tag.
“It is very tasty. Sometimes, people can be seen waiting for hours to take this sweet. It is a matter of great pleasure that the sweet of our locality is going to get the GI tag,” said Sadangi panchayat’s sarpanch Sambit Kishore Ojha.
“Magaji Ladu is prepared from cheese made from pure buffalo milk. It is so tasty that people from nearby districts come to taste it. In the coming days, its demand will cross the district’s boundary,” said Kanhucharan Maharana, a local resident.
Legend has it that one Shreedhar Swami offered this sweet to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when the latter was at Kapilas Ashram. Later the sweet became popular as ‘Magaji Ladu’. Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Senapati too mentioned about this sweet during his stay in Dhenkanal.
The local people are excited and hopeful that the sweet will soon get the tag and once received, it will help improve the financial condition of cattle rearers and confectioners.
(Reported by Rajashree Satapathy from Dhenkanal, OTV )