Traditionally known as the ‘sugar bowl’ of Karnataka, Belagavi has been one of biggest producers of sugarcane. Perhaps, this ‘sweet production’ must have prompted many businessmen in the region to prepare various kinds of sweet products over the years. The number of sweet shops in Belgaum is in the house of over 200. So you can imagine the turnover in sweets.
These sweets are mainly prepared by Rajasthani families who migrated to Belagavi over six decades ago and normally called Purohits.
Kunda, a sweet prepared from milk and khowa, is a clear favorite and is produced by several local sweet merchants besides the Purohits.
Kunda also has an interesting history that can be traced back to the times of Gajanan Mithaiwala in Vitthal Dev Galli, Shahpur who set up his sweet shop six decades ago in Shahpur. Referred to as Jakku Marwadi Mithaiwala, he came from Rajasthan and set up a sweet shop at Shahpur area. (The shop is still there and running and serving great Kunda)
Kunda is prepared purely from milk and khowa. A correct quantity of khowa and sugar has to be mixed in milk before boiling it. Once the mixture starts boiling, it has to be continuously stirred until it takes a solid form.
The discovery of this sweet was quite incidental. Once, Jakku Marwadi was boiling milk in his kitchen. In a hurry, he forgot to switch the stove off and the milk continued boiling for a long time. Gradually, the milk had taken a solid form by the time Jakku Marwadi came back to switch the stove off.
When he tasted the solid form of milk, it tasted sweet. Then, he mixed some khowa into the milk and started boiling it for long hours. This time the taste was even better. A happy Marwadi gave the sweet a name — calling it Kunda.
After Jakku Marwadi discovered it was followed up by the Purohits and the one camp became famous for its cleanliness and good quality. With time the packing of the Kunda has changed over time. From the old box packing to the latest canned Kunda with a shelf life of up to 6 months to the tetra pack. Now Sugar free Kunda is also available at Camp Purohit, Atul Purohit and Kalyani Sweets.
All those visitors who come to the city must have to take back this KUNDA with them. During the assembly session held more than 6000 kgs of Kunda was sold in 10 days time.
The prices of Kunda normally range in between Rs.250 to 350/kg The sugar free costs a bit more.
My bet for the best Kunda in Town: Gajanan Mithaiwala in Vitthal Dev galli, Shahpur, Camp Purohit on High Street and Kalyani Sweets in Camp & Atul Purohit, College Road.(not in any particular order)
Never freeze or store the Kunda in a refrigerator as it tends to become hard and it loses its tastes.
Kunda Recipe Ingredients:
Milk 2 liters, sugar according to taste, cardamom powder 2 teaspoon, curd 1 cup (which is not too sour), dry fruits chopped 1 cup.
First of all boil the milk and bring it to the 1/8th quantity till it is cooked to make a nice paste of the milk. Now add the sugar and stir it well. It turns to a nice golden brown color and now add the curd and stir well. When it is cooked enough finally add the cardamom powder and also the chopped dry fruits and pour it in the serving dish and serve it chilled.