Ahead of the festival of lights, folks helming some of the city's most iconic mithai shops tell us about the milan between mithai, Diwali and Mumbaikars
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"Diwali calories don't count," quips Priyam Acharya, 80-year-old store D Damodar's owner, Aditya Acharya's wife, who has been helping with the business for last three years. She says that while a handful of people are opting for their new-age offerings, be it handcrafted chocolates or bespoke dry fruit collections, most continue to choose traditional offerings like kaju katlis, ladoos and other mithais. "A majority of our customers are looking for gifting options, and so, we put a lot of thought into the packaging. It's important that these hampers look attractive," she explains.
AT D Damodar Mithaiwala, Harganga Mahal, Dadar East.
TIME 8 am to 9 pm
Sweets are atheists
Run by a family that originally hails from Pune, Suleman Mithaiwala, situated in Bhendi Bazaar has been around since 1936. This sweet shop is known for its kaju barfis and aflatoon, but come season, and they also whip up a range of special sweets for the festival. Store manager, Mohammed Qureshi shares, "Kaju aur dry fruit ka item iss time pe zyada chalta hai. If customers have specific requests, we can cater to that as well. Mashallah, Diwali brings us a lot of customers."
AT Suleman Mithaiwala, 41F/G, Mohammad Ali Road, Byculla.
TIME 7.30 am to 4 am
Treats across borders
"The festive season is quite exciting for us, because everyone is happy," says Kunal Gupta, fourth-generation owner of Punjabi Ghasitaram Halwai, which has been around since 1916 in Karachi. The best part about this store's 103-year-old legacy is that it has woven in multiple culinary heritages into their products. So, they have Maharashtrian, Bengali and North Indian sweets. "Today, most people are veering towards sugar-free and dry fruit sweets. This is the biggest change I have seen," he shares, adding that be that as it may, most loyal customers with a sweet tooth continue their indulgence guilt free, especially during this season.
AT Punjabi Ghasitaram Halwai, Jasmine Mill Road, Mahim East.
TIME 9 am to 9 pm
Mithai for all
Established in 1958, MM Mithaiwala is the jewel in Malad's crown. But Manmohan Gupta, owner of the family-run business which is co-helmed by five brothers, says that more than their milky pedas and indulgent ghee motichur ladoos, it's what they represent that makes them special. "Look at the demographic of Malad — Orlem has Christians, Malvani is a Muslim-dominated area, SV Road and other locations have Gujaratis, Marwaris and Jains, while Evershine Nagar has Punjabis. So, we have catered to all sections of Mumbai's population," he tells us. Gupta says that if two decades ago, customers were apprehensive of buying expensive sweets, today, they're veering towards quality.
AT MM Mithaiwala, Vasanti Bhavan, Malad West.
TIME 6 am to 10 pm
Also check out
- The mango barfi and sutar feni at this iconic shop set up in the 1780s.
AT Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halvawala, Mahim Koliwada, Mahim West.
- Boondi ladoo, jalebi, mawa boi and malai peda at this mithai haven tucked inside the Grant Road vegetable market.
AT Adarsh Mithai Mandir, Nana Chowk.
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