Ut­tar Pradesh del­i­cacy ‘kha­jla’ at­tracts many from far and wide

HT Ludhiana Live - - City - Swati Goel Sharma ludlivedesk@hin­dus­tan­times.com CH­HA­PAR:

With the fa­mous ‘Ch­ha­par Mela’ back in town, those around and not avail­ing the op­por­tu­nity to show their pres­ence here will surely miss some­thing in life if they fail to visit the ubiq­ui­tous stalls sell­ing ‘kha­jla’, a del­i­cacy from Ut­tar Pradesh.

The most pop­u­lar eat­able and the best sell­ing item at the fair, kha­jla alone draws in hun­dreds of pa­trons from nearby vil­lages, who come es­pe­cially to savour this snack.

Over 150 stalls of this snack line up the two-three kilo­me­tre stretch that hosts the fair, lead­ing to Gugga Marri shrine.

Ac­cord­ing to a seller hail­ing from UP, over 1,000 peo­ple skilled in kha­jla prepa­ra­tion come to the vil­lage ev­ery year for the fair and stay till the seven-day ru­ral ex­trav­a­ganza is on.

The ma­jor­ity of the skilled labour comes from Kan­pur and Bu­land­she­her, where this snack is ex­tremely pop­u­lar. Ch­ha­par mela spells brisk busi­ness for them and, on an av­er­age, a stall sells any­thing be­tween 150-200 pieces of the snack a day.

Pre­pared with re­fined flour and oo­dles of but­ter, laced with var­i­ous condi­ments and deep fried, the snack comes in four va­ri­eties - salty, sweet, made with milk, and us­ing khoya - and is priced at Rs 50 to Rs 120 a piece.

“I have been com­ing for the fair for the last decade. The de­mand for the snack in­creases ev­ery year, as the crowd it­self swells up each time. The num­ber of stalls put up have gone up over the years too,” says Pankaj Ku­mar from Kan­pur.

“Any­body, who vis­its the fair car­ries a piece or two to home as the snack is avail­able only dur­ing this fair at the vil­lage,” he fur­ther notes.

GAU­RAV BA­JAJ/HT

The most pop­u­lar and best-sell­ing item, kha­jla, be­ing pre­pared at a stall dur­ing the fair.

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