Hyderabad: Despite all odds, the ubiquitous ‘Nariyal ki mithai’ (coconut sweet) continues to hold sway as a local sweet treat in the city. Particularly a favourite amongst children, the traditional sweet has managed to survive in spite of an increase in prices of sugar, coconut, edible oil and other ingredients recently.
In Hyderabad’s Old City at the Mohajareen (refugee) camp at Charminar, 68-year-old Mahabub Khan still prepares the regular variety of the ‘Nariyal ki Mithai’. A piece of the confectionary weighs around 15 grams and is sold for Rs 20 on the streets today. In case someone purchases it wholesale, it is sold for Rs. 10 each to vendors by its makers.
In areas such as Talab Katta, Amanagar, Vattepally, Jhirra, Asifnagar and Misrigunj, there are people who prepare and supply the ‘Nariyal ki Mithai’ to local vendors. The entire process starts in the afternoon and ends the next morning, running over a period of about 16 to 18 hours. “We grate the coconut and prepare the sweet in a cauldron. After that it is spread on a metal sheet and allowed to dry for the whole night. In the morning, we cut it into pieces neatly,” explained Mahabub Bhai.
Mahabub added that even though costs of raw material to prepare ‘Nariyal ki Mithai’ have gone up, its makers have not raised prices for the end consumers. “We are instead shrinking the size of the treat as people are not ready to pay anything more for it. So we have reduced the weight and size to compensate for the production expenses,” he pointed out.
Apart from him, the mouthwatering ‘Nariyal ki mithai’ has also been introduced in jumbo size by two siblings from Gowliguda Chaman in Hyderabad. The red confectionery, that is prepared using crushed and sugar also has a few other variants.
“The jumbo size sweet weighs about 50 grams and is priced for Rs. 30 each piece. The other variant is the ‘khova nariyal mitha’ and priced at Rs. 40 each piece,” said Srinivas of Gowliguda who sells it at Nampally.
The sweet is prepared at Srinivas’s home by his brother Satish, who then distributes it and packs it in containers to sell on the streets in the city. “We prepare 100 pieces. This tastes better compared to the smaller varieties,” Satish opined. Like Satish, the ‘Nariyal ki Mithai’, is also another of the many traditional items from Hyderabad that has a few hundred people relying on it for survival.