Bhubaneswar/Dhenkanal: Dhenkanal is famous for its delicacy ‘Magji Laddu’ and the good news is that it is all set to get the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. The laddu is available with confectioners in Bhuban, Mandar, Kashipur, Sadangi, Gondia, Bidharpur, Deogaon and in Dhenkanal town. “If the sweet gets GI tag, people will visit Sadangi to taste ‘Magji Laddu’. It will be a great thing for us,” said local resident Khirod Chandra Das. This delicacy has a history of around 150 years.
A confectioner named Chakradhar Sahu of Sadangi village under Gandia block in Dhenkanal district was the first person who tried his hand at preparing this sweet. The journey it has traversed so far is a glorious one. If someone is visiting their relatives from Dhenkanal, it is very unlikely that they will be without a packet of ‘Magji Laddu’. The process to prepare ‘Magji Laddu’ is very simple. The key ingredient for this sweet is the cheese made from buffalo milk.
First sufficient quantities of cheese and sugar are boiled in a cauldron. When the texture of the mix becomes perfect, crushed cardamom is sprinkled and then it’s given a final stir. Thereafter, bulbs of this mixture are prepared while rolling them in palms. “I am 64 years old. I have been preparing this sweet for the last 20 years. The demand for the delicacy is constantly increasing,” observed Hrishikesh Sahu, a confectioner. The Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) had applied for the GI tag to ‘Magji Laddu’in 2020.
Later, an expert team carried out the necessary initial tests. If it gets the GI tag, ‘Magji Laddu’ will be the first food item in the district to get it. “It is very tasty.
Sometimes, people can be seen waiting for hours to savour this sweet. It is a matter of great pleasure that ‘Magji Laddu’ is going to get the GI tag,” said Sadangi panchayat’s sarpanch Sambit Kishore Ojha. Myth 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 ‘Magji Laddu’. Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Senapati too mentioned about this delicacy during his stay in Dhenkanal. The local people are excited and hopeful that the sweet will soon get the GI tag and then it will help improve the financial conditions of cattle rearers and confectioners.
Keeping in view of the uniqueness of ‘Magji Laddu’, details were collected and documented for application of GI tag by Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Dhenkanal. OUAT, being the authorised body of the state government, applied for the GI tag on behalf of Dhenkanal Sweets Association. After preliminary examination, the GI registry authorities raised a series of queries and OUAT submitted compliance. Now, the case is in advanced stage of consideration and GI registry officials from Chennai are coming to Bhubaneswar December 6, 2022 to give their final stamp of approval for the ‘Magji Laddu’.