By Arif Noor
Editor’s Note: PakVoices has initiated a series of reports to highlight the impact of mega project CPEC on the culture of Gwadar. This article is part of that series.
(PakVoices)–Since the announcement of CPEC project, Gwadar port is in the limelight in Pakistan. The mega project also remains in the headlines of national media. But there has been very little interest of media in covering and showing the rich culture of Gwadar city.
For this reason, PakVoices has prepared a special report on famous Khuda Baksh Halwa.
Green color halwa is the specialty of Gwadar city. Due to its unique taste and texture, the popularity of the halwa is not limited to the Makran coastal belt, but it’s liked in Karachi, other parts of the country, and, various countries of Gulf and Iran. People take this halwa to present it as a gift to their loved ones.
The history of this halwa dates back to some 60 to 70 years ago. Faiz Baloch, who is associated with this business talked to PakVoices telling, “A man named Bandali, who is associated with Hindu community, is credited for introducing this Halwa for the first time. A teenager named Khuda Baksh also worked with Bandali in his shop, where he learned the art of making this halwa.
Khuda Baksh mixed his recipe with Bandali’s formula coming up with a new flavor of the Gwadari Halwa. Then Khuda Baksh decided to open his own shop, which is being run by his son today.
There are around a dozen shops of Gwadari halwa but shop of Khuda Baksh in Shahi Bazaar is always filled with customers including tourists enjoying hot and tasty Gwadari sweet.
Cultural critic Miran Qazi told that Gwadari sweet is famous for its sweet and delicious taste and it has been used in events of sorrow and happiness.
Talking about the recipe of Gwadari sweet, Faiz Baloch told PakVoices that it is made of corn flour, sugar, ghee and dry fruits. He further said that dry fruits include peanuts, Pistachio, almond, walnuts and cashew nuts, which are brought from Quetta and Karachi.
Faiz told about the changing colors of Gwadari sweet. He told that initially, it was in white color, then it turned into orange color and now settled for green color which is also its identity.
Sweet is made in a big copper stew pot and each stewpot makes 10 kg of sweet within one hour.
A worker of the Sweet shop, Mujeeb Baloch told PakVoices that one quality of this sweet is that it will not expire even after a year. Its taste and texture will remain same.
There is a ritual in Gwadar that whenever a ship is manufactured and ready to sail into the sea, Gwadari sweet will be distributed among workers which is considered as auspices.
Khuda Baksh Halwa is sold for Rs. 220 per kg.
KB Firaq, a well-known local author and social activist said about Gwadari halwa, “Every culture has its own taste of food and Gwadari halwa reflects the sweetness of people of Gwadar and richness of their culture.”
PakVoices’ Arif Noor is working as a citizen journalist from Gwadar city.
Translated by Muhammad Arsalan
Edited by Hasan Khan