BERHAMPUR: IT is that time of the year again when almost all the sweetmeat shops in Ganjam are busy rolling out ‘Dhanu Muan’ of various shapes and sizes. ‘Dhanu Muan’, a speciality sweet dish of south Odisha, is mostly sold during the Odia month of ‘Pausa’. Apparently, ‘Dhanu Muan’ of Ganjam district is famous across the State and also exported. The ‘muan’ is ritualistically prepared and sold between ‘Dhanu Sankranti’ and ‘Makar Sankranti’.
According to the locals, ‘Dhanu Muan’ is related to the economic history of this region. Since long, people of Odisha used to prepare ‘muan’ for ritualistic offering during puja on Dhanu Sankranti. However, the ‘muan’ was being prepared with jaggery then. When one of the first sugar mills on east coast came up at Aska in Ganjam district during the British era, the sweet vendors of Ganjam decided to use sugar to prepare the sweets replacing traditional jaggery. Today, the desi ghee used in preparation of the ‘muan’ has been replaced by refined oil and people are also using dry coconuts, nuts and cherry to decorate it.
It is during the ‘Pausa’ month that on an average one tonne of ‘muan’ is prepared daily. However, with the increasing price of sugar, cashew nuts and other ingredients for the ‘muan’, the price of ‘muan’ has been hiked this year.
According to Budha, a sweetmeat trader at Mayuree Towers in the city, the price of ordinary ‘muan’ with groundnuts is Rs 180 to Rs 200 per kg while that prepared of desi ghee, cherry and cashewnuts costs Rs 240 to Rs 300