BERHAMPUR: ‘Dhanu Muan’, a sweet made of caramelised puffed paddy bound in various shapes and sizes, may not be a preferred sweet snack for the ones with soft teeth, yet it has a loyal customer base across the State.
Ganjam is home to the delicacy and produces around one tonne ‘muan’ during winters. Though sold round the year, the sweet snack gains importance a few days ahead of Dhanu Sankranti and is offered to deities on the day.
Most bought and gifted during the Odia month of Pausa, ‘muan’ is consumed in abundance during the month-long period between Dhanu Sankranti and Makar Sankranti. However, there is no written history to prove its origin.
Earlier made mostly with jaggery, the sweet has undergone many variations over the years. While jaggery has been replaced with sugar, even chunks of coconut, cherries and cashewnut are used in the ones sold these days in the markets.
Radheshyam Sahoo, owner of Haripriya Misthan Bhandar in Berhampur said even though the price of ‘muan’ has gone up over the years, people still buy in large quantity.
Muan is prepared with puffed paddy tossed in jaggery or sugar with a little ghee. The sugar or jaggery syrup help bind the ingredients into a hard form. The mix includes coconut or other topping.
While ordinary ‘muan’, topped with groundnut costs `180-`200 per kg, the ones made of desi ghee and topped with cherries and cashewnut cost between `300 and `350 per kg. Another variety with almonds sells at `550-`600 per kg, said Sahoo.