Costly "Ghevar'" dampens spirits ahead of Teej festivities in Jaipur

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Jaipur, Aug.4 : Rajasthan's swing festival, better known as "Teej" heralds the onset of monsoon and falls in the Lunar month of Shravan (mid July to mid August), which brings rains here after parched and lengthy span of summer.

Ahead of Rajasthan's swing festival, better known as "Teej" local sweetmeat shops are adorned with Ghevar, a milk-based delicacy. During "Teej" and "Gangaur", gifting "Ghevar" is part of rituals in Rajasthan.

Hundreds of shops are these days selling this special delicacy available in a huge variety. But the increased prices of Ghevar have dampened the festive spirit this time.

"The newly wedded girls are given Ghevar sweet as gift. The gifting of these sweets is locally called 'Sanjara', which is a part of the culture of Rajasthan," said Muksh Kumar, a local resident.

Ghevar is made with cream, cheese, milk and water, with a pinch of cardamomor flavour.

"We have increased the rates of Ghevar by rupees 10 rupees as rates of vegetable oil and Ghee (clarified butter) have gone up. Vegetable oil is being sold at Rs.2,600 per canister tin (61.50 dollars) compared to Rs 2,300 per tin (54.41 dollars) earlier. Ghee is also costly. That's why Ghevar, prepared with vegetable oil, is priced at Rs.120 per kg (2.83 dollars) and the ones made of clarified butter have been priced at Rs.240 per kg (5.67 dollars)," said Satyanarayan, a sweet shop owner.

The cheese Ghevar is, however, gaining popularity because of its longer shelf life as well as its culinary peculiarities.

"Ghevar made of Cheese is very delicious. Its shelf life is also longer than the ones made of Rabri (milk paste) as it can be kept for 15 to 20 days," said Devender Kumar Sharma, a sweetshop owner.

The demand for Ghevar remains high during the Teej which marks the beginning of a series of fairs and festivals, which are celebrated throughout the autumn and winter months in Rajasthan, culminating in the spring festival of "Gangaur". By Lokendra Singh

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