The sweet tooth is spoilt for choice when it comes to desserts on Eidul Fitr. However, it is sweets from Rajar, Charsadda which take the cake.
The region has become synonymous with these delicacies over the past few decades across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It has won the hearts of millions of people who, over the decades, have thronged to shops to buy the confectionary.
Haji Muhammad Yaqoob, the owner of Rajar Sweet House, told The Express Tribune the shop was started by his grandfather in 1930.
“My grandfather, Israruddin, ran this business successfully and was known as Chacha among locals,” he said. “I belong to the third generation that is running his shop. Our sweets are quite popular and many people have capitalised on their popularity.”
Recipe for success
According to Yaqoob, the recipe for the sweetmeats has changed over the years. “When my grandfather started the business, sugar was not readily available,” he said. “Flour, butter and gur were used to make the sweets.”
Lala Nisar, a former federal minister who hails from Charsadda, recalls a time when such sweets were only available in Swat and Buner. “Now, the times have changed and chemicals are used in the products.”
However, Ayub Khan, another shop owner in Rajar, insists only sugar, ghee, flour and milk are used in his products. “We don’t use any chemicals,” he said. “They are also fairly cheap.”
Sartaj Ali Khan, who runs Ghufran Sweet House in Charsadda Bazaar, believes the quality of their product and the reasonable prices continue to attract new customers.
Customer loyalty is also an important ingredient in these success stories.
Salman Shah, a resident of Rajar, believes Ghufran Sweet House is far better than Rajar Sweet House.
“After Chacha’s death, his grandsons have not been able to keep a check on quality,” he said. “Although they have dozens of shops in Rajar, the magic is lost.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2015.
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