As I leave Sattur and head to the town of Srivilliputhur, the gorgeous temple gopuram welcomes me from afar. The 11 storied gopuram, soaring over 190 feet, is one of the biggest temple gopurams built in that era. The origins can supposedly be traced to the Tamil Kings Pallavas and subsequently the Pandyas who ruled that region. Godai or Andal is the presiding deity and the temple walls adorn her ‘Pasurams, Thiruppavai and Naachiar Thirumozhi‘ I sing a ‘Thirupallandu – a pasuram and follow it by a thiruppavai in ragam kalyani. I am in Srivilliputhur to trace the story of the famous ‘Paalkova’ (an Indian sweet delicacy made by boiling milk and sugar until it thickens)
I’ve always wanted to have cows in my house. As a child, I’ve seen cows being milked right outside our house everyday for fresh supply of milk. But today was a unique, fun experience. I headed to a farm (that supplies milk to the Paalkova manufacturing units) located in the outskirts of Srivilliputhur to actually learn to milk a cow. Tracing the paalkova story right from where it begins.
I am at the Milk distributors co-operative to uncover the story of the famous Paalkova. I get talking to the manager Mr.Raja and he tells me how the town got famous for Paalkova. Somewhere in the 1940’s when there was excess milk production in the region, people didn’t really know what to do other than make butter, ghee and buttermilk with it. There was a sudden idea to create a ‘halwa’ out of milk. Milk was boiled with sugar and slow cooked over fire Voila- The birth of the famous Paalkova.For every 10 lts of farm fresh milk 1.25Kgs of sugar is mixed and slow cooked over fire, stirring constantly. The end result is a gooey, caramel colour, sinful, Paalkova. Everything is made by hand and slow cooked over firewood (wood from jackfruit tree), giving the process a completely organic feel.
Watch this clip that takes you through the making of the Paalkova from scratch (yup, right from me milking the cows)
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