08 Jul 2024  |   05:48am IST

Kirti and Trupti Halarnkar carry forward their father-in-law’s delicious snack legacy in Aldona

The shop, fondly known as ‘Kakacho Chivda’, offers six varieties of the addictive snack: Chakri, Motto Shev, Tik Shev, Papdi, Barik Shev and Biknna. Customers often request custom mixes of these items
Kirti and Trupti Halarnkar carry forward their father-in-law’s delicious snack legacy in Aldona

Joseph Fernandes

ALDONA: The Halarnkar family from Aldona has been a cornerstone of local culinary traditions for decades. Kirti and Trupti Halarnkar, daughters-in-law of the late patriarch, have taken up the mantle of their family’s celebrated chivda (a crunchy, savoury tea-time snack) business, ensuring that the beloved flavours continue to delight customers old and new.

The story of Kakacho Chivda begins with Kirti Halarnkar’s father-in-law, who started a small business during the Portuguese era. Initially, he offered khotkhotem, sheera, and a variety of other sweet treats. However, it was his bhaji (vegetable stir-fry) that garnered widespread acclaim. “His bhajis were so popular that as soon as they were made, the stock would sell out quickly,” Kirti recalls. “People would come from far and wide, especially on Sundays, just to get a taste.”

As his business expanded, he introduced chewda to his offerings, which quickly became a hit across Goa. Over the years, Kakacho Chivda became synonymous with quality and taste, attracting customers from all over the State and beyond. “In Aldona, people call us ‘Kakacho Chiv da’, while those from other parts of Goa call us ‘Aldona chewda’,” she says. Kirti shares that even today, people 

buy chivda in large quantities to take abroad.

Following the passing of her father-in-law during the Covid-19 pandemic, the family faced a crucial decision. “We decided to continue the business because our customers wanted us to,” Kirti explains. “The support and trust of our customers have kept us going.”

The shop, although small, is a hub of activity. Fresh chivda is made every three days, or more frequently, depending on demand. Kirti describes how the aroma of frying chivda spreads through the market, drawing people in. “Some customers even watch the frying process to ensure the quality and taste,” she says.

Kirti and Trupti have maintained the high standards set by their father-in-law. “He taught us everything about sourcing ingredients and the precise methods for mixing them,” Kirti says. This meticulous approach has ensured that the chunky chivda, replete with batter-fried peanuts, retains its authentic flavour and quality.

 “When customers tell us how much they enjoy our chivda, it boosts our confidence and makes us feel great about carrying forward this legacy,” Kirti says.

One particularly dedicated customer travels from Margao to Aldona by train just to buy chewda. “He takes over two kilograms of chewda each time,” Kirti notes with pride. “We’ve met him at least six times, and his loyalty means a lot to us.”

Despite managing the business alongside their household responsibilities, Kirti and Trupti are committed to preserving the family’s tradition. They alternate days at the shop, ensuring that fresh chivda is always available. “We’re proud of this business and what it has achieved for our family,” Kirti says. “It’s important for the younger generation to understand the value of continuing family traditions.”

The Halarnkar family is busiest during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, and Christmas. During these times, they also take custom orders to meet the festive demand. Kirti emphasises that they never compromise on quality. “We maintain high hygiene standards and ensure that every batch is made with fresh ingredients,” she says.

As they look to the future, Kirti and Trupti hope to expand their business. “There’s no shortcut to success; it requires hard work and family unity,” Kirti asserts. “We assure our customers that we will keep up this tradition of making chivda and continue to serve them better.”

IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar