Ladoos are probably the most common sweet amidst the mithai loving legion of India and what’s not to love about these sugary orange balls of absolute love? Take your pick from coconut ladoos, besan, boondi or motichoor ladoos and feel the sweetness of it tingling your palate- honestly, nobody can really hate ladoos!
Ladoo is also one of the most common Indian pet names (remember K3G?) and I don’t know why I just mentioned that right here but hey, appreciate this trivia.
So we chanced upon this iconic sweet shop in Kanpur and it looked like any other shop in the vicinity till we tasted their ladoos here- OH MY GOSH!
is located in a noisy, chaotic lane with a bustling crowd at Bada Chauraha in Kanpur and this joint sells pure khoya and suji ladoos which have been appealing to the masses for more than 70 years now!
The word, 'Thaggu' in Hindi comes from the word 'Thug' which means to cheat or a person who cheats you- so why would a person keep such a gimmicky name?
Over the years, this sweetmeat business has flourished like no other in the locale, despite the bizarre name and their preposterous tag line - 'Aisa Koi Saga Nahi, Jisko Hamne Thaga Nahi' that literally translates to "There is No Relative or Person Who We Have Not Cheated.” This catchy one-liner became so popular that it was even borrowed by renowned lyricist Gulzar for a song in the movie 'Bunty Aur Babli' and this shop garnered massive attention from sweet lovin’ masses all over the country!
Adarsh Pandey, who belongs to the third generation of the family, that has been running the sweet shop also mentioned the reason behind such an absurd name. Ramavatar Pandey (his grandfather) was a Gandhian and in on of his speeches, Gandhi had mentioned that sugar is 'white poison' and it can lead to several deadly diseases. But people were still consuming it and paying a lot of money for it. Thus, they were being tricked by the British. This had put the sweet shop’s founder in a dilemma because he wanted to avoid using sugar but there was no way to prepare these ladoos without it! Therefore, he decided to call them 'Thaggu Ke Ladoo' to hint that the customers were being tricked and the name was sort of a disclaimer about the side-effects of consuming refined sugar. The name has stood the tests of time and now is a popular joke around the area but people do swear by their desserts here.
This shop actually has limited items because they don’t want to compromise on the quality by producing a lot of times. Apart from their famous ladoos, their Badnaam Kulfi is quite famous too. It has a rabri like texture and it’s oh-so-fluffy! Pack some when here and you’ll be coming back for seconds.
Location: Shop H-1/381, Model Tower, Avon Market, Near Devki Cinema, Kakadeo Kanpur
Cost: ₹450 for two people (approx.)
Timings: 10am – 10pm