Polisetti Mallibabu is excited about making the largest laddu in the world and is in the planning stages of making a record breaking laddu as an offering to the Ganesha being built in Visakhapatnam.
Mallibabu hails from Tapeswaram, a small place in Kakinada which is famous for khajas—a sweet made with flour, stuffed with khoya and then deep fried. His Sri Bhaktanjaneya Suruchi Foods was established in 1939. "People thought of us as a sweet shop from a small place and would treat us with disdain. We wanted to show that we can do something big and that is when we offered to make a big laddu for the Khairatabad Ganesha. The first one we made was in 2010 and it weighed 500 kgs," he says. Every year since 2010, Mallibabu has been making large sized laddus and offering them to the Khairatabad Ganesha statue.
Each year, along with the height of the Khairatabad Ganesha statue, the weight of the laddu too increased. In 2015, the Ganesha stood at 59ft and the laddu weighed 5,600 kgs. The laddu is distributed amongst the devotees after the immersion of the statue. "But last year was a real mess and the police were of no help as they also wanted their share of the prasadam. It was messy and disappointing," says Mallibabu. This year the laddu to the Khairatabad Ganesha will weight only 500 kgs, while the height has been standardised at 58 ft.
Mallibabu has decided to make a laddu weighing 12,500 kg for a Ganesha being built in Gajuwaka, Visakhapatnam. With this size, Mallibabu hopes to break the record created last year when a laddu weighing 11,111 kg was offered to Ambaji Mata Temple in Ambala of Gujarat.
The laddu will be made at Tapeswaram in their own kitchen where they have set up a thermic fluid kitchen and the heat is steadily maintained at 300 degrees centigrade. Around 20 cooks will be part of this unique cookout which will commence on the premises of Suruchi Foods at Tapeswaram in East Godavari. Work will begin on September 2 and the laddu will be displayed on September 4. On Ganesh Chathurti, the laddu will be placed on a multi-axle vehicle using high-capacity cranes and taken out in a procession to Gajuwaka. It will be then offered to Ganesha and later distributed to the devotees.
Mallibabu is collecting donations from friends and relatives to make this laddu a success. The estimate for making this laddu comes to around Rs 30 lakh. About 2,400 kg ghee, 600 kg oil, 3,350 kgs chick pea flour, 4,950 kg sugar, 400 kg cashew, 200 kg almond and 125 kg cardamom would be needed.
Mallibabu and his family have been giving away laddu for a long time but this is the first time that he is thinking of breaking a record and entering the Guinness Book of Records. "My employees encouraged me and said that we could do it," Mallibabu said.
Each year, Mallibabu comes to Hyderabad on the final day to take part in the procession. He helps in the distribution of the prasadam after first offering it to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and his wife Vimala. He hopes to follow the tradition this year too.