A sweet little story about Devnaa J
No action packed story here, only a little sweet one (no pun intended!). My name is Jay Rawal and together with my sister Roopa we are the founding partners of Devnaa. The journey for us began at our kitchen table with relatives and friends praising Roopa’s home made Indian desserts, in particular the chocolate barfi (pronounced ber-fee, which is a modern twist on a traditional Indian sweet). Roopa’s knowledge of authentic Indian cooking has been learned from our Mum’s superb recipes and also from our Grandmother’s guidelines. Our grandmother was famous amongst her local community in Nairobi for making the best Indian sweets! We knew that if we were going to make our treats available to the rest of the world they would have to surpass all expectations people associated with Indian sweets.
So off I travelled to India to research the best authentic sweets; and Roopa to the ‘Slattery School of Excellence’ to learn about artisan chocolate. Whilst in India I visited the city of Jamnagar and discovered what I can only describe as the best barfi I’ve ever tasted! I decided to buy a few boxes of barfi to take back home. The kind shop owner – Mr Vyas (or mithai wala as they are commonly known - or as I am now known at our local post office!) spoke in detail about his family’s genuine passion for making Indian sweets (mithai) ever since they opened their first store in 1918.
Jay & Mr. Vyas (Mithaiwala) in Jamnagar, India.
Roopa returned from ‘Slattery’s’ with a real passion for artisan chocolate and began to master her chocolate tempering, ganache making and piping techniques. Our library at home began to fill with inspiring books from confection specialists such as Master Chocolatier – Jean-Pierre Wybauw and Master Baker, Peter P Greweling.
Roopa’s first batch of chai masala truffles
Back together in London we shared our experiences and ideas and began development of an all new collection of sweets and desserts by combining the authentic Indian recipes with artisan chocolate techniques. Over 35 recipes later and with the 10 other family members of our household as chief tasters, we created our first signature barfi made with couverture Belgian chocolate, French milk powder and fresh cream. Today the same creativity and dedication go into developing all our innovative sweet treats.
Our Signature Indian Sweets & Chocolates
For us the term ‘second best’ has never been an option, if something is not quite right we go back to the drawing board and find a way to make it right, we probably inherited these values from our grandfather who was such a perfectionist, his tailor made suits were the envy of all his friends! We believe in making our creations using traditional techniques and carefully selected ingredients like the finest Belgian chocolate couvertures used in our barfi and truffles or the freshly ground spices used in our bars. Roopa still uses our grandmother’s mortar and pestle to crush the spices used to develop our recipes.
60 years young – Our grandmother’s mortar and pestle
We like to think of each one of our creations as an irresistible masterpiece, made with the same love and dedication as the inspiring sweet makers in India and as a tasty treat that would make our family proud.
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We look forward to hearing from you.
Share & Enjoy!
Jay & Roopa x