Sweet Station: Promoting Cakes with Local Flavours

Vishü Rita Krocha
Kohima | November 28

A woman farmer in Phek district who has been cultivating millet for the past several years is a regular supplier of millet to Sweet Station, one of the favourite destinations for cake lovers in Kohima, founded by Jenny Kath Thong in the year 2014. The idea of using our local ingredients for cakes was already there when I started to bake, Jenny says, but she was very drawn to making the best use of local ingredients in the art.    

 “Gradually I tried making desserts with fine rice powder and millet which turned out pretty good so in order to promote these ideas I made them during cooking competitions organized by the Women Development department, the first Naga Chef competition, and to be very honest being a baker I always give my 100 percent when it comes to cakes and desserts and thankfully it was highly appreciated by the judges and friends and this gave me more confidence to go forward in my venture”, the passionate baker shares on how incorporating local flavours has now become a regular feature of her baking.  

While there are a variety of local ingredients that she uses for baking, she puts across that some of her favourites are sticky millet, local rice, perrila, job’s tears, pumpkin and local passion fruit. A few of her signature cakes and desserts are also locally flavoured such as the creamy millet with rich pumpkin flan, moist millet cake, sweet potato and pumpkin cake, and milky rice cake with peach.  

Jenny Kath Thong sources these local ingredients from the local markets in Kohima such as Mao Market, Super Market and High School Local Market but when she needs to buy in large quantities, she sources millet from Phek and Chozuba, Job’s Tears from Chunlikha and Pumpkins from Wokha. A keen promoter of local ingredients, she tries her best to serve local desserts at every given opportunity especially during big celebrations and weddings as this also enables her to help local farmers by buying raw materials in bulk from them.  

When she first started Sweet Station, she wanted to keep it home-based so she could personally meet and talk to every client however locating my home became very inconvenient for many clients, especially for those who are not from Kohima. This eventually led to the opening of an outlet under the name “Sweet Station”, near High School Junction Kohima where people can come, taste, place and receives orders.  

Passionate about promoting the use of local ingredients, she is also planning to start a center exclusively dedicated to teaching and creating desserts and cakes using indigenous local produce.  

Jenny Kath Thong is a self-taught baker and is an alumna of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. In the last few years, she has also made local desserts for VVIPs like the President of India, Prime Minister of India and Princess of Thailand. With the hope that other bakers can also try and help our local farmers sell their products.  

Sweet Station’s Creamy Millet Dessert recipe.

Ingredients: 1. Millet-1 cup 2. Milk-5 cups 3. Clarified Butter-100 grams 4. Sugar- 100 grams or as desired 5. Heavy Cream -1 cup 6. Nuts and fruits- 100 grams  

Method: 1. Wash the millet thoroughly and keep aside. In a pan bring the milk to boil, stir in the sugar and butter then add the millet and cook until done. Take it off the flame and let it cool. 2. Once it's completely cooled, add the heavy cream and stir until well incorporated. You can add more milk or cream if desired. 3. To serve, put them in individual glasses or bamboo cups. Sprinkle some nuts and fruits and serve.