Sunday, September 6, 2009

SWEET BENGAL

While i have been following THE TIMES OF INDIA-KOLKATA EDITION's "Madly Mishti" campaign to vote for the "Best Sweet Shop in Kolkata" for different sweetmeats, it evoked nostalgic feelings in me, and my love for sweetmeats over different sweetshops across the city started gaining momentum. Sitting thousand kilometres away from Bengal-Border, my sweet-tooth has got enough reasons to feel upbeat about Sweet Bengal.

Bengal, perhaps is the only state in India to have this distinction, where every town/regions are renowed for their distinguished sweetmeat. Be it "Mowa" of Joynagar, "Sitabhog and Mihidana" of Burdwan, "Langcha" of Shaktigarh, "Jolbhora Sandesh" of Chandannagore, "Lal Doi" of Nabadwip, "Aamer Morobba" of Siuri(Birbhum) or "Shorbhaja and Shorpuria" of Krishnanagar, you will fall in love instantly.

Be it the the softness of "Rossogolla" or the thick trickle of the "Mishti Doi", the very-sweety "Mixed Fruit Chutneys" or the myriad "Sandesh", Bengalis love sinking their teeth in sweet-delicacies, and never mind the calories.

No account of Bangaliana(bengali food culture) is complete without Bangalir Roshobodh(sweet indulgence of bengalis). In Bengali families, every meal comes full-circle only after a good dessert of either mishti doi or with the varieties of sweet chutneys. There are some sweet-dish that are home-made and cannot be found in sweet-shops.

Payesh: this creamy rice-pudding, delicately flavoured with cardamom and pistachio, has a religious standing. It is offered to God/Goddess in pujas and also religiously made during annaprassans (a bengali ceremony for the first feeding of cooked rice to a newborn when six months old) and birthdays. Nowadays, Payesh is been made with different varieties, including gurer payesh (made with jaggery/gur), kesar payesh (made with saffron).

Pithe: made from rice/wheat flour, mixed with sugar, jaggery(gur), khoa(dried whole milk) & coconut in various forms, the most common are paaka pithe(fried), bhapa pithe(steamed), puli pithe(dumplings), chandrapuli, mohanpuli, gokul pithe, chitai pithe & dudhpuli. These sweet dishes are made as a part of the crop-festival celebration on the last day of the bengali-hindu month of "Poush".

Chutney: this sweet-dish is a must-have after lunch. There are many varities to choose from, the popular are Plastic Chutney (made from papaya), Tomato-r Chutney (made from tomatoes), Khejur-Aamshottor Chutney (made from date and dried-mango-pulp), Aamer Chutney (made from both riped & unriped mango), Anarasher Chutney (made from pineapples)

There are also some sweets which has interesting history.. like LEDIKENI- it is said that the wife of Lord Canning (then governal-general of british india, 1856-1862), Lady Cannie had the habit of throwing lavish parties. A few days before her birthday, Lord Canning's men visited the best confectioners of Calcutta and ordered a special sweet to be made in her honour. They wanted an unique sweet in shape-and-size that would outclass them in taste too. It took days for the confectioner to come up with a variety stuffed with saffron & elaichi(cardamom) & fried in ghee(clarified butter) to attain a rich brown colour. It was partially like a pantua & partially like a langcha but very different in taste from them. It was so much appreciated by Lady Canning, that the sweet was named "Ledikeni".

So, lets take you all through the sweet lanes of Kolkata... This is a list high on nostalgia...

some popular bengali sweets best available at kolkata sweet marts::--
ROSSOGOLLA:
this sweet needs no introduction. Its Bengal's gift to the world.
K.C.Das- esplanade
Ganguram & Sons- vivekananda road
Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar- shyambazar
Nobin Chandra Das- baghbazar

MISHTI DOI:
misthi doi or sweetened curd is made from caramelized sugar. You think of Bengal, and you think of mishti doi. It now has some popular variants like bhapa doi(steamed yoghurt), lal doi (sweetened yoghurt red in colour), aam doi(alphanso mango yoghurt), Tulsi Doi(mishti doi containing extracts of tulsi herb)
Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick- padmapukur
Amrita- bidhan sarani
Suresh Mistanna Bhandar- dhakuria
Santosh Sweets- mg road & college street xing

SANDESH:
This most-favorite Bengali sweet is made from ground fresh cottage cheese(chhena), and has a hundred varieties. some popular are aabar khabo, indrani, korapak, norompak, jolbhora, bhapa, kanchagolla, kalakand, kheerkadam, kheersagar
Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Nandi- ramdulal sarkar street
Hindusthan Sweets- jadavpur central road
Bheem Nag- nirmal chandra street
Mithai- syed amir ali avenue

ROSHER MISHTI:
now, this category includes those bengali sweets which are made of condensed milk. Its hugely popular outside bengal too. some best examples of rosher mishti are lord chomchom, malai toast, rosomalai, chhanar payesh, raabri, pantua among others.
Sen Mahasay- fariapukur
Tewari Brothers- new alipore
Bancharam- gariahat road
Mouchak- golpark

Kolkata's Best Sweet Shops with their Best Sweet Dishes ::

PUTIRAM SWEETS: 46/4 Mahatma Gandhi Road
Rajbhog.. Patishapta.. Chop Sandesh.. Biscuit Sandesh

BHEEM NAG: 5 Nirmal Chandra Street, Bowbazar [estd.1826]
this age-old sweet shop is behind the success of "ledikeni" and patronised "sandesh" too.. this shop also boasts of customers like Rani Rashmoni, Raja Ram Mohan Roy...
Ledikeni.. Kadapak Sandesh.. Kheerer Chop.. Victoria Sandesh.. Paradise Sandesh.. Chittaranjan..

DWARIKA'S: 126A Bidhan Sarani [estd.1885]
founded by dwariknath ghosh in 1885, its an institution for sweetmeats in kolkata
Danadar.. Tripti.. Keshar Sandesh.. Dilkhush.. Rosmadhuri.. Amrit Raabri..

GIRISH CHANDRA DEY & NAKUR NANDI: 56 Ramdulal Sarkar Street [estd.1844]
the last word in "sandesh" for the discerning calcuttans.. non-invitees at Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai Wedding really missed out this legendary sweetshop's offerings...
Aabar Khabo.. Jol Bhora Talsansh.. Babu Sandesh.. Kasturi Sandesh.. Icecream Sandesh.. Mousumi(sandesh stuffed with nuts & coconut).. Parijat(mix of pista, nuts & kheer).. Chocolate Sandesh.. Strawberry Sandesh.. Sourabhmoy(chhena with sugar globules & pista).. Madhuja Sandesh.. Mohini Sandesh.. Rosecream Sandesh..

GANGURAM'S: 41 B.B.Ganguly Street
Lal Doi.. Raabri.. Amriti.. Indrani..

GANGURAM & SONS: 159C Vivekananda Road, Girish Park
Mishti Doi.. Sitabhog.. Mihidana..

SHARMA SWEETS: 3B Kali Krishna Tagore Street
Raabri.. Malai Chomchom..

SEN MAHASAY: 1/1C Shibdas Bhaduri Street, Shyambazar
Darbesh.. Mihidanar Laddoo.. Ratabi Sandesh.. Pink Peda(Rose flavoured).. Aporupa(made from chocolate, saffron & pista).. Jayanti(made from pista, saffron, strawberry, chhena and kaju-elaichi stuffing)...

MITHAI: Syed Amir Ali Avenue, Beckbagan Row
Notun Gurer Sandesh.. Kanchagolla.. Kamalphool Sandesh.. Kesar Sandesh..

BANCHARAM: 19 Gariahat Road
Pantua.. Rosomalai.. Mishti Doi.. Amriti.. Jibe-Goja..

GANGAUR SWEETS: 2 Russell Street
Jalebi.. Chitrakoot.. Badam Chandrapooli..

BALARAM MULLICK & RADHARAMAN MULLICK:75G Padmapukur Road [estd.1885]
Aam Doi.. Baked Rossogolla.. Kajur Sandesh.. Notun Gurer Rossogolla.. Makha Sandesh..
Chhanar Payesh..

GOPAL CHANDRA HALDER: 2 Bright Street, Mayfair Road
Raabri.. Manohara.. Khirsagar..

MUKHERJEE SWEETS: 29/1B Ballygunge Place
Shorbhaja.. Shorpuria..

NABA KRISHNA GUIN: 9B Nirmal Chandra Street [estd.1814]
Shankuntala Sandesh.. Chhanar Murki.. Chandan Kheer.. Ramboondi..

K.C.DAS: 11A-B Esplanade
Rossogolla.. Amrit Kalash.. Chhanar Payesh.. Mohanbhog.. Rosomalancha.. Malai Chomchom..
Rosochandrarambha(unique concoction made from coconut & green bananas)..

JADAV CHANDRA DAS: 127A Rashbehari Avenue [estd.1858]
famous for its White Mishti Doi..

NABIN CHANDRA DAS : 77 Jatindra Mohan Avenue
the inventor of Rossogolla and famed Jolbhora Sandesh

JALAJOG: Rashbehari Avenue, Lake Market
inventor of Lal Doi and Payodhi.. it is said Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore named their sweet "payodhi"..

HINDUSTAN SWEETS: 58/1 Jadavpur Central Road
Sandesh.. Rosomalai.. Malai Sandwich..

MOUCHAK: 19/1 Gariahat Road, Dhakuria
Gorom Rossogolla(hot rasgullas).. Komlabhog..

SHOILO SWEETS: Near Lake Town Market
famous for Langcha.. Milk Cake Sandesh..

GHAGEN GHOSH: Manicktala Crossing
Shorbhaja.. Rosoraaj.. Kheer Kadam.. Labangalatika..

SANTOSH SWEETS: M.G.Road & College Street Xing
Chhanar Polao.. Mishti Doi..

NANDALAL GHOSH & SONS: Sukiya Street, opp.Shrimani Market
Kalakand.. Cake Sandesh.. Lord chomchom..

TEWARI BROTHERS: 3A Jagmohan Mullick Lane, Burrabazar
Jalebi.. Chhanar Jilipi.. Kalo Jam..

MAHAPRABHU MISTANNA BHANDAAR: 5 Ramani Chatterjee Road
Nikuti.. Kheerkadam.. Atta Sandesh..

CHITTARANJAN MISTANNA BHANDAAR: 34 Shyampukur Street
introducer of "Sponge Rossogolla"....

SRI HARI MISTANNA BHANDAAR: SP Mukherjee Road, Bhawanipore
this shop too serves excellent "Langcha" and "Goja"...

RASONA: Ballygunge Station Road
thsi shop turns out varieties of Pithe/Pitha.. Paaka Pithe(fried).. Bhapa Pithe(steamed).. Chandrapuli..
Gokul Pithe.. Chitai Pithe.. Paatishapta.. Kheerpuli.. Ranga Aloor Pithe..

NOTE: North-Kolkata Sweets are the best in India... and to believe me, all you have to do is to loose your wallet at different sweet shops of north kolkata and thank me each time you savour those delicacies...

10 comments:

  1. That's erroneous actually.

    Roshogollas are not Bengal's gift to the world. They're Orissa's gift to the world.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the list one name is missing viz. Jalajog sweets in cacutta which was founded by late Sri Gopal Singha Roy of 9 Dr T.N. Majumder Street . He was my Father-in -Law. Jalojog sweets had branches in Lake Market,Shyambazar,Park Street. It was famous for its delicious sweets. Their Misti Dahi was named as " Payodhi" by Rabindranath Tagore.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The once great city with a glorious past is magnified here ! Alas all the institutions only reflect the vibrant past of Calcutta . For the past forty years Calcutta has been made to be frozen in a time capsule and whilst the country and the world has moved ahead all institutions and fundamentals in Calcutta has been desecrated and moved towards decay and death ! What is required is the cultural , economic nod social upheaval and transformation of Calcutta to regain its past glory nod to become an important hub between Dubai and Singapore nod to become a beach head for the North East of India and Myanmar and Bangladesh ! We need to see building of a ten lane tolled super highway between Calcutta and Akhuara Road in Tripura and in turn get connected to the Eastern Highway that will connect India to

    ReplyDelete
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  8. Sweets are delicious and yummy. It will make our mouth watered.
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  9. Bengal sweets having their own individual and makes happy while eating....
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