Kolkata is blessed with a number of mouth-watering sweet dishes. You cannot make the mistake of asking a Bengali to pick out a favorite sweet from such a long list. However, try asking them to name a few, and they would oblige.
With our latest article, we bring you seven Bengali sweet dishes that are sure to tickle your taste buds.
First of all to clear the air, it is “Rosogolla” and not “Rasgulla” or “Rasagulla”. Nalen Gurer Rosogolla is a famous sweet dish majorly prepared in Kolkata during the winter season.
Preparing this dessert involves dipping pieces of cottage cheese into jaggery syrup obtained from the palms of date trees. The jaggery syrup lends an appetizing aroma and taste to the cottage cheese balls, aka Paneer. Exuberating a different taste from your usual jaggery, date palm jaggery provides a distinct flavor to the Rosogolla.
You must try out this interesting variant of the Rosogolla when in Kolkata.
2. Misti Doi
Another popular dessert from Kolkata, Misti Doi comprises fermented yogurt that has been frosted with caramelized sugar. “Misti” in Bengali means sweet in English, whereas “Doi” stands for curd. It is not just your regular curd with some sugar-coating, but forms an essential after course that follows every Bengali meal. Slightly brown in color, Misti Doi comprises curd garnished with dry fruits. It melts as soon as it enters your mouth. The rich creamy texture of Misti Doi is capable of completely satisfying your taste buds.
3. Lobongo Lotika
Lobongo Lotika! Sounds so poetic right? This is a famous tea-time delicacy prepared in almost every Kolkata household. The preparation involves Kheer (rice pudding) wrapped up inside a crunchy parcel that is made out of Maida. This crunchy maida packaging is then sealed with a clove, which translates to “Lobongo” in Bengali. Now, imagine a soft juicy kheer folding coated with sugar syrup. As you bite into it, it just explodes into your mouth with a refreshing flavor.
4. Jolbhora Sandesh
A relatively lesser known Bengali sweet, Jolbhora Sandesh is a must-have when in Kolkata. “Jolbhora” means filled with water when translated to English. Jolbhora Sandesh is made up of cottage cheese and nolen gur (jaggery syrup extracted from the date palms during winter). Owing to the juicy jaggery filling that resides at the center, every bite of the sweet dish can make your mouth water. Jolbhora Sandesh is shaped like taler sash (ice apple) which makes it very appealing to the eyes. Keep a handkerchief handy as there is a chance you might ruin your face with every bite.
5. Makha Sandesh
Makha Sandesh is a Bengali sweet dish usually prepared during the winter season. “Makha” in Bengali translates to “kneaded” in English. The dish got this name because its preparation involves kneading a mixture of cottage cheese, sugar, condensed milk, and jaggery. Toss in a few dry fruits and you’ve got a mouth-watering dish on your plate. Makha Sandesh doesn’t have any shape and is usually sold by weight. This sweet surely has all the ingredients that can satisfy your sweet tooth.
Payesh is a traditional Bengali sweet that you might not find in any confectionery. It is generally made up of milk, sugar, rice, dry fruits, and cardamom. Bengalis prepare this dish making sure that a touch of love forms the final ingredient. The milk, sugar and rice form a lovely rice pudding that tastes amazing when you drop in a bit of rose water, dry fruits, or cardamom. Payesh is a must on occasions such as birthdays or festivals like Diwali and Durga Puja.
Various Bengali sweets fall under the “Pithe” category. While most of them are sweet, some even turn out to be savoury. The name of this brand of sweets is decided depending on the shape and filling. However, they are all made out of “rice flour”. Pithe usually comprises a filling of coconut and jaggery, that is sometimes substituted by sesame and milk or simply replaced with kheer (reduced milk).
Every ingredient is homemade, right from rice flour to the palatable mixture inside it. One such Pithe found in Kolkata is Kuli Pithe, a semicircle-shaped dish that has coconut and milk filling. Kuli Pithe is usually prepared while boiling milk.
Patisapta, on the other hand, is a kind of Pithe that looks like a roll. It comprises either coconut filling or kheer. Malpoa is another Pithe delectable that doesn’t have any filling. It is circle-shaped and made up of ingredients like rice flour, coconut, and jaggery. Each one of these sweets will give your taste buds a different kind of satisfaction.