9 Delicious Bengali Sweets to Indulge in this Festive Season!
By Monami Mitra | Oct 12, 2018
There is a reason that Bengal tourism created a tagline that reads “The sweetest part of India”. People all over India usually associate Bengal with sweetmeats. Ask any Bengali living outside of Bengal, and s/he will tell you about being constantly badgered about bringing Roshogollas and Sandeshes from hometown. But, what people miss out on are the varied types of intricate sweetmeats made by the Eastern part of India.
Here, we walk you through such nine delectable sweets that will surely make your day!
Nope, we are not talking about Gulab Jamuns. These may look deceptively similar, but caters to a different palate altogether. Ask any Bengali, and s/he will speak eloquently and quite fervently about how they are completely different from their lookalikes.
You can have these spongy and moist desserts either hot or cold. We suggest you try one and then decide which team you are on.
Long before crepes filled with Nutella came into the picture, Bengali Grandmothers were making these mouthwatering crepes filled with kheer/khowa (Mawa or grated coconut and jaggery). Pithes are a branch of sweets made mostly at home in different shapes, sizes and fillings. Patishapta is just the tip of this delish iceberg.
Just get hold of your Bengali friend and annoy her/him enough to get some for you. Best way to relish them is when they are warm and the goeey filling starts to trickle out from the ends.
Ahhhhhh Nolen Gur! How can we break down the versatility and simplicity of this flavoursome ingredient. Found only during the winter season, Nolen Gur (date palm jaggery) is a tastier and healthier alternative than sugar.
Add this to any dessert, and you have just declared yourself to be in the top league of home chefs. So, take the ordinary Payesh or Kheer and turn it into this extraordinary dessert. Same goes for Roshogollas, Sandeshes and even ice creams.
Its name is derived from the flower, Kadamba. And rightly so, as just like the flower you have a hard crust outside but when you bite into it, you find a goeey surprise awaiting you.
This two-layered sweatmeat is a small Roshogolla that has been coated with kheer and then, just to drive home the delectability, is further dusted with dry kheer. Trust us, your mouth will be thanking you for introducing you to this delicacy.
Don’t ever confuse this with its poorer cousin – Jalebis.
One bite and you may never want to go back to the world of Jalebis anymore (unless they are steaming hot and served with some melting raabri). One bite and you will finally understand why it has been named so closely to Amrit (the food of the gods).
Take paneer, khoya and maida, then what do you have? A melt-in-your-mouth dessert that is moist and sweet and all things nice! Think of it as another version of the Jalebi that just deliciously disintegrates on contact.
Yup, leave it to a Bengali to whip up different varities of the same sweet!
Even though the name may sound funny to some, this sweatmeat definitely means business when it comes to taste. Succulent and sweet, it will definitely give you foodgasm for days.
Another variant of this is Malai Chom Chom, which means it’s literally drenched in malai. And who doesn’t love malai on their sweets?
Raj bhogs definitely lives up to their majestic name, in terms of size, colour and taste.
These irrestible sweetmeats are flavoured with saffron and cardamom, and stuffed with dry fruits. Compared to a Roshogolla, this one is gargantous in size and you can bet your life that it can not be stuffed in your mouth in one go. We speak from experience!
And finally, the quitteessential goodness of the Misti Doi (sweet yogurt).
No lavish meal is complete in a Bengali’s house without this. And even though there are multiple brands marketing it in tiny plastic containers, the best way to have it is in a bhar (earthenware) with a wooden stick. The bhar adds its own earthy flavour to it to make it even more tempting.
Few honorary mentions will be Labong Latika, Shor Bhaja, Sita Bhog, Ladikeni….we could go on. If you are wondering where to try them, there are a few Bengali-themed shops that sell these sweetmeats. Since this is the time of Durga Puja, just step into any popular Durga Puja event happening in your town. They usually have Bengali sweetmeat counters for you to indulge your sweettooth on.