Ah! Bengalis and their eerie affinity for ‘mishti’ are all too well reputed. So much so, that even movies use a person with a pot of ‘mishti’ to symbolise the quintessential Bengali babumoshai (loosely translating into ‘Gentleman’). Now, probably it’s the constant rendezvous with the irresistible ‘mishtis’ that lead to Bengali being hailed as the ‘sweetest’ language. In case you’re wondering what ‘mishti’ is, it’s the Bengali synonym of ‘sweet’.
So here we offer a glimpse to the sweet temptations you can succumb to, in Kolkata.
The spongy, white balls dipped in syrup are a sight of immense joy for any sweet lover. (I speak as one!) Biting into the spongy flesh to relish the syrupy sweet is ecstatic to say the least!
The brown crust gives the illusion that its hard, but you realize its softness as soon as you bite into it. The interior is sweeter and softer. The texture is due to the sweet being deep fried. And the syrup is denser which is why it tastes as sweet!
Almost like the Pantua, but different in shape and generally is less syrupy.. The sausage shaped sweet is delightfully savored by kids and adults alike.
The cliched dessert for any Bengali meal. The sweetened curd is traditionally served in an earthen pot. And ah! The joy of licking it off your fingers!
A drier variety of sweets, prepared using milk, sugar often with cardamom, pestas and other nuts. Often jaggery is used as a substitute for sugar, as well as a filling.
Originally from the Bardhaman district of West Bengal, Mihidana is a popular Besan based sweet. Often preferred as a dessert. The yellow little balls are a delight to savor!
A big brother of the Rosogolla, the Raj Bhog is literally a royal delicacy with its impressive size. A yellow, spongy, syrupy ball of happiness, laced with saffron.
Another seasonal dish, the rice crust is rolled with the stuffing that is usually preferred to be coconut mashed with jaggery, kheer. This is traditionally prepared during the Bengali month of Poush, on Poush Sankranti.
Bite into the crunchy, sweet crust and reveal the softer stuffing inside. The syrupy base will only make you accelerate the chomping! Also, a dry variant is available, which is like a thin sweet pancake.
A sought after sweet in the winter, this is made with puffed rice, date palm jaggery, seasoned with cashew and raisins. Although it has gained omnipresence in sweet shops, the moa with authentic ingredients can be found only in shops at Joynogor, Bahura, just on the outksirts of Kolkata, except some shops which procure the original ones.
Basically this is a sweet, syrupy patty, stuffed with nuts, kheer and coconut. The packing is rolled and topped by a clove (which is called Labango in Bengali, hence the name). Bite into its sweet crust to enjoy the sweeter stuffing inside!
Nolen Gurer Mishti
This refers to a breed of sweets that are prepared with Nolen Gur (a special variety of jaggery, available only in winter). The Nolen Gur is used as a substitute for sugar as a sweetener and the flavour it contributes is pretty appealing! Nolen Gur is used to prepare to Sandesh and Roshogolla, along with several other sweetmeats like Payesh.
So, here are some of the highlights in the sweet paradise that Kolkata can be called the gateway to! So when do you padhaaro into this sweet paradise?
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He is currently pursuing Computer Science and Engineering from Haldia Institute of Technology. (You shall be spared the boring details.)
He has an interest in photography, exploration and travel; which is only superseded by a passion for writing and reading. Observant and pensive blended with an adventurous, instinctive personality. A game for challenges!