Bengal and Bengali Sweets:
Craving for some Bengali sweets to top off that complete meal or simply looking for an excuse to indulge that sweet tooth? Take a trip down a list of a rich variety of delicacies to suit every palate, that can be found in the land of Bengal.
While some of those quintessential Bengali sweets recipes have now found their way to the rest of the country, there are several Bengali sweets which have not reached their deserved popularity yet.
Bengal and Bengali sweets are widely popular for its rich and vibrant culture.
Among other things like Rabindranath Tagore and Victoria Memorial, Bengalis take immense pride in their large selection of delectable mishti.
Here are the Bengali sweets that you should try at least once in your life:
1. Mishti Doi
Any Bengali can instantly relate to Mishti Doi. It is like the most popular dessert of Bengal, which literally means ‘sweet curd’, and mostly seen in a light, reddish colour.
Another variant of curd is Bhapa Doi (steamed curd) which is usually garnished with nuts and make for a delicious finish to any meal. For the best experience make sure to have this Bengali sweet chilled and straight from a refrigerator.
2. Rosogolla and Rajbhog
Rosogollas and Bengalis go hand in hand. It is one of the most famous Bengali sweets.
Rosogolla is a soft chhena (cottage cheese) ball dipped into a sugary syrup. Rajbhog is a close cousin of this popular sweet, with a delicious stuffing in its centre that can be made of dry fruits, saffron, cardamom and so on. With this dessert, it is usually difficult to devour only one.
Sandesh is again a very popular Bengali sweet. A dry sweet, Sandesh can be of many variants.
Made with chhena, sugar and/or jaggery, this dessert can be moulded into different shapes and designs.
Malpua, a bengali cousin of pancake, is a syrup-drenched concoction made from flour and sugar and additional ingredients like coconut. These miniature pancakes are fried before being soaked in sugar syrup. This Bengali sweet is also popular in several parts of North India and in Odisha.
Rasmalai is a hit all over India. It is made with small sugary balls of chhena soaked in acreamy kheer with a touch of cardamom, saffron, and dry fruits.
The tiny balls are immersed and cooked in simmering milk cream. The product has tiny rasgullas soaked in a creamy, milky base. Needless to mention, it’s rich and utterly delicious.
Every list of Bengali sweets would be incomplete without the inclusion of payesh. A mouth-watering Bengali dessert with a thick creamy consistency, payesh is made with milk, rice, sugar, ghee with a hint of cardamom, raisins and dry fruits. Variants include gurer payesh which is made with jaggery and chhenar payesh which is made with chhena.
Pantua too is quite a famous sweet of Bengal. Another Bengali sweet served on a bed of sugar syrup, pantua is made from a yummy combination of milk, semolina, ghee, khoya and sugar. Similar to gulab jamuns, these pack a delicious punch and you should definitely not miss out on this one.
The name Amriti is derived from “Amrita”, meaning ‘Manna’ or the food of the gods, and this dessert does not disappoint at all. Similar to a jalebi, it is designed into spirals with decorative curlicues around the edges.
This dish is made from ground dal, sugar and cardamom which is then fried in ghee, and soaked in sugar syrup.
A dish popular in many parts of Eastern India, Langcha is made from flour and khoya. It is fried before being dipped into the sugar syrup. This famous Bengali sweet is prepared during festivals and special occasions. Just like the other sweets, langchas are addictive.
10. Chennar Jilipi
This Bengali sweet is particularly for those who are a huge fan of jalebi and like experimenting with the taste and preparation procedure. Made from chhena, khoya and flour, it resembles the spiral of a jalebi but boasts a new and delicious taste. It is best eaten warm and fresh.
Among the best Bengali sweets, atishapta ranks quite high. It consists of a delicious crepe that envelops a mixture of coconut, cardamom, jaggery, khoya and dry fruits.
This is a festival favourite and is especially enjoyed during seasonal and harvest-related festivals.
Chomchom is made of flour, coconut, cream, sugar and saffron. This is a very popular sweet in Bengal. The sweet is oval in shape and often has a white-yellowish hue to it.
At times, as a garnish, the sweetmeat is coated in mawa or coconut flakes.
Mowa is a delicious dry concoction made out of jaggery, puffed rice or chiwra (flattened rice) and ghee that is packed together into a round delicious ball. The seasonally available Joynagar-er Mowa is perhaps one of the tastiest Bengali sweets you will ever try. This specific type is also dotted with dry fruits and nuts. Mowa can also be made with khoi.
Mihidana can be best described as the microscopic cousin of the boondi or bonde. The dish is made with powdered rice, flour and saffron which is blended with water.
This mixture is then poured through a sieve-like ladle and deep-fried. These fine particles of fried goodness are then dipped and soaked in sugar syrup and drained.
This delicious dessert is made of deep-fried milk cream. The recipe takes a while to create, but the end results are totally worth it.
While outside the Bengali community, Shorbhaja might not be well known, it is one of the best Bengali sweets to be made. In another variation, layers of cream milk are baked to form a dessert called sarpuria. The fried or baked pieces are finally soaked in a sugar syrup before you can enjoy them.
The Bengali version of laddoos are very similar and yet utterly unique when compared to the rest of the country.
In Bengal, boondi laddoos are called darbesh.
It differs in taste and texture from the traditional laddoos and is often eaten during festivals.
A soft, melt in your mouth kind of dessert, Kanchagolla is made of pure milk and can be cooked in numerous variations. Kanchagolla is one of the healthiest desserts and is often preferred during religious ceremonies and festivals.
Shaped like a pale crescent moon, this dessert is made from cottage cheese, mawa, coconut and jaggery. Because of the combination of ingredients, this can be the perfect dessert to indulge your sweet tooth.
But some might find it too sweet for their palate. A popular Bengali sweet, it is enjoyed during festive occasions such as Durga Puja.
A distant cousin of the well-known gulab jamun, kalojaam is made from flour, milk, cardamom and then deep-fried.
Shaped into little spheres, these fried dumplings are soaked in a sugar syrup before being served up.
The dessert has a dark, almost black in colour and is considered delicious by most.
A delicious combination of chhena, flour and cardamom, which is deep fried in an oblong shape, nikuti is an elaborate dessert.
The fried balls are soaked in sugar syrup and then after that put in a concoction of condensed milk and chilled.
A dry sweet made into small spheres, Naru can be made from a variety of ingredients including coconut, til (sesame) and so on.
Made with ingredients such as cardamom, jaggery, grated coconut, these are slightly sticky, sweet orbs of deliciousness that you will want to devour in a single bite and come back for more.
A sweet and delicious dessert made using condensed milk, rabri is made by slow cooking and thickening milk. The dessert is garnished with dry fruits and nuts.
Sugar and spices are added to season the dish.
Keep in mind that this is a very heavy and filling recipe and do make sure to leave ample space for this dessert.
23. Labong Latika
Labong Latika is one of the traditional sweets prepared by grandmothers on special occasions. Labong is clove in English and is used in abundance in this dish. Labong Latika is pocket made of all-purpose flour, which is filled with sweetened khoya and a crusty pastry covering that is sealed with a piece of clove. The sweet is then fried and left to cool in a bowl of sugar syrup.
It is super delicious and quite addictive! This is popular in other places of India and is known as Laung Latika.
Sitabhog is a popular dish from Bardhaman area of Bengal. Sitabhog is a very tasty and also a very interesting dessert to look at. It looks like pulao (a savoury dish) but tastes sweet.
Many variants of this are available now but traditionally it was made of white rice and little pieces of gulab jamun.
Nowadays, people prefer using vermicelli instead of rice.
It is then mixed white rice flour, cottage cheese and sugar.
25. Kolar Bora
Kolar bora is a famous Sankranti dish.
Kola in Bengali means banana and bora is a pakora or fritters. It is hot and soft in the inside and crunchy on the outside.
It is often enjoyed with a cup of tea and snacks or you could eat it cold. It is relatively easy to make yet super yummy to eat.