Explore Bengali sweets beyond Rasagolla to find the lesser-known gems. Enjoy treats such as the royal saffron infusion from Rajbhog, the distinctive chhena recipe from Langcha, or the smoky flavors from Joynagar. These ten sweets promise an unforgettable journey through the varied world of Bengali confections, from crispy Amriti to creamy Shor Bhaja.
A treasure trove of lesser-known treats can be found in Bengali cuisine, despite the fact that these iconic sweets have gained worldwide recognition. We'll explore 10 mouthwatering Bengali sweets in this article that, while less well-known than Rasagolla, are just as delicious if not more so.
Rajbhog, Rasagolla's regal cousin, is a delectable confection fit for a monarch. These substantial, saffron-infused Rasagollas are stuffed with sumptuous dry fruits and adorned with silver vark (edible silver foil). This dessert lives up to its royal reputation, earning the name "Rajbhog," which means "king's feast.". The filling of saffron and dry fruit elevates the already delicious Rasagolla.
Ledikeni, a favorite Bengali sweet treat, is a dish made with fried khoya (a low-fat milk mixture) mixed with chena (fresh paneer) and flavored with cardamom. Cylindrical in shape, this sweet dish was invented in the 1850s and named after Lady Canning, the wife of the British Governor-General. These golden cylinders are soaked in sugar syrup, resulting in a deliciously sweet treat that perfectly balances texture and flavor.
Amriti is a delicately lace-like dessert that is deep-fried. It is perfectly fried to produce a delicate, crispy, and syrup-drenched treat made from a batter of urad dal (black gram), ghee, and sugar. Amriti has a melt-in-your-mouth interior and a crunchy sugary exterior that is a visual delight.
A cylinder-shaped sweetmeat with a similar appearance to Gulab Jamun, langcha is a native of the Nadia district of West Bengal. Its preparation and flavor are different, though. Chhena (freshly made paneer) is used to make langcha, which is then combined with sugar, cardamom, and a small amount of maida (all-purpose flour). These round candies are deep-fried until they are golden brown, at which point they are covered in sugar syrup and allowed to cool. The result is a sweet and slightly chewy treat.
Due to their similar appearance, pantua and gulab jamun are frequently confused. However, Bengali Pantua has a distinctive flavor. These deep-fried balls are covered in a sugar syrup that has been cardamom-infused and are made from chhena and khoya (reduced milk solids). Pantua distinguishes itself from its rivals with a rich, creamy texture provided by the khoya.
6. Chhanar Jilipi
The traditional Indian Jalebi has been given a Bengali twist with Chhanar Jilipi. This dessert is made with some maida and chhena instead of gram flour. As a result, a soft and spongy dessert drenched in fragrant sugar syrup is produced. The delicate craft of making sweets with fresh chhena is personified by Chhanar Jilipi.
7. Joynagar Moa
The Joynagar Moa is a specialty of the West Bengali town of Joynagar. These tiny, spherical confections are made of puffed rice (muri), date palm jaggery (khejurer gur), and a faint cardamom flavor. This unique sweet has a distinct smoky flavor from the date palm jaggery and is both chewy and crunchy at the same time.
Burdwan, a region in West Bengal, is where mihidana, a sweet, first appeared. These tiny, vividly colored candies are made from besan (gram flour) and are distinguished by their fine, granular texture. Typically served with other Bengali sweets on special occasions, mihidana is usually dusted with powdered sugar.
9. Kheer Kadam
Kheer Kadam is a dessert with multiple flavor and texture layers. A central sphere made of sweetened khoya and coconut forms the basis of this dish. A layer of roasted, sweetened semolina (sooji) is then placed on top of the central sphere. Kheer Kadam is a delightful treat for the senses because of the contrast between the creamy center and the slightly crispy outer layer.
10. Shor Bhaja
A distinctive dessert that highlights Bengalis' love of dairy products is Shor Bhaja, also known as Shor Puria. It is essentially deep-fried sweet cream with a crispy, caramelized crust and a creamy interior. Shor Bhaja is a true indulgence, offering a lovely balance of textures and flavors.
West Bengal's culinary heritage offers a variety of lesser-known sweets that are equally alluring, even though Rasagolla continues to be the symbol of Bengali confections.The royal allure of Rajbhog and the creamy decadence of Shor Bhaja are just two of the ten sweets that deserve recognition and a spot on your dessert platter. Don't forget to discover these hidden gems that provide a sweet surprise beyond your expectations the next time you delve into the world of Bengali sweets.