Exploring Kolkata’s Rasgulla: History, Types And Top 5 Haunts
Image Credit: The sweet treat of rasgullas in Kolkata is unmatchable | Shutterstock

Roshogolla, also spelled as Rasgulla, is one of the most beloved and iconic sweet treats in the Indian state of Bengal. With its spongy texture and sweet syrup, it has captured the hearts of dessert lovers not only in Bengal but across the world. Sweet rasgullas from Bengal are always in demand, not just in India but throughout the world. There is always space for rasgullas even after a heavy meal. Let us look at its short history, types of rasgullas and where in Kolkata you can find the best ones!

Historical Origins

The origins of Roshogolla are deeply rooted in Bengal's rich culinary history. The origins of Rasgulla are a subject of debate, with several regions in India claiming to be the birthplace of this beloved sweet. While its precise origin remains a mystery, Rasgulla's history can be traced back to ancient texts and legends.

One of the earliest references to a sweet resembling Rasgulla can be found in ancient Indian texts like the "Bhavishya Purana" and "Manasollasa," which date back to the 12th century. These texts describe a sweet called "Rasakunda" or "Kheerakunda," which bears a resemblance to modern-day Rasgulla.

Rasgulla in Odisha

One of the strongest claims to the origin of Rasgulla comes from the eastern Indian state of Odisha. The city of Puri, in particular, has a rich tradition of making Rasgulla, where it is known as "Pahala Rasagola." Legend has it that the sweet was offered to Lord Jagannath as part of the ritual at the Jagannath Temple in Puri. This association with the temple lends a deep cultural and religious significance to Rasgulla in Odisha.

Rasgulla in Bengal

Bengal also lays claim to the origins of Rasgulla. It is widely believed that the sweet, in its current form, was perfected and popularized in Bengal, particularly in the city of Kolkata. The credit for this transformation is often attributed to the legendary sweet maker, Nobin Chandra Das, in the late 19th century. Nobin Chandra Das is said to have experimented with the recipe, using chhena as the primary ingredient and cooking it in sugar syrup. This innovation led to the creation of the spongy, syrup soaked Rasgulla that we know today. 

Variations and Regional Types

Over time, Roshogolla has evolved, and different regions have developed their own unique variations. Here are some notable variations of Roshogolla:

Kheer Roshogolla: In this variation, Roshogolla is soaked in sweet, creamy kheer instead of the traditional sugar syrup. It offers a wonderful combination, with the creamy kheer complementing the spongy sweetness of the Roshogolla.

Nolen Gur Roshogolla: This type of Roshogolla is a winter specialty in Bengal. It is made using nolen gur, a date palm jaggery that is available during the winter months. The use of nolen gur imparts a unique, caramel-like flavour to the Roshogolla, making it a seasonal favourite.

Chocolate Roshogolla: A modern twist on the classic, chocolate Roshogolla is infused with cocoa or chocolate sauce. It caters to the taste buds of chocolate lovers and offers a fusion of traditional and contemporary flavours.

Orange Roshogolla: Orange Roshogolla is infused with orange zest or essence, creating a citrusy twist to the traditional recipe.  It looks like another famous Bengali sweet, the rajbhog. This version of rasgulla is a refreshing variation that's perfect for those who enjoy fruity flavours.

Baked Roshogolla: A creamy and delicious dessert, baked rasgulla has become popular all over the country. This is a delicacy that you need to try to understand the hype about it. Roshogolla is covered with rabri and then baked to perfection.

Top 5 Places To Enjoy Rasgulla in Kolkata

Roshogolla, with its rich history and diverse variations, remains a beloved sweet in Bengal and beyond. Its journey from a regional delight to a global sensation showcases its enduring appeal. Here are top 5 spots to try Rasgulla if you are visiting Kolkata.

Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick

The top spot on every local’s list, this iconic place has the freshest, most spongy and delicious rasgullas that you will ever taste. The shop is famous nationwide for its sweets. They have delicious baked rasgullas that are a must try.

Nobin Chandra Das 

How can you not try rasgullas at the shop which is named after the man credit with inventing rasgullas? With varieties of this dessert to choose from at the shop, make sure you taste the classic roshogolla to taste true heaven.

K.C. Das

Krishna Chandra Das, the son of Nobin Chandra Das, started his own confectionary shop in 1930, and the place is a must visit for any rasgulla lover. The shop is called the inventor of vacuum-canned roshogollas which are now famous across the country.

Super Snacks and Sweets

A relatively new shop, it has become a favourite swiftly and smoothly. Located in Rail Pakur Road, visit this shop for the ultimate roshogolla experience. It is open till 10:30 at night,so your post dinner dessert craving is sorted.

Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar

The specialty of this dessert is that it is not too sweet, but spongy and satisfying at the same time. This is one place where you cannot just stop at one rasgulla. You end up eating more!