Joynagar Moa is a Bengali sweet that received a GI tag this year. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
It’s a winter evening in Delhi and I’m at a friend’s house in Chittaranjan Park. We were chatting over a cup of tea and Jhalmuri and suddenly a strong aroma hit us. Upon enquiring, I came to know that her granny was boiling something over the stove that she had brought from Bengal. A few more minutes went by and I figured out that it was none other than Nolen Gur. Being an Odia, I am pretty familiar with the assortment of delicious dishes that the neighbouring state has in store. Coming back to the story, I couldn’t resist and went to her kitchen to enquire what her granny was making. The old lady mentioned that it was something that her mother-in-law used to prepare during winters and the dish is called Joynagar Moa. The lady then proceeded to add fried paddy, thickened milk, cardamom powder and ghee and cooked the mixture for some time. She then made ladoos out of it and packed some for me. After reaching my PG, I couldn’t resist but grab a bite of the delicious ladoos and honestly, I was gobsmacked.
Upon researching more about the delicacy, I came to know that the dish is made specifically with Kanakchur Khoi (fried paddy) that is made from an aromatic variety of paddy grown in the Joynagar district of West Bengal. Locals believe that the dish was first made in the year 1904 by Asutosh Das, a local of Joynagar. The dish is exclusively made during winters as both the main ingredients- Nolen Gur and Kanakchur Khoi are available during November and December. Owing to the place of its origin, the dish has received a GI tag in 2021.
Although Joynagar Moa is widely relished in parts of Bengal, making it isn’t as fun. The Moas are made the previous day for consumption and the process starts in the evening. First, Khoi and jaggery are mixed and then allowed to rest for an hour. After that, some more jaggery is heated and blended in the Khoi and jaggery mixture. This mixture is covered in Sal Patta and allowed to rest overnight. The next morning, another round of jaggery is heated and mixed along with Khoya Kheer, cardamom powder, dry fruits and raisins. This mixture is then made into ladoos and is ready to serve.
We know we have teased your irresistible sweet tooth and you just can't wait to savour the delicious sweet. So, the next time you visit West Bengal, make sure you try this decadent Bengali sweet.