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This Article is written by Sanavee Kumari
Bengalis from the eastern part of India are lovers of sweets. In fact, they’re particularly known all over the world for their weakness for sweets. Bengal is popular for its creativity in sweet making. Bengali sweets tend to be based on reduced, richly concentrated milk. To do this, Bengalis, split milk for their mishti, a practice which divides the milk into its liquid and solid components.
It is also said that Bengal was earlier known as Gour Banga for its abundant production of gur, or molasses. For all those looking forward to a traditional Bengali matrimony, below are the five most famous Bengali sweets.
Pronounced as “Shondesh,” this has been an integral part of all the celebrations in a traditional Bengali matrimony. It’s more like cheese fudge flavored with saffron and pistachio. It is made by curdling the milk and adding arrowroot powder, cardamom powder, sugar, nuts, saffron and rosewater. It comes in myriad shapes and flavors.
It comes in various types like: Kachagolla, Abar Khabo, Jolbhora or Indrani, Korapak, Ice cream sandesh and Chocolate sandesh.
Pronounced as “Roshogulla,” the name is self-explanatory. ‘Ras’ means the essence of and ‘gulla’ means round or ball. Rasgullas are milk-cheese dumpling balls served in saffron and cardamom flavored rose water or sugar syrup.
Pronounced as “Mishty Doyi,” it is the quintessential dessert of Bengali cuisine. It is sweet yogurt made with milk and caramelized sugar. Earthenware is always used to serve it because the porous walls of the container allow for evaporation of water to thicken the yogurt even more. It is flavored with either saffron or cardamom. The best way to savor it is chilled.
Pronounced as “chom-chom,” this is also known as the pleasure boat. It is prepared from Indian cottage cheese and cooked in sugar syrup. A light dusting of dried milk crumbs is sometimes used to layer its surface. It is flavored with saffron and it comes in yellow, white and pink colors.
Pronounced as “paayesh” or “kheer,” this is a rice pudding added with raisins and blanched almonds. It can be served both hot and cold.
Bengali sweets are mostly served in earthenware called bhand. It serves two purposes. First, excess water from the milk cheese evaporates from the porous walls and the dish remains thick and creamy. Second, earthenware is known as the poor man’s refrigerator. The container keeps its contents cool.
These Bengali desserts are a pure delight and it clearly shows why the Bengalis have a sweet tooth and take pride in them during special occasions and Benali matrimony celebrations. Blended in tradition these Bengali sweets are also symbolic of prosperity. No occasion is complete without these desserts in the menu.
These sweets are made of natural ingredients like milk, sugar, ghee or the butter oil. These sweets are decorated with chandi vark. Bengali desserts have always been a favorite in all occasions because they are both simple and excruciatingly complicated. They are simple because the treats are simple and easily available, and complicated because mishti is to Bengal what the bagel is to New York.
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