10 Most Popular Bengali Sweets for Every Foodie’s Bucket list
Bengalis and sweets are synonymous. They almost never complete their meal without sweets or mishti, as they call them. These delicate and delectable sweets are so well-loved that they form an integral part of Indian cuisine and are popular with people of all ages across the country and the world.
Here is a list of unique and tasty Bengali sweets you must try at least once in your life.
1. Kala Jamun
Kala jamun, also known as Kala Jaam, is a popular sweet most Bengalis have grown up eating. It is a darker and a drier version of gulab jamun. It is a cheese-based dessert made with milk solid and cottage cheese. Kala jaam is made slightly denser compared to gulab jamun, is darker in colour, and it is more often than not, stuffed with blanched and chopped pieces of pistachios and almonds mixed with saffron water. It is grainy in texture and often served dry unlike gulab jamuns. This delightful sweet is loved by all in the family.
For a longer shelf life, store it in a refrigerator inside a box. It takes 30-40 minutes to prepare and about an hour to cook.
Check out Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe here.
2. Sita Bhog
Legend claims that this sweet was named after Lord Rama’s wife, Sita. it is believed that this was her favourite dish. History mentions a local sweet maker, Bhairav Chandra Naag, who presented this sweet to front of Lord Curzon when he visited Burdwan for the first time.
Sita Bhog is a special Bengali dish which requires practice and patience. It involves making rice vermicelli, which is served with miniature versions of gulab jamun scattered on it. To make it, you need to prepare the dough made from grated paneer or cottage cheese and powdered rice. This is fried in ghee using a perforated laddle so you can get vermicelli. The noodles are then soaked in sugar syrup. The syrup is generally white, but you can add saffron to it for a nice yellow colour.
To get a more detailed recipe, read BetterButter’s recipe.
Cooking time- 40 Mins
3. Lobongo Latika
Lobongo latika or lavang latika is a sweet for any occasion. You need no special day to savour this mishti. This pastry dough filled with thickened milk or mawa and nut mix is one of the famous sweet dishes of West Bengal. The shape of the fold resembles a tiny envelope, which is sealed with a clove.
It is relatively easy to make but it requires good skill to fold the dough neatly so that it does not disintegrate while frying. If you are already drooling for this sweet, visit PeeknCook to find its recipe.
Cooking time- about an hour
4. Chhanar Jilepi
Channar jilepi, also known as paneer jalebi, is another favourite Bengali sweet. Paneer or cottage cheese, khoya or thickened milk, and maida are the main ingredients which go in making this delightful mishti made on festive occasions. The batter is deep-fried in a pretzel or circular shape and later soaked in sugar syrup. This is a simple recipe to make that does not take much time and can be enjoyed with loved ones at any time the mood for something sweet strikes.
To get a mouthful of flavor, check out Spicytreats’ recipe.
Cooking time- about an hour
Patishapta, the most desired Bengali sweet delicacy, is prepared in the month of January on the auspicious occasion of Poush or Makar Sankranti. Bengalis usually prefer to make this particular sweet at home. Patishapta is soft rice crepes folded inwards to make an envelope filled with a delicious filling made of coconut and jaggery. The pancake batter has to be very thin and cooked to perfection. You can use sugar instead of jaggery for the filling.
With Chef Lalita Chakraborty’s recipe, you can now enjoy this Bengali delight.
Cooking time- about 40 minutes
6. Kheer Kadam
Got some rasgullas leftover from last night? Don’t worry, you can turn them into an exotic Bengali dish called kheer kadam with just a few simple steps. The name kheer kadam is suggestive of a flower called Kadamba in Bengal. To make this dessert, all you need is some rasgullas and a little bit of imagination.
The different layers of the sweet are what make it different. It is quite easy to make if you have rasgullas, mawa, and some milk in hand. This sweet stays fresh for a week if stored in a refrigerator. Sanjeev Kapoor has a recipe to share for a mouthful of kheer kadam. Check the recipe here.
Cooking time- About 15 minutes.
7. Shor Bhaaja
Show Bhaaja is yet another elaborate Bengali dish, which is probably one of the toughest one to make. Its preparation is a tedious process; involves layers of milk cream deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup. Sometimes khoya and chhanna are also mixed with the cream. It requires extreme patience and skill. The labour involved to make this particular sweet is tremendous, but the end result always guarantees satisfaction.
You can find Shor Bhaaja in only a handful of shops in Kolkata, that too only on special occasions. It is rarely available outside of the state. Don’t get disheartened, here is a Secret Indian Recipe to share with you. Give it a try!
Cooking time- 2 hours
8. Joynagarer Moa
Joynagarer moa is a seasonal Bengali sweet meat which finds its roots in the south city of West Bengal, Joynagar. You can buy it at other localities in Kolkata and elsewhere, but they are not nearly as good as the ones from Joynagar streets. It is prepared with date palm jaggery, puffed rice (made from kanakchur dhaan, a variety of rice which has a special aroma and taste), cardamom, and poppy seeds. Joynagarer moa is enjoyed mostly in the winters as both the puffed rice and palm jaggery are in plenty during this season.
This sweet is almost as famous as rasgullas. It is in the shape of round balls topped with raisins or nuts.
Bengali Home Cooking has a special recipe of joynagarer moa to share with you.
Cooking time – 45 minutes
Pantua is often mistaken as gulab jamun, but there is a vast difference between the two. It looks hard from the outside but is actually very soft from the inside, though a little less spongy than rasgullas. It is made with crumbly cottage cheese or chhena, flour or maida, semolina or suji, and sugar. Pantua is deep fried to a rich brown colour and soaked in sugar syrup.
There are several close cousins of the pantua in Bengal – langcha and ledikeni – both are made with the same ingredients but have different textures. You can be serve pantua both hot or cold.
Sanjeev Kapoor shares – How to make Pantua
Cooking time – 45 minutes
Did you really think we wouldn’t mention rasgullas? We were saving the best for last. This sweet doesn’t need much introduction. Ask any true Bengali what his/her favorite mishti is and you know rasgulla will always be one of their most loved sweet dish. People recognize rasgullas all over the world now. It is made from ball shaped dough of chhena and semolina, cooked in a light sugar syrup.
Here is the recipe you are looking for to make spongy rasgulla.
Cooking time – one hour.
After reading this, you are in all probability going to commit gluttony and we won’t blame you! Do you think we have missed your favorite Bengali sweet? Tell us which one is your best pick and don’t forget to share your amazing mishti experiences with us. Leave us your stories in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.
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