A dollop of Bengal – Lyangcha and Lyadh

L could have been Lake in Dhakuria now known as Rabindra Sarobar – the rendezvous spot for lovers, Ledikeni – a variety of sweet named after Lady Canning, Lal bazar – the headquarters of Kolkata Police and Lava – the picturesque destination in Kalimpong district of North Bengal. However to re-introduce the fun quotient in the post, I have decided to feature two completely unrelated topics today – the sweet Lyangcha and the word Lyadh.

Lyangcha –

Lyangcha - bulk
Fresh from the oven – Lyangcha

Lyangcha or Langcha (a colloquial distortion of the word Langra or crippled in Bengali) is an Indian sweet made from flour and milk powder by frying it and soaking it into sugar syrup for a long time. It’s uniqueness lies in its shape which is cylindrical(more like a sausage) instead of being the usual round.

According to the local stories, the credit of lyangcha goes to a sweet maker named Lyangcha Dutta of Shaktigarh in Burdwan district. Another version of the story says that Lyangcha had travelled from Krishananagar in Nadia district to Shaktigarh through the matrimonial alliance between the royal families of Krishnanagar and Burdwan.

A different version of this story goes as follows : An invention of a certain Khudiram Dutta in Shaktigarh, it is supposed to have been named after a crippled, nameless Britisher who was mesmerized by the sweet at the first bite. Dutta went on to establish a sweet shop Langcha Mahal selling his trademark cylindrical shaped sweet.

Lyangcha
Lyangcha from Janani sweets-Berhampore

Shaktigarh is still the most famous region of Lyangcha with an array of shops selling these along NH 19. Here the lyangchas are black in color, fried more deeply and taste sweeter than the ones found in the other parts of Bengal. Tarapith and Kolkata also have quite a few well-known lyangcha shops.

Lyadh –

Lyadh - The Bong Sense
Lyadh – Image courtesy : The Bong Sense

For most of the Bengalis, lyadh is a way of life. It is basically the art of doing nothing or the most productive way to do unproductive thing. While laziness comes as a close synonym, it is also worth mentioning that there is an element of enjoyment in the process of lyadh or lyadh khawa (eating lyadh – not to be taken literally though).

Disclaimer – The intention of the usage of this word in the post is neither to stereotype nor to offend Bengalis. 

The personal angle-

Even though I could never differentiate between the taste of lyangcha, pantua and ledikeni as a child, it was the off beat shape of lyangcha that made it my favorite sweet.

Source of info –

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Express foodie 

Hope this post made you smile today. See you tomorrow.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Post graduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my two and half year old toddler son What is this blog about ? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

16 thoughts on “A dollop of Bengal – Lyangcha and Lyadh”

  1. Here goes Sonia. When you speak of the art of doing nothing it reminds of Winnie the Pooh! Oh and it’s not just the Bengalis, Punekars also excel in that art. Our shops also close down from 2- 4 for the siesta :-).
    And those sweets, are they the Bengali version of Gulabjamuns?

    Like

  2. Hilarious ! I seriously could not believe that you wrote about Lyadh! A great fun quotient to introduce this very colloquial, often slighted yet endearing term describing the wallowing that one enjoys in doing just nothing and letting oneself slip into a lazy trance from which only a sharp kick can kick you out!!
    Lyangcha brought back sweet memories and set the quintessential sweet tooth of a sweet craving yet sweet deprived bengali (in Kerala you hardly get the sweet essence of true Bengali sweets), sweetly tingling! And if you are thinking that’s too much of sweet or that my comment is sweet, let me assure you that Lyangcha is one of the sweetest sweets you’ll every get in Bengal, our state which is now proudly calling itself in ads as ‘the sweetest part of India’ !!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Lyangra does look appealing,no doubt, but for me it’s always been the Roshogulla and the Sandesh! How I drool at the sight of these two Bengali sweets. So craving for one right now! Hey, there’s this newly opened Bengali sweets shop in the neighbourhood! Will pay it a visit soon.
    Oh, and also craving for some lyadh! So need a break! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You set my sweet tooth off. Being a mild diabetic I am not supposed to eat too many sweets. But the yummy site of those Lyangcha sweets has really set me off. But I am sure if I go to a sweet shop in Kochi and ask for Lyangcha they are not going to understand what I am talking about unless of course, I find a Bengali sweet shop in Kochi. So, for the time being, I will just make do with eating some Gulab Jamuns which the Lyangcha seems to resemble closely.

    Liked by 1 person

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