A dollop of Bengal – Rosogolla

R offered a variety of options to talk about. From the social activist, writer and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore to sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, the pride of Bengal – Royal Bengal Tiger, the road famous for historic parades – Red Road, Governors official residence –Raj Bhavan, the weekend tourist destination – Raichak, the new tourist spot in Kalimpong sub division along Reshi river – Rishi khola and the national award-winning director Rituparno Ghosh, there were quite a variety of facets to talk about. But no write-up about Bengal would ever be complete without the featured topic for the day – Rosogolla.

Rosogolla –

Rosogolla in shop.jpg
The tray of Rosogolla at Annapurna Sweets

The dessert is known as Rosogolla or Roshogolla in Bengali and Rasagola in Odia. Rasgulla is derived from the words ras (“juice”) and gulla (“ball”).

Preparation

Rosogolla is made from ball-shaped dumplings of chhena or chhana (curds or cheese curds similar to cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in light syrup made of sugar until the syrup permeates the dumplings.

Other than the white variety, various new versions of rosogolla have been launched like Nolen Gur Rosogolla (made from date palm jaggery), Kesar Rosogolla, Chocolate Rosogolla among others. Nolen Gur Rosogolla is one of the sought out desserts during winter season,

Nolen Gur Rosogolla
Nolen Gur Rosogolla

History

According to historians of Odisha, rasgulla originated in Puri, as khira mohana, which later evolved into the Pahala rasgulla. It has been traditionally offered as bhog to goddess Lakshmi at Jagannath Temple, Puri.

The spongy white rasgulla is believed to have been introduced in present-day Bengal in 1868 by a Kolkata-based confectioner named Nobin Chandra Das though there have been popular theories claiming that he had only popularised the sweet whose which had been prepared by other sweet makers..

The traditional Odisha rasgullas are soft and cream in colour while the Bengali rosogollas are whitish and rubbery

In 1930, the introduction of vacuum packing by Nobin Chandra’s son Krishna Chandra Das led to the availability of canned rosogollas. This made the dessert popular outside Kolkata and subsequently outside India. Krishna Chandra’s son Sarada Charan Das established the K.C. Das Pvt Ltd company in 1946. Sarada Charan’s younger son Debendra Nath established K.C. Das Grandsons in 1956.

Kesar Rosogolla in shop
Kesar Rosogolla

GI status

In 2015, West Bengal applied for a Geographical Indication (GI) status for “Banglar Rosogolla” (Bengali Rasgulla). On 14 November 2017, the GI Registry of India granted West Bengal the GI status for Banglar Rosogolla.

Famous shops

Five shops that are famous for rosogollas in Kolkata –

1. KC Das Grandsons Pvt. Ltd.

2. Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick

3. Hindustan Sweets

4. Annapurna

5. Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar

The personal angle –

Rosogolla
The traditional variety of Rosogolla

Every Bengali at some point of life has definitely tasted Rosogolla. From being the first dessert offered to a baby to being considered as an integral part of Bengali festivals, traditions and rituals, the sweet has an everlasting relation with almost every household in the state. Infact it can be safely deduced that Rosogolla is nothing short of an emotion attached with the identity and food culture of Bengal.

 

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.

15 thoughts on “A dollop of Bengal – Rosogolla”

  1. I didn’t know there was difference in bengali and odisha rosgulla. Even the ones from Bangadesh are soft and not chewy. A friend of mine always gets for us. I miss that soft texture in the tinned ones available in Indian stores.

    Liked by 1 person

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