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.
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”).
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.
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 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.
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.
Located within half a km from my house, this used to be the only sweet shop for the entire stretch of the DLF1 IT premises locality until few months ago. They stock an enviable range of delicious sweets, misti doi (sweet curd or yogurt), milk products like chena and cottage cheese. The namkeen range, however is restricted to radhaballabi-dum aloo, nimki and singara(samosa) .
The first time that I was introduced to this fascinating sweet shop was way back in 1999. As a grad student of Presidency, this was our favorite place for a quick evening snacks or even lunch at times. Located in College Street area, near College Square, this happens to be a favorite joint for students of both Calcutta Medical College and Presidency University.
You really don’t see people sitting and chatting here. They enter, place order, eat, pay and leave. Because this place is always over crowded. Sometimes it’s difficult to even find a place to stand and eat on the pavement near the shop. One of the favorable factors aspect of this place is that they open very early. One can savor the delicious items even at 7am Continue reading “Restaurant/Shop review – Putiram sweets, Kolkata “