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Food & Beverages

Kolkata's Famous Sweetdishes: A Bite-Sized Tour of 10 Classic Bengali Delights

By Vidhi

Updated - May 17, 20246 min read

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Kolkata, the "City of Joy," is famous for its vibrant culture, rich history, and of course, its irresistible sweets! Bengali cuisine is incomplete without its iconic "Mishti," a symphony of flavors that tantalizes the taste buds and embodies Bengali hospitality. Today, we embark on a delightful journey through 10 of Kolkata's most celebrated sweet dishes, each with its unique story and taste, ranging from budget-friendly treats to special occasion splurges.


1. Mishti Doi: The Creamy Champion (₹20-₹50 per serving):

Our adventure begins with the quintessential Mishti Doi, a creamy yogurt-based dessert. Fresh curd is patiently simmered with jaggery, resulting in a thick, luscious concoction. Unlike its yogurt counterparts, Mishti Doi boasts a subtle sweetness and a distinct tang that lingers on the palate. Best enjoyed chilled, it's a refreshingly light ending to a hearty Bengali meal at a pocket-friendly price.


Image courtesy: Bake with Shivesh



2. Roshogolla & Rajbhog: The Delicate Dance of Chhena (₹10-₹20 per piece):

Roshogolla, the undisputed king of Bengali sweets, is a soft, spongy dumpling made from chhena (cottage cheese) and dipped in a fragrant sugar syrup. Each bite bursts with milky sweetness, making it an absolute delight. Rajbhog, its close cousin, takes things up a notch with a delectable surprise hidden within. A rich filling of nuts, saffron, and cardamom elevates the taste, making it a luxurious indulgence at a slightly higher price point.


Image courtesy: playful cooking


3. Shondesh: A Canvas of Flavors (₹20-₹100 per piece):

Shondesh, a versatile Bengali sweet, offers a delightful canvas for experimentation. Made with condensed milk, sugar, or jaggery, it can be molded into various shapes and designs. The classic Nolen Gurer Shondesh, crafted with date palm jaggery, boasts a unique caramel-like flavor and can be a bit pricier. Jol Bhara Shondesh, literally meaning "water-filled Shondesh," offers a softer, melt-in-your-mouth experience at a more moderate price. Modern takes like chocolate Shondesh cater to adventurous palates, proving that Bengali sweets are constantly evolving.


Image courtesy: Youtube



4. Malpua: The Sweetness of Celebration (₹30-₹50 per plate):

Imagine fluffy pancakes drenched in a fragrant syrup – that's the essence of Malpua! A festive favorite, these miniature pancakes are prepared with a batter of flour and sugar, sometimes infused with coconut. Deep-fried to a golden crisp, they are then immersed in a luscious sugar syrup, creating a delightful contrast between textures. The subtle sweetness of the batter perfectly complements the richness of the syrup, making Malpua a truly celebratory treat, typically enjoyed as a plate shared among friends and family.


Image courtesy: Indiaphile


5. Rasmalai: A Dreamy Immersion (₹50-₹100 per serving):

Rasmalai, a masterpiece of textures and flavors, is a Bengali sweet with Odia roots. Soft, spongy balls of chhena are bathed in a creamy concoction of milk, sugar, saffron, and cardamom. The result is a dreamlike experience – the chhena balls absorb the creamy goodness, offering a burst of milky sweetness with each bite. A sprinkle of chopped pistachios adds a touch of elegance and crunch, making Rasmalai a truly unforgettable dessert, often enjoyed as a special occasion indulgence.


Image courtesy: cook with Manali



6. Payesh: The Comforting Classic (₹20-₹40 per serving):

No Bengali feast is complete without a comforting bowl of Payesh. This creamy rice pudding is a delightful combination of milk, rice, sugar, and ghee, often flavored with cardamom and bay leaf. Variants like Gurer Payesh, made with jaggery, offer a deeper, more complex sweetness, while Chhena Payesh incorporates chhena for a richer texture. Payesh embodies the simplicity and warmth of Bengali hospitality, making it a cherished dessert across generations and available at a budget-friendly price.


Image courtesy: Vogue India


7. Pantua: The Sweet Cousin of Gulab Jamun (₹20-₹30 per piece):

Pantua, often compared to the North Indian Gulab Jamun, offers a distinct Bengali twist. Made with a combination of milk, semolina, ghee, khoya (reduced milk solids), and sugar, Pantua boasts a denser, slightly grainy texture. Soaked in a fragrant sugar syrup, these delicious dumplings pack a delightful punch of sweetness with a hint of nuttiness. Perfect for a quick indulgence or a celebratory occasion, Pantua is a beloved Bengali sweet available at a reasonable price.


Image courtesy: Pikturenama



8. Amriti: The Divine Spiral (₹30-₹50 per plate):

Amriti, aptly named after the "food of the gods," resembles a jalebi with its intricate swirls. This unique sweet is crafted from ground lentils, sugar, and cardamom, deep-fried in ghee until golden brown. The result is a crispy exterior that gives way to a soft, slightly chewy interior, bursting with a unique sweet and nutty flavor. Amriti is a testament to Bengali ingenuity, transforming humble ingredients into a divine treat, typically enjoyed as a plate shared amongst friends and family.


Image courtesy: Hindustan sweets



9. Langcha: The Golden Delight (₹15-₹25 per piece):

Langcha, a popular Bengali sweet with origins in eastern India, is a delightful combination of flour and khoya. The dough is deep-fried until golden brown, then immersed in a fragrant sugar syrup. The result is a crispy, slightly chewy exterior that gives way to a soft, flavorful interior. Langcha is often prepared during festivals and special occasions, but its affordability makes it a sweet treat you can enjoy anytime. 


Image courtesy: Color and spices


10. Chhenar Jilipi: A Twist on the Familiar (₹20-₹30 per piece):

If you're a fan of the typical jalebi but want a new experience for your taste buds, try Chhenar Jilipi. Made from chhena, khoya, and flour, it resembles the spiral of a jalebi but boasts a new and delicious taste. The chhena adds a subtle cheese-like note, complementing the sweetness of the syrup. Best eaten warm and fresh, Chhenar Jilipi is a delightful twist on a classic sweet, offered at a pocket-friendly price.


Image courtesy: Tempting treat



This concludes our delightful journey through Kolkata's sweet symphony. From the comforting warmth of Payesh to the luxurious indulgence of Rasmalai, each Bengali sweet offers a unique taste and story. So, the next time you find yourself in Kolkata, be sure to embark on your own sweet adventure and discover the magic of Bengali Mishti!

Sweet Dish