Sharodiya Durga Puja is a great religious festival of Hindus at the end of the Bengali month of Ashvin. The taste of prasad made for worship spread beyond the boundaries of the Hindu inhabited area. Everyone plans for decoration while the food-loving Bengali dreams of filling their stomach with sweets. These sweets also take place in a large part of the feast on other splendid occasions in the homes of the Bengalis. This time the feature will be all about these sweets of Durga Puja.
10 traditional Bengali sweets in Durga Puja
Sondesh of Nolen Molasses
In winter, pure Nolen juice is collected from date palms. Then Nolen molasses is made from this juice. Following family traditions, the Hindu artisans make this world-famous dish of Nolen molasses. The main ingredient of this Sondesh is milk. This Sondesh is available for about six months throughout the winter and spring by the end of the year.
Chhanar Payesh, Phirni
Payesh is basically a dessert inherited from the Mughal period. Even before tasting this Payesh, the sweet-lovers get mesmerized watching the decoration of pistachios, raisins, almonds, and cashews on the canvas of Chhana. This traditional Bengali dessert is also known as Kheer or Phirni to many people. The Kashmiri and Persian cuisine were combined to make Phirni. And due to the sweetness of the milk, the North Indian style of Phirni took the name Kheer.
The taste of this wonderful dessert made of condensed milk and sugar sticks to the tongue just after having it once. Sweet Curd is a favorite dessert of the people of Bangladesh, This dessert is also adored in some places of India, especially Orissa and West Bengal.
Who doesn't know about the world-famous fame of the Curd of Bogra? According to the locals, the Ghosh community living in Sherpur near Bogra has been making Curd for about two hundred and fifty years.
Rashogolla gets the color of terracotta brown as it is cooked hard. Various well-known sweets are made by having it at the core. Rajbhog and Kheer Kadam are among them.
According to experts, Hindu moiras used to make rashogolla at Bhandaria in Pirojpur, Barisal during the time of the Portuguese. Later their descendants spread the popularity of Rashogolla to Calcutta and Orissa.
Rajbhog, made with a mixture of chhana, saffron, dried fruits, and full of sugar, is another mouth-watering sweet. These delicious big spongy sweets are a lot like Rashogolla. People with sweet tooth love the excessive sweetness of this dessert. Not to mention, this dessert can make the Puja celebration more joyous.
This dessert, famous in Kalna, Ranaghat, and Katwa in West Bengal, is very heartwarming. Pantua, which looks a lot like Rose-Jamun, is made from a combination of chhana, flour, and husk.
The popularity of this sweet started with Surendralal Kundu during the partition of India-Pakistan. At that time he moved from Bangladesh to Katwa and launched a food shop with his son Prankrishna. Prankrishna started making Pantuya there. According to Prankrishna's nickname ‘Paran’, the locals started calling the sweet ‘Paran's Pantua’.
Centuries ago, the then king of Burdwan summoned a lame sweet maker called Moira, a resident of Nodia, to the palace in order to fulfill his daughter-in-law's wish of eating sweets. The king set up a sweet shop for him at Shaktigarh village on Badshahi Road. From there, 40 kg sweets used to be sent to Burdwan Palace every day.
Later, Moira's creation became popular in the name of ‘Langcha’ or ‘Lancha’. This juicy sweet belongs to the same tribe of Pantua. Though, its shape was cylindrical originally, now it is also made rounded.
Chomchom from Porabari in Tangail is called the king of sweets in Bangladesh. Chomchom has a unique taste by virtue of the inherent quality of the water of the Jamuna and Dhaleshwari rivers in Tangail. Even after the application of sugar solutions, Chomchom is less perishable than other sweets.
About two hundred years ago, the first Chomchom was made by an artisan named Jashorot Hal. Interestingly, this sweet’s modern version was made by Matilal Gore, based on a dessert prepared by his grandfather Raja Ramgore, who belonged to Ballia district of India’s Uttar Pradesh.
This two-layered sweet is just as fun to eat as it is beautiful to see. While its exterior is made of fried kheer and powdered sugar, the juicy core features a Rashogolla sweet. Nothing extra is needed to bring an attachment to the beauty of this dessert. The dessert is called Kheer Kadam as it looks like a Kadam (Kadamba) flower.
With such a wonderful combination of Kheer and Kadam, this sweet became prominent in the list of sweets made in the Durga Puja festival. Not to mention, this artistic dish creates fascination between both the guest and the host.
The Natore district of North Bengal of Bangladesh is closely associated with the name of Kachagolla. Let's find out the story of the innovation of Kachagolla.
Once upon a time, Madhusudan Pal, a sweet shop owner in the famous Lalbazar area of Natore, got worried as his shop’s main artisan was absent from his duty. During the preparation of Channa, the owner asked the rest staff to pour sugar juice on the raw chhana and take it down after cooking. But, after having a taste of that chahna he was both surprised and pleased. The dessert prepared from this raw chhana was announced as Kancha golla that time by beating the drum.
Mihidana was first made in 1904 by Bhairab Chandra Nag, an artisan from Burdwan. Vijaychand Mahtab, the then landlord of Burdwan, instructed to make this sweet to commemorate the visit of the then Governor George Nathaniel Curzon to Burdwan.
This colorful sweet made in the style of traditional sweet Bundia captivates the hearts of food lovers. Its main ingredients are gram flour, ghee, sugar, saffron, and rice. Nowadays, many artisans are using date molasses instead of sugar.
The sweets of Durga Puja have enriched Bengalism for ages. It has infused life into the worship-centric ceremonies of the devout Hindu community of Bengal. Nowadays, due to advanced communication, the recipe for making this kind of dessert is spreading all over the world. As a result, the sweets of Durga Puja are taking place in the ceremonies of the Bengali communities scattered all over the world.