Ever since my childhood, I had a weakness for sweets and my heart would just melt every time I had one, you could say I have a sweet tooth as most Indians have. But I do have a special place for one particular sweet dish that you could consider as my guilty pleasure, this is one dessert that awakens my taste buds just by thinking about it. It's Rasgulla. Having stayed in a Bengali household (a friend of mine is Bengali) for quite a considerable time has thought me one thing, your meal is incomplete until you've had dessert. I still remember once guests dropped in uninvited to their house, I was surprised to see aunty coming out with bowls of Rasgulla for everybody, I asked my friend if aunty knew there were guests coming home. My friend jokingly said, no, she didn't know, but this West Bengal, it is customary to always have Rasgullas at home.
Rasgulla, Roshgula, Roshogola...are some of the many names of the nation-wide loved sweet dish originating from West Bengal. This has a good story behind it as well. Since 2015, there has been a fight between West Bengal and Odisha over the claim of Rasgulla. In 2017, the Geographical Indications (GI) registry announced that the Rosogolla (also known as rasgulla) originated in West Bengal, and not in Odisha. At the time, the West Bengal government was joyous and celebrated that the right decision was taken and that Rasgulla was invented by Nabin Chandra Das, a famous sweetmeat maker, in 1868. A descendant of Nabin Chandra Das also thanked the West Bengal government for their proactive role in this fight. Ever since this win, the West Bengal government has decided to celebrate 14th November as "Rosogolla Day."
Also Read: The Ultimate Guide To Best Bengali Sweets & Sandesh Shop In Kolkata
This sweet delicacy is known to people around the world as "Bengali Rasgulla." West Bengal, has a reputation for its sweets and cuisine in India, and the Bengali Rasgulla is on the top of that list, just below the Rasgulla would be another well-known and loved sweet dish, the Sandesh. You would definitely find these Bengali sweet dishes at every Indian sweet shop. They are considered kings of sweets in the Eastern part of India. Rasgulla is the equivalent of the Gulab Jamun, which is very famous in North India. Rasgullas are the preferred sweet for many households during the festive seasons.
Rasgullas have a lot of variations as well (the more the merrier!!). We all know the original Bengali Rasgulla - white-colored balls of cottage cheese dipped and soaked in sugar syrup. Along with it, there are a few other very famous variations of this sweet delicacy, part of the popular Bengali cuisine. We have the reddish Rasgullas from Pahala, Odisha. The Bikali Kar rasgulla from Cuttack, Odisha. Yellowish-orange Rasgulla from Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Rajbhog, a variation of Kesar Rasgulla stuffed with khoa and dry fruits from within. We also have the Kamalabhog, orange flavor Bengali Rasgulla. Baked Rasgulla, another Bengali variation of the dish.
In the city of joy, you can find sweet shops at every corner of every street. Here is a list of some of the best places where you could find authentic Bengali Rasgulla:
1. Bhim Chandra Nag, Strand Road
One of the oldest standing Bengali sweet shop, established way back in 1826, was and still is the pride of the city. You would some of the city's best sweets here, including the mighty Rasgulla. Served in a clay pot, like they used to back then, just bite and you would be transported back to the 1800s. They have managed to make Rasgulla the same way they did nearly a century ago. If you love Rasgullas, this place should be on the top of your list. This sweet shop in itself is very old and gives you an authentic feel when you visit the place. Once you taste the Rasgullas here, there's no turning back. You can't just have Rasgullas from anywhere else after your experience here.
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2. Ganguram Sweets, Chandni Chowk
Ganguram is a very well know and reputed sweet shop in Kolkata. It's a household name, anytime you need sweets in your house, just go to the nearest Ganguram and get them. This is because of the quality of sweets it maintains, people trust the name Ganguram. You should definitely try out their Rasgullas once, since it is easily accessible and have great taste, it's gained popularity and that's why it deserves a spot in this list of must-try places to experience their taste and quality. They make perfect sponge Rasgulla that just tear in your mouth and burst with flavor.
3. Sen Mahasay, Shyambazaar
This is once again one of those places that have deep roots in the culture and Bengali dessert. You could find authentic Bengali sweet dishes which taste really great. Even before entering, the fragrance would make you drool. They make fresh Rasgullas every day, which are a must. It's one of their specialty. Along with the Rasgullas, you must also try their Nolen Gurer Sondesh, Mihidana, Misthi Doi, Radha Bhallavi, Rabri, Monohara, Malai Chop, Pink Pera, and Rose Petal Sandesh. During its early days, such was its popularity that the shop was frequented by famous Bengali novelists such as Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay.
4. Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, Bhowanipore
Another establishment that has been in Kolkata since the very early days and is still standing strong. Established in 1885, today it has numerous branches all over the city. Their sweets won't disappoint you. They are known for their quality since 1885, which is why their name is associated with trust. In fact, Industrialist, Lakshmi Mittal often orders sweets to be delivered to his residence in London. Their Rasgullas are always in demand and goes out of stock pretty quickly, so if you want to savor its taste, I would suggest you hurry up and get yours early in the day. They also specialize in making sweets with jaggery in them instead of sugar.
5. Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar, Shobha Bazaar
This was, is, and always will be known to make the most delicious and mouth-watering Rasgullas, if you are a Rasgulla fanboy, you have to visit this sweet house and try Rasgullas, it's kind of their specialty. They have been serving Rasgullas since 1907, and have seen them known for their awesome taste. It's also a century-old shop, run by generations of the same family, maintaining the same taste and quality of their sweets. They have 3 kinds of options for serving Rasgullas - Rs.10, Rs.15, and Rs.20, the difference is in the size they serve, the Rs.20 one being the biggest. I would strongly suggest you go for the biggest one! Their Rasgullas are soft and juicy.
6. Nalin Chandra Das & Sons, Nutan Bazaar
One more jewel in the history of West Bengal's sweets history. The original shop still is open and sells sweet to all its beloved customers. People who are mad about sweets and especially Bengali sweets would have definitely heard about this shop. They are very popular and famous for their Rasgullas, which are pure white in color, perfectly round in shape, and spongy and juicy. One bite of this tasty delicacy and you enter bliss. They are also very well known for their mango Sandesh. Their specialty is the baked Rasgullas, if you are even in town, head to Nalin Chandra Das & sones and definitely give the baked Rasgullas a try, they're worth it.
7. KC Das, Baghbazaar
This is probably one of the most iconic sweet houses in Kolkata. This shop has a lot of history. The owner of this establishment, Sarada Charan Das, his father, Krishna Chandra das was the original creator of the famous sweet "Rosomalai!" and what's even more incredible is that Krishna Chandra Das's father, Nobin Chandra Das, created "Rasgullas." That's right, you've entered the establishment that had created this masterpiece centuries ago. This is the birthplace of our Rasgullas. Moreover, KC Das was the first establishment at the time to sell sweets in vacuumed cans! The concept of taking canned sweets to your home started from KC Das. First set up in 1866, this establishment has been known for its quality and authenticity for Bengali sweets. The descendants of this establishment put West Bengal's name in history! Their Rasgullas are unique and any sweet lover must definitely go to this shop and experience true satisfaction by eating their sweets. Apart from Rasgullas and Rosomalai, they are also very well know for milk-based sweets as well.
8. Hindusthan Sweets, Jadavpur
Another famous name in Kolkata is known for its variety of fusion sweets which have a very distinct yet mesmerizing flavor. They are very famous among South Calcuttans. They have branches all over the city. They are known to have some of the best Rasgullas in town, so if you're craving some really tasty Rasgullas, you can head to the nearest Hindusthan sweets shop and fulfill your cravings.
9. Gupta Brothers Sweets
This is one of the most successful chain sweets shops in Kolkata. They have numerous branches spread all across the city. They are also considered among the top Rasgulla makers in the city. Their Rasgullas are just really spongy and juicy. If you are in town and see one of their branches, do stop and try their Rasgullas, you won't regret it.
That's it, these are some of the best and my personal favorite places to satisfy my taste buds. Each and every place mentioned above has some of the best Bengali sweets. Do visit any of one of them or all of them! You would have a time of your life trying not just their specialty - Rasgullas, but also their other sweets which are equally good and mouth-watering.