Festivals are a significant part of Indian culture. Almost all the states of the country celebrate various types of festivals, some are religious and some are not. Makar Sankranti is one such popular and phenomenal celebration related to the conventional sweet dishes in India. If you want to know more about Makar Sankranti then you can click here. Today I want to draw your attention to a state called West Bengal, which is well known for authentic sweets, both delicious and lips-smacking. These traditional Bengali sweets reign the hearts of the locals as well as people visiting the state and are a must-try this Makar Sankranti 2022. And just to mention Makar Sankranti 2022 is being celebrated on 14th January and being a Friday, the celebration will spill over throughout the weekend.
Rasgulla or Rosogolla
One of the most popular Bengali sweets, loved by many. Almost all households in West Bengal crave for rosogollas, be it prepared with sugar or jaggery. If you pass by the street side and hop into any of the sweet shops, you won’t miss the elegant round-shaped sweets. Made with chenna (cottage cheese in a much soft form) and shaped into round balls, you can consume it separately or after lunch and dinner. It also has been a long tradition to serve this traditional sweet to guests or friends while they visit anyone’s house.
Sharing a picture of rosogollas prepared by my mother
Sandesh or Shondesh
If you happen to visit India or reside in India, mention sandesh or shondesh and the first place which comes to mind is Bengal. They can be moulded into different sizes and shapes depending on the pattern you want to. Can be easily prepared at home with cottage cheese or by curdling milk and preparing chenna out of it. You can either use condensed milk, sugar or jaggery for preparing sandesh. If you have kids then you can try preparing the chocolate sandesh.
Sharing pictures of sandesh prepared by my mother
Payesh or Rice Kheer
Rice kheer popularly known as Payesh in Bengal, is one of the delectable Bengali sweets. Makar Sankranti celebrations are incomplete without consuming payesh. The dish is prepared with boiling rice in milk and then adding either condensed milk, sugar or jaggery. The milk is usually thickened before adding rice. The kheer can be consumed as it is or with Indian bread (Chapathi or Roti) or even Indian fried Puris.
Sharing pictures of Rice kheer prepared by me
Chhena Jalebi or Chanar Jilipi
Chhena Jalebi or Chanar Jilipi is one of the delicious and mouth-watering Bengali sweets. It is soft and tasty, a delicacy among the Bengalis. The sweet is either prepared with cottage cheese or the milk is curdled to prepare chhena. The chhena is then twirled or twisted in a circular fashion to prepare the sweet. In a way, you can say the chenna jalebi is artistic in nature. The twirl shapes or cottage cheese are fried in oil and then dipped in sugar syrup for the sweetened flavour.
Sharing a picture of Chhena Jalebis prepared by my mother
Patishapta is one of the specialty Bengali sweets. They are prepared traditionally during Makar Sankranti at almost majority of the households in Bengal. Prepared with rice flour, and stuffing mixed with coconut and sugar or jaggery. Nowadays people often use Sooji with all purpose flour for the outer cover. The stuffing also can be made with Khoya (dried evaporated milk solids).
Sharing a picture of Patishaptas prepared by me
Mishti Doi is an authentic delicacy of Bengal. One of the luscious Bengali sweets, consumed mainly after lunch. Doi is a local word in Bengali meaning curd. Mishti Doi is essentially sweetened curd. The milk is thickened and mixed with jaggery. The dish is kept in a refrigerator for the chilled effect and then consumed raw. You can also prepare Doi or curd without jaggery if you are diabetic.
One of the popular Bengali sweets, similar to pancakes. The mixture is prepared with flour, Sooji, sugar or jaggery and shredded coconut. They are fried like pancakes and then dipped in sugar syrup for softness and sweetness. You can prepare in miniature versions or similar in size as pancakes.
A sweet dish prepared with flour and khoya. The mixture is prepared into a special shape and size and then fried in oil. It is then dipped in sugar syrup for the sweetened flavor. There are special places in West Bengal which specialize in preparing this delicious sweet dish. The taste is simply awesome and mouth-watering.
Wishing all a Happy Makar Sankranti !! Do watch the Youtube video for an audio and visual experience.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.