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Rosgollas


Suvir Saran
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Rosgollas are famous from Calcutta.

Where do you get your favorite ones?

Are there places outside of India where you get good ones?

DO you know any chef who has done anything new with this age old Bengali dessert?

Do you have a recipe for them that you love?

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There are three shops in London where I would buy these.

1) The Pradip Sweet Mart - Northwick park Rd ( about 5 mins from the station ) by far the best sweet shop in London and a bag of fresh jalebee (Sp?) from there is something to treasure. Go first thing on a Saturday morning. They open at 9.30am. everything is piping hot and the smells are so wonderful you could die.

2) Ambala Sweet Shop - Drummond St - less good for Bengali sweets, but you can still find a good selection

3)Gupta Sweet Mart - Drummond St - Again good for some sweets

I do believe that other regions of india make sweets, but when you can have ones as good as the Bengali ones, why bother

:raz:

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I do believe that other regions of india make sweets, but when you can have ones as good as the Bengali ones, why bother

:raz:

For the most part, I would agree with you Simon!

Are there any sweets from other parts of India that you like? what are they? :blink:

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.......

I do believe that other regions of india make sweets, but when you can have ones as good as the Bengali ones, why bother

:raz:

While I may in principle agree to the basic truth, I do think it is necessary to care because it is there and it is different -- Ocra & rice with beef :smile: Why anthing else ? :raz:

anil

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You see, I was going to offer to mule in some Bengali sweets for you both on my next trip to the US, but since you have doubted me, I shan't bother :wink:

And where have I doubted you Mr. Majumdar?

I have only asked if you have other desserts that you like apart from Bengali ones. :wink:

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  • 1 year later...

As one who is extremely finicky about Bengali sweets [e.g. only the red yoghurt and babu sandesh from Bhim Nag, kacha golla from Naba Kesto Guin next door, yet other sandesh only from Kalika, khirer chop from Putiram, etc.] and especially so about various styles of rosogollas, I had done a great deal of research into milk fat contents, solids-not-fat percentage, coagulating agents, temperature of coagulation, types of jal-chhana etc. --you get the picture. [strangely enough, only north Kolkata can produce superlative ‘traditional’ Kolkata types, the expertise apparently not transferable even so short a distance as south kolkata! Just being risible!!] :shock:

Anyway, outside of a few (3) Kolkata specialists, the very best sponge rosogollas I have tasted are made by a Sikh gentleman from Syracuse. He spent his childhood in Kolkata, but his talent is exceptional; have eaten rosogollas prepared by many competent Bengalis, all good to very good but none superlative, except this magician. He should certainly be persuaded to teach his craft, because the quality of Bengali sweets in the US is abysmal. With all the good milk here!

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here's a link to a site with pictures of assorted indian sweets (bengali and others): http://www.geocities.com/parasu41/Indian_Sweets/

keep in mind that many sweets have multiple variations and therefore there is no definitive look for them--especially true of chom-choms. also this is not an exhaustive list.

by the way, i am still mystified by the statement made by one simon majumdar in an earlier thread about gulab jamuns that the black ones are called "sandesh" in calcutta. ( http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=40&t=10192& -- scroll down to the post of sep 5, 2002. ) i have never heard of this--the shondesh is a completely different sweet with multiple variations of its own. on the other hand comrade majumdar is frequently referred to here as an expert on bengali food so perhaps i am mistaken. i can clarify this this weekend when i talk to my parents but can someone else shed some light on this?

(edited to make the links work)

Edited by mongo_jones (log)
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....

by the way, i am still mystified by the statement made by one simon majumdar in an earlier thread about gulab jamuns that the black ones are called "sandesh" in calcutta. ( http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=40&t=10192& -- scroll down to the post of sep 5, 2002. ) i have never heard of this--the shondesh is a completely different sweet with multiple variations of its own. ....

Slippery fingers maybe - Simon is human afterall - Cannot be right all the time no ? :biggrin:

anil

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I am yet to find decent Rosogollas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I can find fairly decent shondesh at Lovely Sweets in Sunnyvale (they have another branch in Fremont I believe), but the Rosogollas and the other "rosh" sweets are not that good.

I have to make do with canned Rosogollas from K.C. Das that I carry back from my trips to Kolkata. Even the canned ones are better than the Rosogollas available here locally :sad: .

I recently had Mishti Doi at Charulata in Sunnyvale. It was not great, but it was fairly good.

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....

by the way, i am still mystified by the statement made by one simon majumdar in an earlier thread about gulab jamuns that the black ones are called "sandesh" in calcutta. ( http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=40&t=10192& -- scroll down to the post of sep 5, 2002. ) i have never heard of this--the shondesh is a completely different sweet with multiple variations of its own. ....

Slippery fingers maybe - Simon is human afterall - Cannot be right all the time no ? :biggrin:

The black Gulab jamuns are Kalakand, same thing but fried to a higher level of caramelisation.

Sandesh is sweetened casein paste... well slightly more complex than it sounds.

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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The black Gulab jamuns are Kalakand, same thing but fried to a higher level of caramelisation.

no, no people, kalakand is not a member of the gulab jamun family--not in bengal at least; there it is a member of the sandesh/shondesh family (dairy, not flour).

perhaps we need crash courses in bengali and other indian sweets.

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The black Gulab jamuns are Kalakand, same thing but fried to a higher level of caramelisation.

no, no people, kalakand is not a member of the gulab jamun family--not in bengal at least; there it is a member of the sandesh/shondesh family (dairy, not flour).

perhaps we need crash courses in bengali and other indian sweets.

How about you write one -- you seem to be so very knowledgeable in this arena.. i would love to see something from you on this :smile:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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How about you write one -- you seem to be so very knowledgeable in this arena.. i would love to see something from you on this :smile:

while it is possible you are being at least a little bit sarcastic i'd like to point out anyway that my knowledge of bengali sweets is entirely experiential: that is to say, as a bengali i have eaten almost every kind of bengali sweet there is--and like most calcuttans have uncles who claim to know the best shop for every particular variety. however, while this knowledge extends to knowing that neither the bengali shondesh nor the kalakand has any relationship with gulab jamuns (which are not even bengali sweets) i know very little of the chemical/compositional makeup of all the sweets and so am not able to provide a detailed breakdown.

with that caveat here's a general description:

essentially, bengali sweets break down into two categories: dry and wet. the shondesh is the king of the dry, and while the roshogulla is the king of the wet, this category includes a lot of other things as well. both types of sweets are usually made from chhana, though mishti doi (a close second to roshogulla in the wet category) is made directly from curd. in the shondesh family the water is removed from the chhana after curdling and sugar syrup is rarely used--nor is there usually any frying. the roshogulla and other wet sweets of its ilk are either cooked in sugar syrup or soaked in it (with or without frying involved). there are also flour based sweets, but i personally don't think bengali versions of these are as good as the north indian ones.

all of this is open to correction by people who know more about the ins and outs of these things--i am not a professional food writer or sweet maker. vikram may be able to point us towards more definitive information. in the meantime i'd advise a cursory glance at the pictures of the sweets on the page i posted a link to earlier today: it'll give you a sense of the family affiliations of different sweets.

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While we are on the topic of Bengali sweets, I would like to add this as well. Like many other regional cuisines, Bengalis sweets can be classified into two broad categories:

* Sweets that are very conveniently available in stores, and are rarely made at home by ordinary folks. As a resuly, most average bengali folks don't even know how these sweets are actually made!

Rosogullas, shondesh, jilipi (bengali version of jelabis), mishti doi etc. are in this category.

* Sweets that are rarely found in stores, and are entirely always made at home.

If you have never been to a Bengali home, you've probably never had these. These include things like pooli-pithey (dumpling made from rice flour, floating in milk sweetened with Gur), narkol nadu (made from grated coconut), malpua, chaaler paish (rice pudding), shimair paish (vermicelli in sweetened milk, also popular after Eid and Ramazan), etc.

I should add that in recent years, with the changing face of the a traditional bengali "joint family", this is changing. A lot of these traditionally home-made sweets have now started appearing in stores.

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While we are on the topic of Bengali sweets, I would like to add this as well. Like many other regional cuisines, Bengalis sweets can be classified into two broad categories:

* Sweets that are very conveniently available in stores, and are rarely made at home by ordinary folks. As a resuly, most average bengali folks don't even know how these sweets are actually made!

Rosogullas, shondesh, jilipi (bengali version of jelabis), mishti doi etc. are in this category.

* Sweets that are rarely found in stores, and are entirely always made at home.

If you have never been to a Bengali home, you've probably never had these. These include things like pooli-pithey (dumpling made from rice flour, floating in milk sweetened with Gur), narkol nadu (made from grated coconut), malpua, chaaler paish (rice pudding), shimair paish (vermicelli in sweetened milk, also popular after Eid and Ramazan), etc.

I should add that in recent years, with the changing face of the a traditional bengali "joint family", this is changing. A lot of these traditionally home-made sweets have now started appearing in stores.

excellent points all bong. i'd add to your list of things usually made at home and not available in stores one of my childhood favorites: the goja, a crossover between a savoury and a sweet. i should say though that some accomplished home-cooks in the diaspora (my eldest aunt in singapore, for instance) can prepare professional quality shondesh and so forth. of course, when you live in calcutta such labor is madness.

by the way, i am going to spend a week in cal this winter. i can already feel my cholesterol go up as i contemplate the nalen-gurer shondesh, the rajbhogs, the chom-choms and the lal-doi i'm going to be eating at the end of every meal. not to mention my father's favorite breakfast: lucchis with roshogullas and syrup.

i will try to get my grandma to categorize all the sweets for me. if she cooperates and i remember to write it all down i will then post a breakdown upon return.

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