Top 20 bengali sweets you should know about

Discover the Rich and Diverse World of Bengali Sweets, from Chenna-Based Delights to Festive Favorites.
 
Indian sweets at a local mithai shop

Indulging in a syrupy Bengali sweet can transport you to dessert heaven, and it's hard to deny this fact. Bengali cuisine boasts a variety of delectable fish curries, pungent Jhal Muri with mustard oil, and an endless list of sweets, also known as Mishti. Whether your favorite is a spongy Rasgulla, velvety Mishti Doi, or mouth-melting Sandesh, there are so many Bengali sweets to choose from that it can be overwhelming.

Many Bengali sweets feature Chenna, a homemade cottage cheese, as a primary ingredient. Some sweets are associated with specific festivals, while others are enjoyed throughout the year. For instance, Nolen Gurer Payesh is a dessert typically made for Makar Sakranti (Poush Sankranti), and the iconic Rosogollas can be savored anytime.

1. Patishapta

Patishapta, also known as Bengali crepes, is a delightful homemade sweet made from refined flour, rice flour, semolina, and a hint of cardamom. These thin pancakes are typically filled with a mixture of coconut and jaggery, although some recipes use date sugar to add sweetness. It's important to consume them warm, as the filling can dry out and lose its flavor when cold. Every household has its unique way of preparing patishapta, with special ingredients added to make their recipe distinctive.

2. Ledikeni

This is a brief history of Ledikeni, a popular Bengali dessert. It is named after Lady Charolette Canning, the wife of Lord Charles John Canning, who was the Governor-General of India during the British Raj. The sweet was first prepared by Bhim Chandra Nag, a renowned confectioner in Kolkata, who presented it to Lady Charolette Canning. She enjoyed it so much that it became a regular feature on her menu at parties and gatherings. As a result, the locals started calling it "Ledikeni," a phonetic approximation of Lady Canning's name. Ledikeni is a sweet made with chenna that is dipped in sugar syrup, elongated, and filled with raisins. Have you had the chance to try this delectable Bengali dessert?

3. Mishti Doi 

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No list of Bengali desserts is complete without mentioning the beloved homemade treat, Mishti Doi. This sweet yogurt is made from boiled full cream milk and jaggery, with some variations using date palm jaggery, also known as khejur gur. Once the milk has thickened slightly, jaggery is added, and the mixture is left to ferment overnight. Some people also add cardamom powder to enhance the flavor. If you prefer to purchase Mishti Doi, we have reviewed six different brands to help you find the best one.

4. Bhapa Doi

Bhapa Doi, also known as Steamed Yogurt, is a distinct sweet from Mishti Doi in Bengali cuisine. It is created by steaming a mixture of hung yogurt and condensed milk, with some individuals incorporating nuts and cardamom to enhance its taste.

5. Labong Latika

Labong Latika is a beloved, deep-fried traditional Bengali sweet that consists of small dough parcels secured with cloves. The pastry's exterior is crafted from refined flour and filled with an exquisite blend of grated coconut, khoya, nuts, and a hint of cardamom. The sweet parcels are sealed with cloves, giving rise to the name "Labong" (which means "cloves" in Bengali), before being fried in ghee and immersed in a thick sugar syrup. Labong Latika is a delicacy typically prepared during Durga Puja or Makar Sankranti festivals, and for many, it's a heavenly experience.

6. Chhanar Jilipi

Chhanar Jilipi, also referred to as Paneer Jalebi in Northern regions, is a popular Bengali sweet made with freshly prepared cottage cheese, flour, and sugar. After being fried, it is soaked in a dense sugar syrup, resulting in a delectable treat that is sure to make one's mouth water.

7. Sandesh

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Sandesh, also known as Sondesh, is a popular Indian sweet that has inspired bloggers to experiment with different variations, such as chocolate, tutti fruity, and even fruit trifle. While these creations are interesting, nothing quite compares to the original melt-in-your-mouth Sandesh after a satisfying meal. This Bengali mithai is made with fresh cottage cheese (chenna) and sugar, and there are numerous Sandesh variations to choose from, including mango and saffron flavors.

8. Nolen Gurer Sandesh

Nolen Gurer Sandesh, also known as Sondesh, is a delectable Bengali sweet that melts in your mouth. It is made from chenna and date palm jaggery, which is a popular ingredient in Bengali winter desserts.

9. Cham Cham

Cham Cham, also known as Chom Chom, is a scrumptious Indian dessert composed of chenna. These oblong-shaped sweets come in pastel hues or pure white. Once cooked in a water bath and doubled in size, they are sliced open and filled with a blend of khoya, sugar, and dried fruits. Rolled in desiccated coconut, Cham Cham is best served chilled.

10. Rasgulla

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Rasgulla also known as Rosogulla, is an iconic Bengali sweet that has gained global popularity and is relished by people of all ages. The satisfaction of the syrup dripping on your face while indulging in one cannot be expressed in words.

The two key ingredients that go into making rasgullas are chenna, which is curdled milk, and sugar. While some people prefer adding rose water to the syrup, others opt for kewra essence. The spongy texture of rasgullas is simply irresistible, and it's hard to stop at just one. Rasgullas can be eaten either hot or cold, although the latter is more preferred across the country. Modified versions of this famous sweet are also available to cater to different dietary needs, with some being sugar-free or made with low-fat milk.

11. Payesh

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Payesh is a popular Bengali rice pudding that is similar to Kheer. It is typically prepared for special festivals and auspicious occasions. To make Payesh, rice is soaked, mixed with a tablespoon of ghee, and cooked in full-fat milk with sugar and cardamom. The pudding is then topped with nuts like almonds, pistachios, and raisins, offering a creamy and satisfying end to a meal. During the winter season, a different version of Payesh is enjoyed, known as Nolen Gurer Payesh, which is made with jaggery instead of sugar.

12. Kheer Kadam

Kheer Kadam is a delightful Bengali mithai that consists of multiple layers of deliciousness. It is also called Raskadam, and it involves a small rasgulla being enveloped in a khoya base. When bitten into, the sweetness of the khoya casing is the first flavor to be experienced, followed by the arrival of a soft rasgulla. Kheer Kadam is just as exotic as its name suggests, and it's a treat that's sure to please any sweet tooth.

13. Sitabhog

Sitabhog, a traditional Bengali sweet hailing from Burdwan, West Bengal, is a fried dessert made with a combination of chenna or cottage cheese, rice flour, and sugar. This delectable dessert is usually served with small gulab jamuns and is often mistaken for cooked white sweetened rice or dry vermicelli. It is sometimes served with Mihidana as well.

14. Rajbhog

Rajbhog is a sweet dish made with chenna, filled with dry fruits, and coated in a saffron-infused syrup. It differs from the classic Rasgulla in terms of its color, filling, and overall taste. With the addition of premium ingredients like saffron and dry fruits, Rajbhog is a more sophisticated version of the traditional Rasgulla.

15. Kacha Gola

Kacha Gola, a Bengali dessert, is made using freshly prepared Chenna that is infused with cardamom and saffron to create a mild and refreshing taste. It is also one of the simplest and quickest sweets to prepare at home when you're in the mood for a delicious treat.

16. Darbesh

Darbeshis the Bengali equivalent of the moti boondi ke laddoo commonly found in India. Unlike Mihidana, the boondi utilized to create Darbesh is not finely made. In order to add some color to the sweet, green and red food coloring is frequently utilized. This delectable Bengali sweet is garnished with nuts and is perfect for indulging in a sweet binge.

17. Bengali Coconut

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Bengali Coconut Ladoo is known as Narkel Naru. These sweet treats are made with freshly grated coconut and jaggery or sugar syrup, cooked until thick and then rolled into small balls. Narkel Naru is a popular sweet in West Bengal and is often served during festivals and special occasions. It is a simple yet delicious dessert that can be easily made at home.

18. Pantua

Pantua, although commonly mistaken for the beloved Gulab Jamun, is in fact different. It is made using chenna, refined flour, semolina, ghee, and sugar. After being deep-fried to a golden hue, it is submerged in sugar syrup. This delectable dessert can be enjoyed both hot and cold. How delicious!

19. Sarbhaja

Sarbhaja, also known as Shor Bhaja, is a delectable Bengali sweet that is a rare find. It is made by boiling full cream milk or milk with a high fat content until it reduces and sets in layers of cream. These layers of cream are then fried and soaked in a sugar syrup. As they are fried, the layers of the Shor Bhaja stick together to create a decadent dessert that is as indulgent as it is sinful.

20. Mihidana

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Mihidana is a renowned Bengali sweet that hails from Burdwan, West Bengal. It is a more delicate variant of the typical boondi found in Northern India. Mihidana is crafted by frying gram flour (besan) in ghee or oil on a low flame and then immersing it in yellow-colored sugar syrup. This sweet is commonly served alongside Sitabhog, and it's a treat that is sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth.

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