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  1. 3 points
    Getting back to the matter of "Bengali Sweets", we come next to the sweets that were traditionally made IN BENGAL by Bengalis. Most of these are absolutely UNKNOWN in India. Sadly, with reference to the "Bengali Sweets" evolved in Northern India, we have places like Gupta Bros. or Ganguram's who have insinuated themselves into the fabric of Calcutta, and become trendleaders for the younger generations. That is called natural evolution. They are far from the traditional Bengali sweet makers, who are generally hidebound and dying away. There are some exception, Nakur Ch. Nandi, and some of the older establishments in N. Calcutta having woken up to the possibilities. These are a handful of the "great" traditional confectioners of Shimulia, a particular locality of North Calcutta, famous for a particular type of shondesh, whcih depends on a particular quality of milk, milch breed, and the nature of "paak' which included both the "braying" or finely mashing the chhana against an ebony board at a particular temperature, pressure and moisture content, and also cooking it in a particular way with sugar over heat. Gupta and Ganguram have never mastered this process. Bhim Nag's Babu Shondesh was excellent and Girish could not excel or equal that, and Bhim Nag could not touch some of the latter's signature shondesh. WHY? Beats me. Next door to Bhim Nag was Nobo Keshto Guin, unrivalled for the kancha golla, a seemingly crude paak, but not easily achieved by the bigger names. One could go on. For example, in Muktagacha, Bangladesh, Gopal Pal, patronized by the zamindar Suryakanta Acharya Chaudhuri, in 1824 established his shop that has become a landmark for eponymous MONDA, not equalled anywhere else. Maythai-Monda is a dyadic compound in Bengali literature, deriving from this signal event in its history!! Again, only chaana and sugar, but the paak is a family secret. Nakur, Bhim Nag, even Kalika, each have their specific paaks and paak specialists, and it is very difficult, and indeed impossible for one to do what the other does. Just as KC DAS cannot prepare a proper roshogolla, most mithaiwallahs cannot make a proper shondesh. We can go into details. It is not snobbishness. There are good reasons why certain sauternes fetch astronomical prices and so do some desert wines. I do not drink alcohol, but studied how some of these grapes are grown, something in line with my own field. Then I understood some things, which also translate to the shondesh.
  2. 2 points
    Srivalli Madam Utsav or Utshob Sandesh is something that is available at Girish-Nakur in Kolkata. Gautam babu has in detail addressed the Upwas issue... Gautam Da We get reasonable quality flavourful Jhola gur only for 2 to 3 weeks each season mostly mid Dec to mid Jan. These are never pure...most of them have a lot of added sugar.The ones that are available in tubes are probably Khejurer Patali melted and reconstituted. Most of the famed stand alone Mishti brands are either splintered into sons and grandsons .....or have adopted the chain format. They have probably thrown away their Kodas , Khuntis and Patas mass produce sweets using Semi automated SS khowa machines and ball forming machines. Most in Kolkata have done away with time and gas consuming items like Shor bhaja..... Very few make the traditional Rabri ...and pass off condensed milk made Basundi as Rabri. It takes at least 3 to 4 hrs to patiently take layer by layer of Shor. Sad that traditional sweets are dying slowly and being replaced by mass and machine made fusion mishti. Nonta items like Dhakai Porota is not to be found these days. Shor .... milk skin mostly coagulated caesin being taken out layer by layer over 3 hrs ... with a stick and collected on the side of the Koda ie Kadhai. This is how real Rabri is made.
  3. 2 points
    But sadly, not one of the Calcutta shops are using PURE DATE PALM GUR. I know this because it is my life's mission to make Khejur Gur into a viable proposition. I have devoted my entire life to this end. Even the WB govt. promoted tubes etc. of Khejur gur are significantly adulterated with cane, and our non-profit can prove this with lab tests. The purest WB govt. approved product, sold at airports, etc. is only 70% Date gur. We challenge any group to prove us wrong. Like pure maple syrup, pure khejur gur is expensive for all manner of reasons. Today, artificial flavorants, BOLEN [ 2 ml/kg chana] are selling like crazy in Calcutta. Who is buying them? And why is so-called "khjeur gur" beiung purchased by these confectioners at less than Rs.150-200 per palla, or 5kg wholesale? Cannot happen! Khejur sap is 8-14% sucrose, and roughly 8-10 kg sap is needed per 1 kg gur of 65Brix, and more for Patali or solid gur. 1 kg sap is sold for Rs.10-20. Do the maths, add in fuel costs for boiling, profits for tapper, middleman, etc. Rs.350-400 is break-even at bare subsistence for nolen gur, and Rs.1200 is the fair-trade price per kg or liter of 65-70 Brix pure nolen. We do this on a purely non-profit basis, and i have not taken a single paisa in my life. In fact, sunk my entire personal fortune into this venture. What a disgrace. Date palm was th life blood of Bengal. It can also become the salvation of Karnataka and much of India. But who will listen? We are building huge temples in Hariharapura, waxing ecstatic over Organic Mandya, but never paying a moment's heed to the crisis engulfing our sweetener economy. The fight between TN and KT over water is irrelevant, it would appear. We are like this only, desi loins huffing and puffing at Chinese dragons. Our loincloths perennially in danger of slipping off? Do loins like us care? Shondesh, prepared by the traditional caste of confectioners, are ALWAYS considered fit for consumption for all religious purposes, by widows and by orthodox brahmins in Bengal. Even the fried pooris and subzi prepared by them lie in a grey area, eaten by some, not by others. Other types of mithai, like lengcha and pantua are probably not OK whereas roshogolla and dahi, probably is. Don't ask me, there is much arcana and local custom as to what is ok and what is not from traditional sweet shops, run by the cowherd caste. Hence the question, UPAVAS shondesh has no relevance. In bengal, we have no fetish about upavas as is found in Maharashtra or some other parts of India. There are NO upavaas menus at all. All shondesh, either made at home, or purchased from the correct traditional source, is suitable for upavas or for reasonably orthodox people. Upavas means Upavas for the orthodox. The most important are the Ekadashi, as in today. And for Pujas, such as Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Shivaratri. Bride, bridegroom for orthodox weddings. Shraddhas, aadya and other sharddhas, e.g. kushundika, nowadays almost extinct in truncated wedding rites. 1. Nirjala upavaas. No water, nothing. This is the preferred type. 2. Milk, water, nothing else. 3. Milk, fruit. 4. Milk, fruit, sweets like shondesh, dahi. 5. Milk, fruit, sweets, and on ekadashi, eating non-grains and some prohibited seeds. This has become ridiculous, with eating seeds like buckwheat, etc. which completely violates the meaning, and heavy foods like the Bengali kheer.
  4. 2 points
    Dear Chetan, This topic arrived in my mailbox, and I could not decide whether it was appropriate for me to reply, since you had asked Srikanth Seshagiri, not me. However, Smt. Srivalli's post left me somewhat bemused and confused and I hope she will forgive me if I write a few words. Times change, ways of eating, thinking, and interpreting traditions change. No one can claim, "I own such and such" with reference to aspects of foodways. That certainly is a repugnant way of approaching anything. However, there are historical and cultural perspectives that allow different ways of approaching a particular topic, especially if that topic is unfamiliar. Change and evolution is wonderful and and foregone in a society as diverse, as youthful and as vibrant as ours is. Yet, keeping in mind the historical roots cannot harm us, can it? It may allow us deeper insights, perhaps? Sometimes modern India is characterized by a desire to hurry past issues, and be content with shallow answers. That is indeed a path, but not everyone's path. Continuing from above, the term "Bengali Sweets" itself has 2 entirely different meanings. One is the meaning applied in northern India to a class of sweets that take their inspiration from sweets originating in colonial Bengal, and more specifically, from Calcutta. Most of these were copied by the trading classes like Marwaris, and other groups with vegetarian leanings. Their cooks brought these back to their native lands, from Rajasthan, to Punjab, to UP and Bihar, in the first round of dissemination. Rasgulla, chamcham and similar items became known as Bengali sweets and enjoyed their own iterations. They were not very similar in texture and quality to the original, just as Haldiram's rasgullas are not at all like the sponge roshogollas refined in Kolkata. 'These sponge roshogollas in turn, evolved from a much heavier sooji/semolina and chhana mix that evolved in Odisha probably contemporaneously with the Gaudiya Vaishnava movement. I hear a lot about the Portuguese teaching us the art of curdling milk, but I have to see a single person who mouth these inanities to profess any competence in the detailed lists of foods elaborated in the MANY, MANY songs and scriptures of the Chaitanya movement. Minute details are offered about the specific types of pickles, kasundi, and the many types of prepared foods sent from Bengal to Odisha, or prepared in Odisha itself. A little bit of educated research into the temple cooking of Odisha would reveal a lot. Sadly, our English-literate classes are so anxious to denigrate the Sanatana Dharma and the achievements of our civilization, and are so shamelessly ignorant of their own languages, Achaya and similar clowns not excepted, that it is a wonder that our ancestors were not taught how to wash their behinds by the Islamic conquerors, or brush their teeth by the Europeans! Hopefully, they had learned to procreate on their own, but that too is in doubt, given the worthless progeny populating the pages of food bloggers today and writing away in English. It is because of this acerbity that I feel it better not to open my mouth on any public forum.
  5. 1 point
  6. 1 point
  7. 1 point
    HarperCollins publishers India ltd. A-75,sector 57,Noida UP, India phone-91 120-4044800 customer care-----custmercareservice@harpercollins-India.com facebook page - Harpercollins India
  8. 1 point
    HarperCollins publishers India ltd. A-75,sector 57,Noida UP, India phone-91 120-4044800 customer care-----custmercareservice@harpercollins-India.com facebook page - Harpercollins India
  9. 1 point
    Hi, I am looking for sweets made with paneer that starts with English alphabets like U, V and Y. I have found reference of Victoria Sandesh being famous, I am unable to find a recipe or how this sweet looks like. Is there a version of Sandesh or any sweet with paneer, made with Yogurt? Does somebody refer a sandesh as Upwas Sandesh maybe? I am fine with using alternate words to compile this list. thanks for the help in advance! Srivalli
  10. 1 point
    Thank you, Chetan ji for tagging Gautamji, Thank you so much for taking the time to patiently write so much in detail on the "Bengali Sweets" I really appreciate your valuable time spent on this. I am a Telugu speaking Madrasi, brought up with both Tegulu and Tamil culture going side by side with my religious mother, who celebrates all Indian festivals. So while growing up, I never really paid much attention to our culture, food in relation to festivals, poojas are always given much reverence in the south as well. I have been blogging about food since 2007, and try my best to document traditional food as translated by my family and friends. I don't claim authority to anything traditional as I have always been part of the modern culture, that seems bent on fast results. However, I have learnt food and its culture, from my mother and mother inlaw what they learnt from their elders. Yes, even in the south lot of importance is attached to the traditions and memories with preparing certain food during certain festivals and how it is consumed etc. As I have mentioned, I try my best to document traditional dishes and customs as much as I can gather information about the food I am writing about. Whenever I pick up a traditional theme as the topic to blog about, I make sure I stick to the authentic facts related to the region and food preparation. This time, I decided to make 26 Bengali Sweets in the English A to Z alphabetical order. While the whole exercise might not be strictly appropriate to many traditional Bengalis, I am hoping I will be excused for trying my best to bring focus to dishes that may not be known elsewhere. Many in the pan Indian culture think Bengali Sweets are only Rasgulla, Ras Mali, Chamcham and Sandesh. When I started reading on the topic, I realised there are so many still unknown to many and I wish to at least bring some focus to these sweets and make people read more about it. So in the process, I might take a deviation from the authentic Bengali Sweet names, just to align with the AtoZ theme I have chosen. My apologies upfront and I hope my series doesn't offend the sentiments of others. My intentions are to bring the Traditional and the pan Indian Sweets to focus. thank you for clarifying about Upwas .:) Srikanthji, Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I came to know about Utsav Sandesh online. I also read that Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick shop in south Kolkata, sell something called Vino Sandesh which is a sandwich of Sandesh with Chocolate Sandesh layer. There is also a Victoria Sandesh, I am not able to get details on how this looks or how it is made. If you have time, can you let me know what Tabak Sandesh or Tota Puli can mean? Also from what I read, Langcha and Pantua only differ on their shape, and the ingredients are the same. Is this true? Thank you for your time on clarifying these. Regards Srivalli
  11. 1 point
    @Amitav Roy you should show case your specialties here with photos of the dishes . We are NOT an advertising platform.
  12. 1 point
    As to novelty names, these are a dime a dozen these days. Traditionally, only a very few types of shondesh ever existed. East Bengal had its unique types, and West Bengal had its. Odisha had its own, Podo Pitha being a very famous variant. It has its own history and is not exactly a shondesh in the Bengali sense but exquisite when made by a master. Then come the set of khirer mishti, which are a another set completely different from chaanar mishti. These are also Bengali sweets, but like pedas and barfis, made of kheer, which is a type of Bengali khoya. Softer, more hydrated. The types are endless and can be made by professionals as well as talented home cooks. So many of these are becoming extinct that it is a matter of personal grief. These things take time, training and enthusiasm. Who will muster up the same in this time of commercialism? Gangajali and Khirer Tokti are 2 exquisite examples and I don't know if I am the very last or the penultimate generation to have enjoyed these. The high quality of clotted cream sweets in Shor bhaja and Shor puria is also now a matter of dreams. Then there are so many other classes, that are "Bengali Sweets" but not found elsewhere in India just quite in these forms. Very similar ones exist India-wide, but little tweaks have been made in Bengal to suit local tastes. So please pardon for strong opinions. These sweets have been part of our very lives, they have defined festivals, important occasions, and even daily routines to an extent difficult to convey if you have not experienced life in the rural Bengal of the 50s and 60s, or even earlier. It is an attempt to express the role these foods played in social and cultural life and why these things were held in such esteem. I don't know much about the south, but perhaps there is a social role for milk pongal, and lots of memories and traditions attached to its preparation and consumption. Namaskar.
  13. 1 point
    Gulab jamun is a popular North Indian sweet which is relished by everyone. These are prepared for every party, special occasion and festivals. These bread gulab jamuns are instant gulab jamuns which takes 15 to 20 minutes. for full recipe with images follow - http://thecookeryshoww.blogspot.in/2017/06/bread-gulab-jamun.html Ingredients Bread Slices 8 Milk with Cream 4-6 tbsp Sugar 3/4 cup Water 1/4 cup Cardamon powder 1 tbsp Rose water 2 tbsp Chironji / charoli Oil Directions To make the sugar syrup Mix the water and sugar in a pan. Bring to boil and simmer until you get one string consistency. This would take some around 8 to 10 minutes. Later add cardamon powder and rose water. To make the jamuns Remove the crust from bread slices and chop it into small pieces. Add 4 tbsp of milk and start mushing up the bread slices. (don't knead too hard otherwise the jamuns will become hard on frying) Add more milk into the dough (if needed) to shape the balls perfectly. Grease your hand with oil or ghee and start making balls out of this dough. I've added chironji by flattening the ball and then rolling it well. Heat oil on medium heat and start frying the balls until they become golden brown. Drain and add them to sugar syrup. Garnish it with pistachios and serve hot !!!!
  14. 1 point
    HarperCollins publishers India ltd. A-75,sector 57,Noida UP, India phone-91 120-4044800 customer care-----custmercareservice@harpercollins-India.com facebook page - Harpercollins India
  15. 0 points
    The Park dipped so low that you cannot award it top marks any more? royal1688 คาสิโนออนไลน์
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