In the bustling streets of Kolkata, the celebration of Bhai Dooj is not merely a ritual; it’s a festival of flavors and sweetness that brings siblings together in the most delightful way. Among the myriad customs and traditions that adorn this occasion, the indulgence in delectable sweets holds a special place. As brothers and sisters exchange heartfelt wishes and tokens of love, the sweetness of Kolkata’s traditional sweets adds an extra sparkle to the festivities.
Rasgulla: The Timeless Classic
When it comes to Kolkata’s Bhai Dooj celebrations, Rasgulla stands as an iconic symbol of love and festivity. These spongy, syrup-soaked cottage cheese balls are a staple in every Bengali household during festivals. Originating from Kolkata itself, this divine creation by Nobin Chandra Das has become a timeless favorite across the country. The soft texture, soaked in sugar syrup, melts in your mouth, leaving behind an irresistible sweetness.
Sondesh: The Epitome of Elegance
In the realm of Bengali sweets, Sondesh reigns supreme as a sophisticated delicacy. Crafted from paneer (chhena) and sugar, Sondesh comes in various forms and flavors. From classic plain Sondesh to the more exotic ones infused with fruits, nuts, and aromatic spices, the artisans in Kolkata create these delectable treats with finesse, making them an integral part of Bhai Dooj celebrations.
Sandesh: A Blissful Symphony of Flavors
The city’s confectioners and sweetmeat shops offer an exquisite range of Sandesh—a close cousin of Sondesh but with its unique appeal. This sweetmeat, made from cottage cheese and sugar, is often molded into artistic shapes, each bite a celebration of traditional craftsmanship and taste. The fusion of modern flavors with traditional recipes has given rise to a myriad of Sandesh varieties, appealing to every palate.
Kheer Kadam and Mishti Doi: Delightful Duets
Kolkata’s Bhai Dooj celebrations are incomplete without the presence of Kheer Kadam and Mishti Doi. Kheer Kadam, a sweet delight comprising a layer of creamy khoa (reduced milk) encased in a coating of sweetened coconut, is a visual and gastronomic delight. On the other hand, Mishti Doi, the creamy, sweetened yogurt slow-cooked in earthen pots, offers a cooling and delightful contrast to the richness of other sweets.
Bhai Dooj Delights Beyond Compare
The streets of Kolkata are dotted with sweet shops and renowned confectioneries that boast an impressive array of sweets, each vying for attention with its unique flavors and presentation. Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, Bhim Chandra Nag, KC Das, and Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandy are among the iconic sweet shops in Kolkata that tantalize taste buds with their Bhai Dooj specials.
A Sweet Bond: Celebrating Tradition
Beyond the delightful flavors and textures, the tradition of indulging in these delectable sweets during Bhai Dooj is a celebration of the enduring bond between siblings. As brothers and sisters exchange these traditional treats, they also share cherished moments, creating memories that linger long after the last bite.
So, as Kolkata gets ready to immerse itself in the festivities of Bhai Dooj, the city’s sweet shops stand ready to offer an array of delightful confections that symbolize not just sweetness but the enduring love and bond between siblings.