Here is the list of Bengali sweets that you should try at least once in your life:
1. Mishti Doi
One of the most popular and well-known desserts in Bengal is the creamy and delicious Mishti Doi. Made with a blend of thick milk and jaggery this is something you simply have to try. Another variant of curd is Bhapa Doi which is usually garnished with nuts and make for a delicious finish to any meal. For the best experience make sure to have this Bengali sweet chilled and straight from a refrigerator.
2. Roshogulla And Rajbhog
One of the most famous Bengali sweets, Roshogolla is a soft round mithai made out of Chhena and dipped into a sugary syrup. Rajbhog is a close cousin of this famed sweet, with a delicious stuffing in its centre that can be made of dry fruits, saffron, cardamom and so on. With this dessert, it is usually difficult to stop after devouring only one.
A relatively dry Bengali Mithai, Shondesh can come in many variants. Made with Condensed milk Sugar and/or Jaggery this dessert can be moulded into different shapes and designs. We recommend having a Nolen Gurer Shondesh, which is made with a special and extra delicious kind of jaggery. Another variant which you might like is the Jol Bhara Sandesh. In the modern trend of fusion desserts, today you can also try out recipes such as chocolate Sandesh.
A pancake that is also a dessert: need we say more? Malpua is a syrup-drenched concoction made from flour and sugar and additional ingredients include coconut amongst others. These miniature pancakes are fried before being soaked in sugar syrup. The Bengali sweet is also popular in several parts of north India and in Odisha.
Like many other Bengali sweets with an Odisha connection, Rasmalai is quite a hit in India. It is made with small sugary balls of chhena soaked in malai and with a dash of cardamom. It is cooked in a concoction of sugar syrup, milk, saffron, pistachios and kheer. The small balls are immersed and cooked in simmering milk cream. The end product is akin to having tiny rasgullas soaked in a creamy, milky base. Needless to say, it is utterly delicious.
No list of Bengali sweets would be complete without the inclusion of Payesh. A tasty Bengali dessert with a thick creamy consistency, Payesh is made with milk, rice, sugar, ghee along with spices such as cardamom and bay leaf and also dry fruits and nuts. Variants include gurer payesh which is made with jaggery and chhenar payesh which is made with chhena.
Another Bengali Mithai served on a bed of sugar syrup, Pantua is made from a yummy combination of milk, semolina, ghee, khoya and sugar. Similar to gulab jamuns, these pack a delicious punch and you should definitely not miss out on this one.
The name amriti is derived from Amrita, meaning 'manna' or the food of the gods, and this dessert does not disappoint. Similar to a jalebi, it is designed into spirals with decorative curlicues around the edges. This dish is made from ground dal, sugar and cardamom which is then fried in ghee.
A dish popular in many parts of eastern India, Langcha is made from flour and khoya. It is fried before being dipped into the sugar syrup. This famous Bengali sweet is prepared during festivals and special occasions. Just like other Bengali sweets names, this one will have you familiar after one bite!
10. Chhenar Jilipi
If you're a fan of the typical jalebi but want a new experience for your taste buds, try this. Made from chhenna, khoya and flour, it resembles the spiral of a jalebi but boasts a new and delicious taste. It is best eaten warm and fresh.
Among the best Bengali sweets is the Patishapta, a festival favourite consisting of a delicious crepe that envelopes a mixture of coconut, cardamom, jaggery, khoya and dry fruits. This is a festival favourite and is especially enjoyed during seasonal and harvest-related festivals.
Made of flour, coconut, cream, sugar and saffron, this is a popular sweet in Bengal. The sweet is oval in shape and often has a brownish hue to it. It can also come in a variety of other vibrant colours. At times, as a garnish, the sweetmeat is coated in mawa or coconut flakes.
13. Joynogor-er Moa
Moa is a delicious dry concoction made out of jaggery, puffed rice and ghee that is packed together into a round delicious ball. We recommend the seasonally available Joynagar-er Moa which is perhaps one of the tastiest Bengali sweets you will ever try. This specific type is also dotted with dry fruits and nuts. Moa can be made with 'muri' or 'Khoi'.
Mihidana can be best described as the microscopic cousin of the boondi. The dish is made with powdered rice, flour and saffron which is blended with water. This mixture is then poured through a sieve-like ladle and deep-fried. These fine particles of fried goodness are then dipped and soaked in sugar syrup and drained.
15. Kheer Kadam
Imagine eating a small Rasagolla wrapped in a Sandesh and you might be able to come slightly close to the taste of a kheer Kadam. An exotic and completely Bengali sweet, this is made of small chhena spheres cocooned in khoya and powdered sugar. This Bengali mithai which is also known as Ras Kadam packs a double punch of taste that you should definitely try.
16. Sar Bhaja
Otherwise pronounced as Shor Bhaja, this delicious dessert is made of deep-fried milk cream. The recipe takes a while to create, but the end results are totally worth it. While outside the Bengali community, Sar Baja might not well known, it is one of the best Bengali sweets to be made. In another variation, layers of cream milk are baked to form a dessert called sarpuria. The fried or baked pieces are finally soaked in a sugar syrup before you can enjoy them.
The Bengali version of laddoos is very similar and yet utterly unique when compared to the rest of the country. In Bengal, boondi laddoos are called Darbesh. It differs in taste and texture from the traditional laddoo and is often eaten during festivals.
18. Kacha Golla
A soft, melt in your mouth kind of dessert, it is made of pure milk and can be cooked with numerous variations. Kacha Golla is one of the healthiest desserts and is often preferred during religious ceremonies and festivals.
Shaped like a pale crescent moon, this dessert is made from cottage cheese, mawa, coconut and jaggery. Because of the combination of ingredients, this can be the perfect dessert to indulge your sweet tooth. Be warned, however, that for some it may be a little too sweet. A popular Bengali sweet, it is enjoyed during festive occasions such as Durga Puja.
20. Kalo Jam
A distant cousin of the well-known Gulab Jamun, Kalo Jam is made from flour, milk, cardamom etc. and then deep-fried. Shaped into little spheres, these fried dumplings are soaked in a sugar syrup before being served up. The dessert has a dark, almost black colour and is considered delicious by most.
A delicious combination of chhena, flour and cardamom, which is deep fried in an oblong shape, nikuti is an elaborate dessert. The fried balls are soaked in sugar syrup and then after that put in a concoction of condensed milk and chilled.
A dry sweet made into small spheres, Naru can be made from a variety of ingredients including coconut, til and so on. Made of ingredients such as cardamom, jaggery, grated coconut, these are slightly sticky, sweet orbs of deliciousness that you will want to devour in a single bite and come back for more.
A sweet and delicious dessert made using condensed milk, Rabri is made by slow cooking and thickening milk. The dessert is garnished with dry fruits and nuts. Sugar and spices are added to season the dish. Keep in mind that this is a very heavy and filling recipe and do make sure to leave ample space for this dessert.
24. Labong Latika
Labong Latika is one of the traditional sweets prepared by grandmothers on special occasions. Labong translates to clove in English and is used in abundance in this dish. Labong Latikais pocket made of all-purpose flour which is filled with sweetened khoya and a crusty pastry covering that is sealed with a piece of clove. The sweet is then fried and left to cool in a bowl of sugar syrup. It is super delicious and quite addictive!
Ledikeni or lady Kenny has been a popular Bengali dish since the British rule. The dish is named after Lady Canning, the wife of Charles Canning who was the Governor-General of India during the 19th century. The dish a light brown sweet ball made of Chenna which is fried and then soaked in sugar syrup. It tastes divine and is prepared on most auspicious days.
Sitabhog is a popular dish from Bardhaman area of Bengal. Sitabhog is a very tasty and also a very interesting dessert to look at. It looks like pulao (a savoury dish) but tastes sweet. Many variants of this are available now but traditionally it was made of white rice and gulab jamun. Nowadays, people prefer using vermicelli instead of rice. It is then mixed white rice flour, cottage cheese and sugar.
27. Kolar Bora
Kolar bora is a famous Sankranti dish. Kolar in Bengali means banana and Bora means fried pakora. It is made of fried ripe banana fritters filled rice. It is hot and oft in the inside and crunchy on the outside. It is often enjoyed with a cup of tea and snacks or you could eat it cold. It is relatively easy to make yet super yummy to eat.
Goja is nothing small pieces of maida, deep-fried and dipped in sugar syrup. This looks exactly like namkeen but sweet ones.
In sweet shops these days, you may find modern varients of these sweets like Sandesh in different flavours, sugar-free steamed Sandesh, Mishti Doi without Gur and so on. Next time you enter a Bengali sweet shop, it's going to be a difficult choice to make from such a diverse collection of sweets.
How many of these Bengali sweets have you tried?
If you have a favourite, think we missed out on particular sweet on our list of Bengali sweets or have a query, leave a comment below.