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About a couple of years back, this war had just begun. Who owns the mighty roshogolla? Who was the inventor of these syrupy spongy balls of deliciousness? I remember reaching Delhi airport T 3 and seeing a large hoarding of Odisha Tourism and their claim on the roshogolla. My mind could not accept the fact that they could call the roshogolla their own. By then Odisha had gone ahead and already started researching on the origin of the roshogolla sometime in 2015 and they declared 30th July as roshogolla dibasa. I guess many like me could not accept this straightaway including our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. And hence began the battle of the roshogolla!! Both the states had by then applied for GI tagging.
This 14th of November will be etched in the memory of every Bengali and Oriya. We woke up to the news that Bengal has been granted the GI status for roshogolla. It was in fact in Bengal, that this was invented by Shri Nabin Chandra Das in 1868. Nabin Chandra Das is the ancestor of the famous mishtir dokan K C Das and Sons. Some say that the invention was merely by fluke. A spongy ball of chhena had by accident fallen in the hot syrup cooking nearby. The result was the roshogolla which became universally loved.
The GI tag goes for the white or off-white ball of sponge in sugar syrup. It is the Banglar roshogolla. However, these days we see many a variety of roshogolla, the Nolen Gurer roshogolla being the most popular. It is almost winter (if we can dare to call it winter in Kolkata) but nolen gur would soon be taking over the sweet shops. White or off-white or any other colour, here are the top 5 places for roshogolla in Kolkata.
Location: Multiple outlets
Their name is synonymous with roshogolla. A couple of decades back when flight packing was not available, they were the ones to do the sponge roshogolla in tins. Of course, the tinned variety is nowhere close to the taste of the fresh ones. Amongst all their outlets, the must visit one is at Esplanade.
Price: Ranges from Rs. 12 per piece to Rs. 16 per piece
Location: Multiple outlets
Out of the several branches in the city, the one in Bhawanipore is a must visit. They do the regular roshogolla but what has catapulted their name is the last 5 years is the baked roshogolla. And trust me; there is nothing healthy about it. It is as sinful as a rich chocolate cake. Roshogolla is topped with kheer and then baked. The top is caramelised and the result is simply ambrosial.
Price: Rs. 225 plus GST for a tray of 15 pieces. Per piece cost is Rs.15/- only
Having multiple locations, the more popular ones are at Theatre Road and the one near Lake Market. Not many people know about these shops but their roshogollas are simply incredible, especially the nolen gurer roshogolla which is available only in winter months. For savouring fresh and hot nolen gurer roshogolla, one must visit these shops in the evening after 6 pm.
Price: Rs. 12 per piece
Must visit location for this sweet shops would be at Jadavpur, 8 B Bus stand. They have traditional as well as some contemporary sweets. Their roshogollas are always fresh and a delight to have. Try the Nolen Gurer roshogolla or even the baked roshogolla, which is a bit different from the one at Balaram Mullick.
Price: Rs. 12 per piece for gurer roshogolla, Rs. 8 and Rs. 10 per piece for regular roshogolla and Rs. 17 per piece for baked roshogolla
Location: Shyam Bazar, Near Lal Mandir
One of the oldest sweet shops in the city and located in the famous Shyam Bazar area, this shops specialises in traditional sweets and their roshogollas are, like the sweet itself, legendary. They do not even do the gurer roshogolla during winters. The roshogollas are perhaps one of the most expensive in town but are worth every penny.
Price: Rs. 15 and Rs. 20 per piece