Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Roshogolla From Orissa?

During my weekend at my sister's, the brunch included rôshogollas. As most Indians know, the rôshogolla holds a hallowed postion in any Bengali banquet, feast or dessert spread. When I attended weddings in Calcutta during my childhood, I remember kids routinely boasted about how many of these spongy delights they could polish off at one go.

roshogolla, rasgullaAnyway, this time my sister had served the rôshogollas with fresh Alphonso mangoes, and they looked so good, I decided to take a picture for this blog. While posting the picture, I looked up rôshogolla in Wikipedia so I could link to it, and imagine my surprise at learning that the rôshogolla didn't originate in Bengal at all, but in neighbouring Orissa. Apparently, the dish most associated with the sweet-loving Bengali was actually created in the temple town of Puri.

If you are travelling between Cuttack and Bhuvaneshwar on Orissa's National Highway No.5, there is a village called Pahala which is still famous for the 'original' rôshogolla. There isn't much to choose from here. For only three varieties of sweets are sold: the Rôshogolla, the Chennagaja and the Chennapoda. These are the specialities of the halwais of the Pahala village. Some 25-30 stalls selling the same three sweets in a small bypass of 100 metres lining the highway! You can see buses, trucks and cars stopping as the shops do a brisk business selling take-out packs of these delicious sweets.

The rôshogollas in Pahala are a softer version, more creamish in colour than white, and not as spongy as the Bengali ones. The Pahala halwais allege that one reason why the Bengali rôshogolla is tougher than theirs, is that the Bengalis want a longer shelf-life for their product. They add arrowroot powder to their rôshogollas. In Pahala, they mix 25 gms of sooji with 1 kg of chenna in the making of their rasgulla. To this is added elaichi for flavour. A dough is made, it is rolled into little balls, and dropped into boiling sugar syrup. The sooji is used to hold the chenna together in the sugar syrup.

Update: Check this post for other viewpoints on the history of this sweet dessert from India!

30 comments:

blr bytes said...

And I always believed that KC Das in Bangalore lay claim to this bit of culinary originality...

Shantanu said...

@blr bytes: I thought so too, until I did my research. BTW, KC Das originally was located in Calcutta.

sunshine said...

I'd heard the same about K.C.Das in Kolkata, or was that Bhim Chandra Nag? Whatever be it, your post got me so nostalgic about the Pahala roshogollas, which I believe are even larger than the typical Bengali ones. Have been lucky to be in Orissa and have the pahala roghogollas myself.

Shantanu said...

@sunshine: Welcome to my blog! Really? I haven't had the Orissa variety yet.

Nitin Harsh said...

I did go to Orissa once. The place is a dream come true for sweetmeat lovers.

I tried those scrumptious Pahala Rasgolas too. My, were they good.

Oriya Rasgolas are really gigantic and tasted much better than any Rasgola I have ever eaten before.

Those Rasgolas are something to die for!

Planner said...

pahala rasagollas tastes divine, Eat them piping hot...And yes its true Rasogolla was originated in Orissa,centuries back.....

thalassa_mikra said...

I'm sorry Shantanu, but this is completely incorrect. I love Wiki, but in this case that page has been completely hijacked by some very chauvinistic Oriyas who are hell-bent on distorting facts.

The fact is that roshogolla was created with Portuguese influence. Before the Portuguese came along, there were no sweets based on curdled milk because milk was considered sacred and curdling was taboo.

The Portuguese influence inspired Bengali sweetmakers to make roshogolla - there may be Oriya versions but the original is definitely Bengali.

As for creamier looking roshogollas, please visit any small town mishtir dokaan (not the ones in Calcutta). They all make amazing roshogollas, not at all spongy.

Shantanu said...

@thalassa mikra: I would very much wish that were true :-D

However, all my Googling effort hasn't yielded any data to support this view. Do you have any source you can point my way?

And yes, I have indeed tried the rosogolla in a number of small towns in Bengal. You are right, the smaller towns make great sweets.

K. Deb, Ph.D. (history) said...

Hello thalassa_mikra,

You are factually incorrect.

The Portuguese were in Orissa too. Actually they were more welcome in Pipili, in the mouth of the Subarnarekha, and in Balasore (both in Orissa), than in Hijli (Bengal).

In any case, it is an urban legend that curdling milk was taboo before the Portuguese came (which unfortunately found its way to a certain Bengali authored book). There are enough Indian medieval texts describing the consumption of curdled milk in India long before the Europeans arrived.

Even Krishna, says the Gita, as a child was punished by his mother Yashoda for breaking a potful of curdled milk (chhana).

And dishes such as Palak Paneer (also curdled milk) came to northern India via the Afghans, again before the Portuguese.

Further, chhana dishes are routinely cooked in Vaishnava/Jagannath temples (e.g. Puri), whereas none of the real items that the Portuguese introduced are ever used within temple premises (corn, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.).

Lastly, "wet" chhana sweet dishes being te brainchild of NC Das in 1868 is yet another untruth that is floating around in our home state (I assume you are Bengali too). The Indian migrants to Trinidad & Tobago and Maurtius who left India even before that time frame too cook chhena dishes as traditional items.

All these facts directly contradict your statement.

Anonymous said...

In ancient India, curdled milk was obtained by an admixture of pieces of a creeper called Putika or pieces of bark of the Palasa tree to the boiling milk. (Source: encyclopedia of cheese). There was no such taboo to curdling.

(FYI-Thalassa Mikra was blocked from wikipedia for her parochial behavior and tantrums.)

Anonymous said...

Hey Shantanu,

This is Rahul (ex-rrsg). Wandered into your blog by accident, interesting post!. Me being Bong and my m-i-l being Oriya, we are going to have some nice discusssion when we meet the next time. Let's see what Kalpana has to say :)

Ciao.

Shantanu said...

@rahul: Hey! Welcome to my blog... Good to see you here. :-)

thalassa_mikra said...

You are a PhD in History who claims Palak Paneer is a dish that was brought to India by the Afghans? Ahem...O..K..Sure.

Your anecdotal style of writing is suspect - no true History PhD would write without solid archival references. And what has my or Chitrita Banerjee's being Bengali got to do with anything? Are we to discount your or our friend anonymous' position on this matter because you are obviously Oriya?

As for anonymous - parochial I certainly may be - but at least I have the guts to put a handle to my comments. Unlike you - who trashes me behind anonymity.

thalassa_mikra said...

And as for this Putika nonsense (which managed to find its way into an FAO document, go figure), no less an authority than KT Achaya talks about the taboo on curdling of milk.

Now go ahead - claim that Achaya is a parochial tantrum-throwing Bengali!

If you don't know or haven't read much about food history in India, I would advice you guys to get off your high horses and read more - before you go about creating misleading Wikipedia pages.

Anonymous said...

"There was in him an intense desire to create a sweetmeat that was never there before... the ultimate delicacy. He toiled for months, armed with imagination, skill and tenacity, and sometime in the year 1868, his labours paid off. He made small balls of casein (cottage cheese) and boiled them in hot sugar syrup. The result was a succulent, spongy sweet with a unique, distinctive taste. Nobin Das christened it the “Rossogolla” and a legend was born."

This is what has been claimed on KC Das's Website.

What these liars, these people are.

http://www.kcdas.co.in/history.php?l=rr

They should be taken to court for this.

Anonymous said...

(Apologies in advance to Shantanu, who obviously is has a broad perspective on things, and to all sane Bengalis out there. This odious person Mikra is one of a kind. She deserves to be clobbered! Not once has she spoken respectfully to any of us. She barged in into a discussion, and launched an assault on not one, but at least FOUR people. An obvious lack of culture. (uppercase for clarity only, please don't misconstrue it as "yelling".)


BOO HOO HOO. PEOPLE AREN’T SAYING NICEY NICE THINGS ABOUT MY PWWECIOUS PWWECIOUS BENGAL NO MORE.

MIKRA’S BIGOTRY SHOWS THAT BE IT CALCUTTA OR CALIFORNIA, A BIGOT WILL ALWAYS REMAIN A BIGOT. I CAN WELL IMGINE JOKERS MINGLING WITH ONLY BENGALIS, SPEAKING ONLY BENGALI, STRUTTING AROUND IN MALLS AND PARKS WITH HUGE RED DOTS IN THEIR FOREHEADS, AND PERPETUALLY GLOATING ABOUT THE ‘GREATNESS’ OF THE HINDU RELIGION (WITHOUT ANY UNDERSTANDING OF IT), ETC.

INTEGRATE FOR A CHANGE YOU IDIOTS, INTEGRATE!



NOW EVERYONE, WATCH THIS CULINARY GENIUS-SLASH-HISTORIAN-SLASH-LANGUAGE EXPERT SQUIRM:


--------------------------
You are a PhD in History who claims Palak Paneer is a dish that was brought to India by the Afghans? Ahem...O..K..Sure.
--------------------------
THIS RETARD ACTUALLY THINKS THAT PHDS HAVE AN INTEREST IN PALAK PANEER. YOU MEAN TO SAY THAT GREGORY POSSEHL WOULD BE ABLE TO EXPOUND AT LENGTH ON THIS IMPORTANT SUBJECT – “PALAK PANEER”? OR THAT DAVID CLINGINGSMITH WOULD BE WRITING PAPERS ON PALAK PANEER? LOL!

WHAT AN AIRHEAD!

HOW DO YOU POSSIBLY EXPLAIN TO A COMPLETELY INSULAR FANATIC WITH THE IQ OF A TADPOLE THAT THERE ARE THINGS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN PALAK PANEER THAT SERIOUS HISTORIANS CARE ABOUT? HOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO HER THAT HER TEAM OF COOKBOOK WRITERS ARE NOT INTELLECTUALLY EQUIPPED TO HANDLE HISTORY DATING BACK TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY, WHICH REQUIRES A THOROUGH SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION?


--------------------------
Your anecdotal style of writing is suspect - no true History PhD would write without solid archival references.
--------------------------
THIS IS A FRIGGING B-L-O-G YOU IDIOT, NOT A PEER REVIEWED SCHOLARLY PAPER. OTHERWISE, I AM SURE HE WOULD HAVE.


--------------------------
And what has my or Chitrita Banerjee's being Bengali got to do with anything?
--------------------------
LO AND BEHOLD, THE MIND OF A FANATIC!

ELSEWHERE SHE WRITES: “Before the pumpkin, the chalkumro (or petha in the rest of India)was widely used in all recipes that call for pumpkin now.”
SHE INSISTS USING BENGALI TERMS EVEN WHEN CARRYING OUT A CONVERSATION WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE OBVIOUSLY ALL NON-BENGALI. NOW WHY WOULD SHE DO THAT? WHY WOULD SHE CALL IT “CHALKUMRO”, INSERTING “PETHA” ONLY INSIDE PARENTHESIS, INSTEAD OF JUST WRITING “PETHA”!

ISN’T IT AN OBVIOUS DISCOURTESY IF A TAMILIAN, A PUNJABI, AN ORIYA, OR A BENGALI WERE TO START THROWING TOTALLY UNRECOGNIZABLE WORDS AT YOU?

UNIKE THE REST OF US, THIS GROVELLING, SNIVELLING BIGOT WOULDN’T MISS AN OPPORTUNITY TO “TEACH” A NON-BENGALI HER PWWECIOUS LANGUAGE.

SHE ALSO READS ONLY BENGALI BOOKS. CHITRITA BANERJEE IS A LOW IQ COOKBOOK WRITER WHO FREELY USES BENGALI TERMS IN HER COOKBOOKS. HER BOOKS ARE WRITTEN FOR ONLY BENGALI CONSUMPTION. HARDLY THE KIND ONE WOULD REFER TO FOR A MOOT TOPIC INVOLVING MULTIPLE CULTURES.


--------------------------
Are we to discount your or our friend anonymous' position on this matter because you are obviously Oriya? 

--------------------------
YOUR INTENSE PAROCHIAL, UNCULTURED UPBRINGING IS IN QUESTION. I CAN’T SPEAK FOR MY FRIEND, BUT MY ETHNICITY DOES NOT EVEN MATTER. I CAN’T STAND BIGOTS – ORIYA, BENGALI, INDIAN, HINDU, OR AMERICAN. I AM ONLY SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT, NOT ADVERTISING MY LANGUAGE OR CULTURE FOR EVERYONE.

I’D TO THE SAME THING FOR ANY CULTURE, ANY LANGUAGE. IT IS JUST THAT I HAPPEN TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ONE ISSUE, THAT IS ALL.


--------------------------

As for anonymous - parochial I certainly may be - but at least I have the guts to put a handle to my comments. Unlike you - who trashes me behind anonymity.
--------------------------
HYPOCRITE! YOU AIN’T ANONYMOUS BECAUSE YOU KEEP BRAGGING ABOUT YOURSELF ALL THE TIME.

THIS IDIOT KEEPS DEFECATING ALL OVER CYBERSPACE WITH USELESS TRIVIA LIKE HOW WELL SHE COOKS, WHAT FOREIGN LANGUAGES SHE SPEAKS, HOW GREAT HER PAPA IS ETC. AD NAUSEAM.

MISS INFERIORITY COMPLEX OBVIOUSLY HAS A GOOD REASON NOT TO STAY ANONYMOUS.


--------------------------
And as for this Putika nonsense (which managed to find its way into an FAO document, go figure),
--------------------------
THAT ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY A MARATHI GUY, NOT A BENGALI ONE, YOU IDIOT. FURTHERMORE, UNLIKE YOUR LOW IQ COOKBOOK REFERENCES, THIS ONE ACTUALLY APPEARED IN A PEER-REVIEWED SCHOLARLY PAPER.


--------------------------
no less an authority than KT Achaya talks about the taboo on curdling of milk.
--------------------------
OMIGOSH! THIS NUMBSKULL CAN’T THINK BEYOND COOKBOOK WRITERS.

MUST I DRILL A HOLE RIGHT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL TO MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND THIS SIMPLE FACT – “FOOD HISTORY” IS A FRIGGING H-O-B-B-Y, NOT A SERIOUS LINE OF WORK!!!

AS FAR AS I KNOW, THE ONLY SCHOLARLY WORK ON THE ORIGIN OF RASGULLA HAS BEEN DONE BY J. B. PADHI WHO EXAMINED THE CENTURIES OLD RECORDS OF THE PURI TEMPLE ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE RASGULLA. HE ESTIMATES THAT THE RECIPE FOR RASGULLA IS 6 CENTURIES OLD!

ANOTHER SCHOLAR, A CERTAIN S. C. MOHAPATRA ALSO HAS MADE SIMILAR DISCOVERIES TO CORROBORATE J. B. PADHI’S RESEARCH.

NOW PADHI AND MOHAPATRA BEING ORIYA, MAY HAVE PAROCHIAL INTERESTS (JUST LIKE THIS BIGOT THALASSA MIKRA HERE), BUT PH.D. THESES ARE WELL REVIEWED ONES, AND SENT ABROAD FOR EXAMINATION. REST ASSURED, THESE STUDIES ARE MORE THOROUGH THAN SOME STUPID COOKBOOK WRITER.

I WISH I COULD PRODUCE MORE DETAILS, BUT UNFORTUNATELY, THE ONLY WAY I CAN ACCESS THEM IS IN BHUBANESWAR.


--------------------------


Now go ahead - claim that Achaya is a parochial tantrum-throwing Bengali! 


--------------------------
NO YOU IDIOT, ACHAYA IS JUST AN UNINFORMED LAYPERSON, TOTALLY UNQUALIFIED TO TALK ABOUT PORTUGUESE INFLUENCE IN ANY PART OF INDIA.

INDIA HAS A VERY STRONG COW-REARING CULTURE, AND A HOT CLIMATE WHERE DISCARDING CURDLED MILK IS AN OBVIOUS ECONOMIC LOSS.

BY THE TENETS OF SCIENTIF REDUCTIONISM, THERE CAN BE NO INDIA-WIDE TABOO AGAINST CURDLING OF CHEESE. TABOOS OF THIS NATURE (IF ANY) WILL BE STRICTLY LOCAL – ONLY IN KOLKATA. READ JARED DIAMOND FOR A CHANGE.


--------------------------
If you don't know or haven't read much about food history in India, I would advice you guys to get off your high horses and read more - before you go about creating misleading Wikipedia pages.
--------------------------
FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME, O DEFENDER-OF-THE-BENGALI-FAITH: “FOOD HISTORY” IS JUST A LOWLY HOBBY, NOT A SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY.

AND THE REST IS AMUSING, COMING FROM THE MOUTH OF AN ILL-INFORMED, UNCULTURED, BRAGGART AND A BIGOT, WHO WAS WARNED SEVERAL TIMES FOR SPAMMING AND WHO WAS KICKED OUT FOR BAD BEHAVIOR.






FOR EVERYONE: HERE ARE SOME POINTS THALASSA MIKRA WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO REFUTE:


A. PORTUGUESE ORIGIN OF CHHENA IS IMPOSSIBLE:
=============================================

1. THE CURDLING OF CHEESE COULD NEVER HAVE BEEN A TABOO THROUGHOUT INDIA, AS IN A COW-REARING CULTURE WHERE MILK WILL ALWAYS GET CURDLED IN WARM WEATHER, WASTING CHEESE HAS HUGE ECONOMIC RAMIFICATIONS. A NATION-WIDE TABOO AGAINST CURDLING IS A NEAR MATHEMATICAL IMPOSSIBILITY.

2. THE PORTUGUESE INFLUENCE ON GOANESE CUISINE IS CLEARCUT – FENI, BIBENCA, VINDALOO (VINHO DE ALHO), ETC. WHY, MOST DISHES HAVE PORTUGUESE SOUNDING NAMES. THEY ALSO HEAVILY INFLUENCED ALL ASPECTS OF GOA’S CULTURE, ARCHITECTURE AND RELIGION. CONTRAST THIS WITH BENGAL. OTHER THAN THIS IDIOT’S TALL CLAIM ABOUT MILK-CURDLING, WHY ISN’T THERE ANY TANGIBLE PORTUGUESE INFLUENCE IN BENGAL?

3. WHY, EVEN THE NAME “CHHANA” ISN’T REMOTELY PORTUGUESE SOUNDING. IS THE HINDI-CUM-ORIYA WORD “CHHENA” THEN DERIVED FROM “CHHANA”?

EVEN IF SHE WERE CORRECT (AN IMPOSSIBILTY) HOW CAN THALASSA MIKRA EXPLAIN THE OTHER POINTS BELOW:


B. THE CULINARY HERITAGE OF NEIGHBORING STATES:
===============================================

1. IF HER REASONING WERE TRUE, THEN BY EXACTLY THE SAME ARGUMENTS, WERE ALL INDIAN SWEETS ALSO INVENTED IN BENGAL, INCUDING V-E-R-Y TRADITIONAL SWEETS FROM BIHAR AND ORISSA?

2. THE PORTUGUESE CAME TO INDIA AT THE SAME TIME AS BENGAL. SO WHY DO YOU CLAIM THAT THE BENGALIS GOT THIS IDEA, BUT NOT ORIYAS?

3. RASGULLA IS A TRADITIONAL OFFERING TO THE DIETY LAXMI IN THE PURI TEMPLE. IT IS A WELL-KNOWN FACT. THE PURI RECORDS SHOW THIS. HOW DID THIS MYTH THEN ORIGINATE?

AND FINALLY,


C. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF K. C. DAS’S STORY:
=========================================

1. HOW COULD K. C. DAS WALK AWAY WITH THE RIDICULOUS CLAIM THAT HE INVENTED THE RASGULLA? IF RASGULLA WAS KNOWN IN BENGAL WELL BEFORE 1868, NOBODY WOULD HAVE SWALLOWED K. C. DAS’S BULLCRAP STORY. COULD K. C. DAS HAVE MADE A SIMILAR CLAIM ABOUT SANDESH, WHICH UNLIKE RASGULLA IS A GENUINELY BENGALI DISH? SO HOW DO YOU FIT IN K. C. DAS’S CLAIM WITH YOUR RIDICULOUS CLAIM?


NOW WATCH HOW THIS PRETENTIOUS FRAUD IGNORES THESE OBVIOUS FACTS THAT FALSIFY HER TALL CLAIMS.

Anonymous said...

Nobin C. Das's claim conclusively proves that there was no rasgulla in Kolkata prior to 1868.

Imagine if he had made a similar claim about sandesh. Nobody would have bought that story because sandesh was already made in Kolkata.

Ergo, rasgulla was created elsewhere - in neighboring Orissa. Puri temple records do not lie, 35,000,000 people could not have adopted a myth.

Check this CNN IBN video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvdh9eB4oqU

Anonymous said...

More shameless bigotry by Thalassa Mikra:

When I was a little girl, my Ma sat me down and said:

"TM, we Bengalis are very cultured people. Everyone looks up to us because of our culture"

TM nodded her head,


Who exactly "looks up to" anyone because of their "culture"? I am not aware of any, are you?

Anonymous said...

Hi ,

Glad someone showed Thalassa Mikra that there is more to meet than her myopic views of Bengal having created everything from pastas to the paprika sauce....

And hey TM why get so touchy feely about accepting a well recorded foact for centuries that Rasagullas have been made in Orissa for Centuries....I mean it's like the west now patenting the use of Turmeric and Basmati...

As far as "looking up to Culture"... one would if only you owuld be glad enough to be benovelent in your words and be magnanimous enough to accept the fact that the Rasagolla has been hijacked from Orissa. Acklowlegding a well documented and researched fact may just about redeam the 'cultural Superiority'( How superficial) of Bengal. Sorry for drawing parallels but next we would be claiming Robindra Sangeet as another Classical stream of Music from India... How naive....

By the way digest this.. the Rice Kheer a staple dessert pan India is a creation form the kitchens of the Sri Jagannath temple in Puri and has almost been made the same way for over a 1000 years if not more.

Do let me know of any more 'Culture "swapping" anecdotes that you would like to know that have happened over time by our more enterprising neighbours...West Bengal ;)

amit said...

i am a bong
but my research says our dear rashgulla is from orissa

BENU said...

Dear all , how i can reach to an Active ORIYA community in Chennai who will participate in performing arts, Cheers ! We are a concert Hall where an International Odissi Dance Performance is scheduled in Jan 2009.write in to smvrch@gmail.com. Thank You ! Benu

Megh said...

TM should mature up a bit and expand her perspective instead of assuming such a narrow world view. Most bengalis are not like her.

Happy Holy Hammer/Eternal Migrant said...

Dear Shantanu,

I do not know whether it is true that Rasogolla came from Orissa or not. However, in your blog you have written that "orissa varieties are as spongy as the Bengali ones"(last para first or second sentence). I am afraid you are not talking about the "Bengali Ones" but rather the "Calcutta/Kolkata Ones". I do not know where you are from or whether you have ever been to any non-Kolkata town or sub-rural/sub-urabn area of West Bengal or not. But probably you have not been to. In case you ever be in such a place try the Rasogolla there, you will probably find the same thing as the "Orissa ones" there. The Kolkata Rasogolla and the non-Kolkata Rasogolla in West Bengal are distinctly different and I think you are talking about the same difference here as well. And I believe once someone actually have the "Orissa Ones" or "the sub-urban bengal ones", the delight of the "Kolkata Ones" goes down considerably. But then again it is a question of preference.

Anonymous said...

You guys are amazing!

Lord Jagannath is close to the hearts of all Oriya people. The Rath Yatra is our most famous festival. According to tradition, the rasgulla is offered as bhog to Goddess Lakshmi.

Just because we are a smaller state with no English book author to document this well known fact, and because our cultures & languages are so similar for outsiders to notice any difference, does not mean that some of you can be totally ignore our age old religious tradition!

Local newspaper articles:


http://www.kalingatimes.com/orissa_news/news/20070728_Rath_Yatra_ends.htm

To appease Mahalaxmi, Lord Jagannath offers Rasagolas and cajoles her to forgive him. After prolonged persuasion she allows the Lord inside. This is the only occasion when Rasagola Bhog is offered to the deities by the devotees.


http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Trinity+take+‘adhar+pana’+on+raths&artid=3eBgu7GKsIg=&SectionID=mvKkT3vj5ZA=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=nUFeEOBkuKw=&SEO=

Before that, the deities would be offered ‘rasagulla’ bhog. The concluding day of the Rath Yatra is called Neeladri Bije


http://www.kalingatimes.com/odisha_news/news2009/20090704_Adhar_Pana_offered_to_Lord_Jagannath_in_Puri.htm

Before entering into the temple, the deities would be offered Rasagolla bhog on the chariots. This is the single occasion in a year when the deities are offered Rasagolla bhog

Cotton Candy said...

The English word "Cheese" comes from Latin "Caseus", which is derived from Sanskrit "Kasi". Whoever claims that the Bengalis got cheese from the Portuguese is wrong.

Anonymous said...




Milk curdling from whey in 12th century India is clearly described in a few extant treatises dating back to that period. Please check P. Arundhati's book," The Royal Life in Manasollasa," (Sundeep Prakashan, 1994), pages 115 & 127, to verify this.



At best, the Portuguese might have just "taught" the Bengalis how to "break" milk using citrus juice instead of whey (see K. T. Achaya) although even that is doubtful.



As far as the inception of chhena based sweets are concerned, the Portuguese connection is a nonissue as chhena for rasgullas are obtained by whey-curdled milk.



Why, even the Bengali rasgullas sold outside Kolkata city look and taste exactly their original Oriya ancestors, but not like their Kolkata counterparts. Isn't this proof that rasgullas were never invented in Kolkata?



TBEZPKOBT said...

FACT-1 The Hindu female deity Lakshmi is served rasagollas on the last day of the annual Rath Jatra festival at Puri. This is a 600+ year old tradition called NILADRI BIJAY.



FACT-2 The word cheese is derived from Latin Caseus that comes from Sanskrit Kaasi indicating that chhena was made in India in ancient times.



FACT-3 Even in the rest of Bengal, outside Kolkata, it is the larger, browner Oriya version of rasagolla that is prepared. The K. C. Das/Ganguram chewy “sponge” rasagolla is confined only to Kolkata.



FACT-4 The only Portuguese cheese in Kolkata is the Bandel cheese which is very salty and smoked. It is available in New Market, and Anglo-Indians usually buy it. It is totally different from sweet chhena dishes.



FACT-5 Even the Bengali dish Sondesh predates the arrival of the Portuguese.



FACT-6 All true Portuguese origin dishes – Bibenca, Vindaloo (Vin de Alho in portuguese), Kaju (Caju in Portuguese.), Batata (Batata in Portuguese), have Portuguese sounding names. But chhena does not sound like Queijo in Portuguese.



FACT-7 The Portuguese arrived in Baleshwar, Orissa at the same time as Bengal.



FACT-8 Even KT Achaya merely hypothesized Portuguese origin (and was wrong). It took a chauvinist Bengali writer Chitrita Banerjee to stake a formal Bengali claim to the rasagolla. Her book is so narrowly focussed on Bengali readership that she freely uses Bengali terms everywhere, making it difficult for non-Bengalis to even read.



FACT-9 Even if the Portuguese were to have introduced chhena to India (which is wrong), the timeline is enough for the Puri temple cooks to have picked it up and incorporated it into the temple cuisine.



FACT-10 Rasagolla has been cooked in Salepur for one and a half centuries.



FACT-11 Milk curdling from whey was done way back in 12th century India (See P. Arundhati's book," The Royal Life in Manasollasa,", Sundeep Prakashan, 1994.)



FACT-12 Rasagolla is made from whey-curdled milk. Even if KT Achaya was correct, the Portuguese would simply have shown Bengalis how to curdle milk from acid. It has no bearing on the history of rasagolla.
CONCLUSION The Bengali story of Haradhan Moira and K C Das inventing rasagolla is DEAD WRONG.

A K Pani said...

It is really very very painful for any oriya that rasagulla which is actually there origin but bengalis are known throughout India for this sweet and nobody in India recognises Orissa.
So I urge all my Bengali brothers to show some honesty, come forward make an honest confession about the origin of rasagulla and give their Oriya brothers there due credit

Dr J Swain said...

Yes, Pahala Rasagolas are good, but the best Rasagolas are available at Salepur, Odisha, in Bikala Kar's shop.

Anonymous said...

OK, the issue has (at long last) been resolved.

Not that there was any genuine controversy, except from a section of Bengali intelligentsia who conjectured a dubious theory, completely overlooking the fact that cottage cheese has been made in India since ancient times, as well as Jagannath Puri temple's own culinary tradition:

RASAGOLLA HAS ITS ORIGINS IN THE JAGANNATH TEMPLE AT PURI.

The Pioneer
Date: August 4, 2011


A controversy over the origin of Rasgulla between Odisha and neighbouring West Bengal ended on a sweet note here on Wednesday.....

Read on:

www.dailypioneer.com/358376/Rasgulla-has-its-origin-in-Jagannath-Temple-at-Puri.html