Sondesh is a typical Bengali confection made with sugar and chhena (cottage cheese). It is renowned for both its sweet, milky flavour and soft, creamy texture.
Making sondesh requires curdling milk to create chhena, which is then combined with sugar to create a dough-like substance. This mixture is then formed into tiny balls or other decorative shapes, and nuts or other flavourings are added as a garnish. Sondesh, the end product, is a wonderful and pleasantly soft and creamy sweet.
The milk must first be curdled by adding an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or lemon juice, before making sondesh. The solid chhena and liquid whey are separated next, from the curdled milk, using a strainer. After that, the chhena is rinsed with cold water to get rid of any remaining traces of the acidic ingredient and to enhance the sondesh's texture.
After that, sugar and chhena are blended together into a smooth, uniform slurry. The flavours of sondesh can then be created by adding different elements to this combination, - such as fruits, nuts, or spices.
The sondesh mixture is then formed into tiny balls or various ornamental shapes and flavoured with saffron, almonds, or other ingredients. Sondesh, the end product, is a wonderful and pleasantly soft and creamy sweet.
India's cultural capital, Kolkata, is known for its desserts and sweets. Sondesh is one such dish that has become incredibly popular over time. It comes in a variety of tastes and is a delicacy that everyone visiting Kolkata must sample.
Here are the top seven locations in Kolkata to sample sondesh
1. Bhim Chandra Nag
In Kolkata's Bagbazar neighbourhood, there is a well-known sweet store by the name of Bhim Chandra Nag. It is renowned for its distinctive and delectable sondesh flavours. Kaju sondesh, chocolate sondesh, and pista sondesh are a few of the preferred flavours here. The store has been in operation for more than 150 years and is a favourite of both residents and visitors.
Address: No. 5 Nirmal Chandra Dey Street Near ICICI Bank ATM Bowbazar
2. Nalin Chandra Das & Sons
Another well-known sweet shop is Nalin Chandra Das & Sons, which is situated in Kolkata's Bagbazar neighbourhood. Sandesh and other traditional Bengali sweets are well-known there. The store was established in 1842 and has been providing delectable confections for more than 175 years. Mango sondesh, kheer sondesh, and kaju sondesh are a few of the well-known sondesh varieties.
Address: 84, Rashbehari Avenue
3. Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick
In Kolkata's Bhowanipore, there is a well-known sweet shop called Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick. It is renowned for its inventive and distinctive sondesh flavours. Orange sondesh, strawberry sondesh, and nolen gur sondesh are a few of the well-liked flavours. The store, which was established in 1885, is a must-visit for anyone seeking delectable and cutting-edge sondesh flavours.
Address: Located in multiple locations such as Bhawanipore, Raj Danga, and Park Street
4. KC Das
In Kolkata's Esplanade neighbourhood is a well-known sweet store by the name of KC Das. It is renowned for its traditional and genuine sondesh. It was established in 1864 and is renowned for creating the well-known rasgulla sweet. Kaju sondesh, chocolate sondesh, and rose sondesh are a few of the well-known sondesh varieties.
Address: Opposite Tipu Sultan Mazjid, Esplanade
Ganguram is a well-known sweet shop in Kolkata's Gariahat neighbourhood. It is renowned for its mouthwatering and genuine sondesh flavours. The store was established in 1885 and has been providing delectable confections for more than 135 years. Kaju sondesh, mango sondesh, and kheer sondesh are a few of the well-known sondesh varieties.
Address: Located in multiple locations such as BBD Bagh and Sarat Bose Road
In Kolkata's Park Street neighbourhood, there is a well-known sweet store called Mithai. It is renowned for its original and creative sondesh flavours. Blueberry, lemon, and coffee sondesh are a few of the well-liked flavours. Since its establishment in 2006, the store has become incredibly well-known for its delectable and distinctive sondesh flavours.
Address: 48 B Syed Amir Ali Avenue
7. Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar
The renowned sweet shop Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar is situated in Kolkata's Tollygunge neighbourhood. It is renowned for serving sondesh that is true to tradition. Since it opened in 1957, the store has been providing delectable confections. Kaju sondesh, pista sondesh, and kheer sondesh are a few of the well-known sondesh flavours.
Address: AV School, 34B, Shyam Bazar St, near to Hati Bagan, Hati Bagan, Shyam Bazar
8. Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy
Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy is situated in the centre of Kolkata. One of the oldest and busiest sondesh stores in the city, the store has been offering its delectable selection of treats for over a century.
The sondesh store is renowned for its extensive selection of traditional Bengali sweets created with genuine recipes and methods, including roshogulla, sondesh, and mishti doi. The ‘langcha' a speciality dessert created with soft and spongy cottage cheese balls drowned in syrupy syrup, is another delicacy that customers visit the store for.
Address: 56, Ramdulal Sarkar St, near Bethune college, Hedua
Mouchak is a well-known sondesh store in Kolkata. The store is famous for its delectable selection of Bengali sweets and snacks, which are popular with both residents and visitors. The store has been offering its delicious sweets and nibbles for more than 60 years.
The store sells a variety of Bengali sweets created with traditional recipes and methods, including roshogulla, sondesh, cham cham and mishti doi. The well-known jalebis are made in the traditional Kolkata manner, which are a favourite among locals.
Address: Located in multiple locations such as Gariahat and Santoshpur Avenue.
There are plenty of sondesh stores in the city, but ask any local and they’ll tell you that their favourite sondesh store is the one around the corner from their house, fondly called “para’r dokaan” literally translating to neighbourhood store. These stores are small and are often a hole in the wall, but residents who live around, buy fresh sondesh from these stores and prefer sondesh from these small stores over the more famous stores.