Bengali and Misti are synonyms very difficult to separate. Bengal and Bengalis are known worldwide for their affinity towards sweets and no trip to a Bengali household would be over without gorging on delicious sweets. Being a “Probaashi Bangali” (Bengali living outside Bengal), I still remember my visits to my grandparent’s place during winter vacations when my day used to start with a “Gur Rosogolla” and end with a “Sandesh”. Gur or Jaggery has various forms although the most popular one used for sweet making is “Nolen Gur”. This form of Jaggery is found mostly during winters and is relished by all.
The word ‘Nolen Gur’ is enough to make all bongs Nostalgic. This Date palm jaggery is an intrinsic part of the Bengali culture and Bongs wait the whole year to taste this seasonal delicacy. For us winter is incomplete without eating Nolen Gur. You can have it with breakfast, an after lunch dessert, as part of something sweet with evening tea and for our must have lip smacking dessert after dinner.
Any sweet shop in Kolkata will serve you lip smacking Nolen delicacies like the famous Rasogolla, Sandesh, Kanchagolla, Jalbhara , Bhapa Sandesh. As you move from north to south , east or west , in Kolkata you will be delighted to discover a new avatar with colour and unique flavour borrowed from Nolen gur.
Apart from sweets, Nolen gur can be relished directly in a liquid form “Jhola gur” as its popularly known as. I still remember my mom mixing jhola gur with milk during winters to make it more appealing to drink as I hated milk and I still do. Being an aquarian born on Feb, no birthday is complete without my Mom’s delicious “Nolen Gurer Paayesh”(Jaggery Milk Cream) which she still makes .
Nokur, Bhim Naag, Nalin Chandra Das, K C Das, Dwarik’s, Mouchak are names that have the ability to give orgasmic delights and satisfy any hungry soul.Food is one element that unites people beyond boundaries and Nolen Gur does exactly the same. During my recent visit to Dhaka, I was delighted to taste some “Nolen Gur ” sweets that taste equally divine and make you feel like home . As they say “Love knows no boundary”, likewise the love of food is universal and for foodies like us Bongs, there is no end to this love.