Just imagine more than 50 shops in two rows with combined areas of nearly 40,000 sqft occupying both sides of National Highway No.5 of India and making and selling only three verities of Milk Sweets–RASAGOLA, CHHENA PODA, and CHHENA GAJA. That is not all! Believe me, the 95% of their combined productions amounts to RASAGOLA, the National Sweet of India. If you put all these shops in a modern shopping mall with adequate shopping areas, eateries and other facilities of a modern shopping mall, I am sure those shall occupy nearly 80,000 sqft. Will that not make the largest Sweet Market of the world? No! Ok. I am sure by shear volume of production it shall make the largest RASAGOLA Market in the world. The place I am describing is a tiny village named PAHALA, on National Highway No. 5, some 12 kilometers between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack of the state of Orissa. And here you find the champion Sweetmeat-makers, call Rasgola-makers of India. Every motorist, every trucker, every two-wheeler rider must pull off the Highway and come to a stop before one of the sweet stalls. First, everybody satiates himself by sitting on a wooden bench inside one of the stalls and eating to his heart’s content. Then parcels are packed and taken away for the people at home.
Now please have a look on this video above which shows that Sweet Market of Pahala. Please do not get confused by seeing those advertising boards of Telecommunication companies and other products. Yes, sweet shops of Pahala display advertising boards of other products for their Rasgolas need no advertisements.
Here is another video describing about Pahala and the Origin of Rasagola and how Rasagola is prepared at Pahal.
It is believed that the famous Rasagola and other similar sweets which are commonly referred to as Bengali sweets actually originated in the kitchen of Lord Jagannath temple at Puri and later were introduced in Bengal by the cooks of Orissa who were employed by rich Bengalis. Kheer or Payasam which is one of the most common desserts enjoyed all over India is originally from Orissa where it is called Kheeri. Incidentally the kitchen of Puri Jagannath temple is one of the biggest in the world where hundreds of skilled cooks work to produce fifty six varieties of offering for the deity every day and this is fed to over 10000 devotees. According to centuries older convention, the Hindu divinity of Jagganath in Puri is presented with Rasagola at the conclusion of his emblematic journey, during the Rath Yatra every year.
The Rasagola at Pahala comes in five sizes. The biggest one is as big as an apple. These are not the standard, rubbery Rasagola of Haldirams, K. C. Das, Sen Mahasey and Gongurams in neighboring Kolkatta. These are a softer version, more creamish in color than white, and not as spongy as the Bengali Rasagola for sure. The Pahala sweet-makers allege that one of the reasons why the Bengali Rasogola is tougher than theirs, is that the Bengalis want a longer shelf-life for their product. They add arrowroot powder to their Rasagola. In Pahala, they mix 25 gms of sooji with 1 kg of chhena (cottage cheese) in the making of their Rasagola. To this is added elaichi (cardamom) for flavour. A dough is made, it is rolled into little balls, and deep fried in sugar syrup. The sooji is used to hold the chenna together in the deep-frying stage. The Pahala Rasagolas sell for Re. 1 to Rs. 5 a piece depending on the size. They taste divine!
Visit this link if you want to order for Pahala Rasagola.
Rasagola, of course named in various names in different parts of India and some of the names are Rashogulla, Rasagolla, Rashogolla, Rasgulla, Rosogolla, and Rasgula, meaning JUICY BALL.
If you are interested to know the recipe of Rasagola, visit
HAPPY RASAGOLA EATING MY FRIENDS.
May be some other day and some other time I will describe Chhena poda and Chhena gaja for you.