Bangladesh is prevalent for its sweets and desserts. Boasting a rich and nuanced cultural history, this country has a plethora of lip-smacking desserts that will surely win your heart. The culinary culture of Bangladesh is exquisite and plentiful, and the desserts are chef’s kiss. Even if you’re not into the spicy and flavourful Bangladeshi cuisines, the desserts will still captivate you. Bangladesh is a literal paradise for all the sweet tooths.
The land vaunts plentiful rice cakes, rice puddings, sweets, and other desserts made majorly from cow milk and rice. It isn’t easy to choose one favorite when it comes to Bangladeshi sweets and desserts. Make sure you try them out if and when you get the chance.
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Top Bangladeshi Sweets and Desserts
Here is a list of Bangladeshi sweets and desserts that you must try when visiting the beautiful land.
Mishti Doi in Bengali is a sweet yogurt, but it isn’t just any regular yogurt. It is thick, dense, and fermented sweet yogurt. It is widely consumed on festivities and is an all-time favorite in the Bengal region. The technique of preparation sets this sweet yogurt apart from normal dahi or yogurt.
The preparation involves boiling milk until it is thickened and adding either sugar, jaggery, date molasses, or brown sugar. Then, the mixture is allowed to ferment overnight, and luscious sweet yogurt is ready to savor. Mishti Doi is always fermented in earthen pots as the porous walls help thicken the yogurt and provide the optimum temperature for fermentation.
Mishti Doi from Bogra is most famous in Bangladesh, and it is available in sweet shops and restaurants all over the country. It is one of the most popular desserts in the country and is a must-try cuisine.
Shondesh is popular in India as ‘Sandesh’ and is a highly famous Bangladeshi sweet made from cottage cheese or chhana. There are various types of shondesh available in the market, the simplest one being the Makha Sandesh. It is made by pitching the cottage cheese lightly with sugar on low flame, and it is practically hot and sweet chhana. Sandesh made into balls is known as Kacha Golla. Original Bengali Chhanar Sandesh is my top favorite as not so sweet yet so delicious.
Many elaborate and convoluted recipes are also available for making the sandesh richer and intricate. The chhana is dried and pressed, and fruit essence are added. Some recipes even involve cooking. It is a significantly cherished local dish that you need to try whenever you get to visit Bangladesh.
Doi Chira is a traditional Bangladeshi dessert that is widely popular and available comprehensively around the nation. It is prepared with Chira or flat rice that is doused in water for hours, and it is then mixed with sugar, yogurt, banana, and various other sweet fruits. It is a delicious and easy-to-make dessert that requires no cooking.
The traditional ‘Dhonir Chira’ from Kaliakair in Gazipur district is a must-try to get the authentic taste of the Doi Chira, and you are sure to love it.
Roshogolla or Rasgulla is a madly popular sugary dessert in both the Indian and Bangladeshi contexts. It involves tiny ball-shaped dumplings of semolina dough and an Indian cottage cheese known as Chhena. These balls are cooked in light sugary syrup until the syrup permeates the balls.
It is a lip-smacking dessert that holds tremendous social and festive significance. Make sure you try this dish on your vacation to the land of Bangla.
Roshmalai or Rasmalai is another extensively popular dessert in Bangladesh consisting of flattened cheese balls dipped in a creamy milk base. It is similar to Roshogolla – another prevalent and widely loved cuisine. The creamy milk base called ‘Malai’ has a unique texture and is flavored using cardamom.
The malai is prepared by heating milk at around 80 degrees Celsius for about an hour and cooling down. Then, the fat layer formed on the top is skimmed off, and the process is repeated to remove most of the fat.
It is an exquisite dessert that you shouldn’t miss out on when you visit Bangladesh.
Chhanar Jilapi is a type of jalebi that is made from khoya, chhena (Indian cottage cheese), and flour. It also appears like the typical jalebi with spirals but has a unique and delectable taste. It is a must-try for all the jalebi lovers who wish to try something new. It tastes best when served warm and fresh.
Amitti or Amriti is a sweet dish similar to Jilapi and made from ghee, cardamom, sugar, and ground dal. It involves beautiful little spirals having decorative curlicues over the edges.
It has a beautiful reddish-orange hue and is appetizing.
Gulab Jamun (or ‘Gulab Jam’ in Bengali) is yet another widely famous dessert of India and Bangladesh. It is similar to rasgulla having a syrupy base. It also involves ball-like dumplings soaking in the sugary syrup flavored with rose essence – hence, the name Gulab).
The dumplings are like the Jamun fruit, a pretty purple shade berry, hence the name Jamun. The dumplings are conventionally made of reduced or thickened milk and are dark brown in color. Gulab Jamun is an elite dessert in itself, but it makes for a heavenly combination when topped with ice cream.
Other sweets Kalojam is popular in Bangladesh, similar to Gulab Jam but oval.
Chomchom is a famous Bangladeshi sweet made of cream, coconut, saffron, and sugar. Chomchom is oval and is primarily brown, but many other vibrant color options are also available. This delicious sweetmeat is often coated in coconut flakes or mawa to enhance the savory experience.
Chomchom from Tangail is most famous in Bangladesh, and it is available in sweet shops all over the country.
Kheer is a kind of rice pudding, a traditional sweet dish and popular throughout Bangladesh. Kheer is also known as Payesh or Phirni and is mainly prepared during the Eid festival and on conventional occasions.
The main ingredient is rice, and then mix with boiling milk and jaggery/sugar to get the actual taste of rice pudding or Bangladeshi Kheer. Nothing can beat the taste of homemade Kheer, and it is a must-try during Eid. So yummy!
Shemai is another popular authentic dessert of Bangladesh and must to prepared during Eid. The roasted vermicelli is the main ingredient needed to make Jodda Shemai, along with ghee and sugar.
Milk is required to make Dudh Shemai or Milk Shemai and then topped with various dry fruits. Try this recipe out when visiting Bangladesh.
Pantua, like many other Bangladeshi sweets, is served in a syrupy base. It is a scrumptious dish made from milk, khoya, semolina, sugar, and ghee. It also has a spherical shape and brownish hue. It is another must-try dessert of the Bengali land.
Bangladeshi pudding is a luscious dessert having colonial influences. It is an aromatic and elegant cheesecake recipe that requires only two significant ingredients: milk, egg, and sugar. It is easy to make and highly flavourful. Try out this beautiful, convenient dessert when in Bangladesh.
Falooda is a cold, sweet beverage trendy in Bangladesh and its neighbor, India. It is originally made of vermicelli, milk, ice cream, rose syrup, sweet basil, and various dry and fresh fruits. The vermicelli used in preparation is made from wheat, sago pearls, cornstarch, or arrowroot. Falooda is a yummy drink with numerous flavors and is a great drink to try for all the sweet-tooths.
Mihidana is a dessert made from flour, saffron, and powdered rice. This mixture is blended using water and then filtered through a sieve-like ladle. It is further deep fried and then dipped and soaked into a sugary syrup. The mihidana are finally drained and served. It is like a smaller version of boondi, which is another dish consisting of small spherical balls. Mihidana is a lovely dessert that you must give a try.
Rabri is a tasty and sweet dish prepared using condensed milk. It is made by slow cooking and reducing milk. It is garnished with plentiful dry fruits and nuts to enrich the flavor and experience. The dessert is then seasoned with sugar and spices. It is an elaborate and heavy recipe and has a very fulfilling taste.
Bangladesh has an extensive range of desserts drawing influence from the diverse history of the nation. Rice and milk are the main constituents of Bangladeshi dessert. It shares a lot of similarities rather to its neighbor – the West Bengal State of India.