Delhi is a hub of sweets bought from around the country and the world. Its cosmopolitan culture and consequent amalgam of cuisine is what makes it a great place to eat. Different states are represented in different colonies around Delhi, which creates a space of their own and preserve its legacy. One of these famous colony is Chittranjan Park (CR Park), a little Bengal as one might like to call it. It is popular for its authentic food, sweets and everything Bengali. Some of the shops there specialises in one or more delish sweets, which attracts people from all around the city.
These places here not only offer the classic sweets but also reinvent the original sweet dishes with different flavours, adjusting their sweetness to suit the changing demands of the market. Located close to the main road right at the front of the market, these shops are very accessible for people visiting nearby places. It's a perfect fusion of the traditional variety of desserts with a modern touch. For any Bengali, it offers a joyful memory of home that is left behind. For Delhiites, the place adds diversity to their platter of desserts making up for the Delhi's lack of any its original variety of sweets.
Kamla Sweets (CR Park, Market 1)
Opened in 1984, Kamla Sweets is the most popular outlet found in CR park, which is known for its authentic Bengali sweets. Selling a wide assortment of sandesh flavours, it offers varieties ranging from kamla koa, litchi, to mango and pineapple, to name a few. Ashok Naik, who has been working there for two years, shares, "In spite of these many options provided to customer, our most popular dish remains the classic Sandesh."
Even more crazier is to find there is most delectable dessert in the form of baked Rasgullas, packaged in a plate of six. They are sugary, they are syrupy, all in all, they are a real scrumptious treat! These baked goods are as rare to find in Delhi. Kamla Sweet's other speciality includes sita bhog, prepared by adding tiny gulab jamuns to vermicelli, they are a delightful thing to enjoy while in CR park.
(Also Read: The Holy Rasgulla or Roshogulla)
Photo credits: Shiksha Aggarwal/NDTV Food
People come from all around Delhi to get a little taste of Kolkata from here. Jai Dighi, a student from Saket was recommended this place by her Bengali friends. She says, "I came for mishti doi and I have stayed for it. I like sweets from here so much that now I make regular visits to satisfy my sugar cravings."
Annapurna Sweets (CR Park, Market 2)
Annapurna Sweets has been opened for 34 years and its popularity has only risen over these years because its mouth-watering sweets. It is known, especially for its three appetising sweets bought from the streets of Kolkata - dudh puli/kheer puli, ras madhuri and madhumita.
Dudh puli, made with cooked rice dumplings filled with palm jaggery and coconut in milk is the is a much-loved Bengali delicacy. Ras madhuri, on the other hand, is the Bengali version of rasmalai, made with rasgullas dripped in rose-flavoured mawa and garnished with saffron. While madhumita is a milky sweet made with chainna.
(Also Read: Recipe for Dudh Puli)
Dilip Biswas, who has been working there since this shop's inception, told NDTV Food that their customers prefer these sweets because, though made in sugar, these three desserts do not taste excessively sweet. Only a moderate amount of sweetness can be found, which makes it so favoured among our customers.
Along with these syrupy desserts, Annuparna Sweets offer dry desserts, too, like the very popular darbesh- the Bengali-styled boondi ladoos. They are delightful to look at with their multicolour bodies engrained with numerous dry fruits, which are very tasty to eat.
(Also Read: 5 Unique Ladoos of India)
Akshay Tritya (CR Park, Market 1)
Newly opened, Akshay Tritya has been in work only since 15th April but has quickly won over many people's heart. With its 24 varieties of rasgullas, it is revolutionising classic Bengali sweets one at a time. Kachha aam, dhaniya patta, pudina patta are some of the most quirky flavours of rasgullas found here.
Avik Roy, who is currently managing this shop, talks about the growing demand for these rasgullas. He says, "we don't generally keep all the varieties in shop at same time. We make them fresh when someone orders for event or festivals. We even keep more western flavours like chocolate-vanilla rasgulla."
(Also Read: Rosogolla Belongs to West Bengal, But There's a Catch)
Akshay Tritya has also been stocked recently with gauri bhog for the soon approaching Durga festivities. Mr. Roy states that "I am sure that many people would prefer to buy bhog from our shop because they already seem to like it very much." Apart from the general sweet delicacies, you can look for some sugar-free Sandesh here. It is quite popular among diabetic customers and weight-conscious teenagers.
Even more amazing is its chocolate sandesh, which taste like little pieces of heaven sold as pretty little things topped with pistachios, raisins and cashews.
(Also Read: Bengali Sweets get a modern makeover)
Sweet Treat (CR Park, Market 2)
Opened just four years ago, Sweet Treat has outstretched itself into two shops after a successful run in CR Park market. It boasts three major different varieties of gulab jamuns- kala jamun, jalebi shaped gulab jamun and barfi type gulab jamun. All made with similar content, they are textured in drastically different ways.
Kala jamuncan be found in other sweet places of CR park, too, but none of those is similar to the one found here. With a pitch-black outer covering and a unique pink-coloured centre filling, they stand as some mystical dessert. They are equally delicious in taste too.
(Also Read: Gulab Jamun fusion dishes)
Photo credits: Shiksha Aggarwal/NDTV Food
Biswajeet Mandal who works there says, "they are made differently than Delhi's gulab jamun because the difference lies in the filling. The Bengali gulab jamun is made from paneer, rather than khoya."
In addition to this, Sweet Treat is known for its shor bhaja. Debashish, a resident of Dwarka, comes to eat it here because it reminds him of home back in Kolkata. "It is made with the rich cream of milk, it is sometimes added with khoya and chenna, which give it a rich flavour," he says.
(Also Read: Khoya versus Chenna)
Next time when you are visiting or even just driving along CR park, be sure to enjoy these lip-smacking sweets. With the festivals soon approaching, this list might come in handy.
The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.