No GI Tag (that assigns a product to a specific area – say Darjeeling tea) created extra buzz in current occasions – virtually since India enacted the Geographical Indications of Items (Registration and Safety) Act in 1999, than the Banglar Rasagolla. It solely got here in 2017, after a bittersweet tussle between Odisha and West Bengal who fought onerous to assert the origins of this candy. For a state that’s virtually synonymous with sweets (aka mishti), it is virtually odd that there are solely two sweets which have been awarded the distinguished GI Tag. The Rasagolla wasn’t the primary. That honour belongs to one of many state’s lesser recognized sweets – Jaynagarer Moa (or Moya).
I am obsessive about Nolen Gur, that interprets to new jaggery and is extracted from date palm bushes utilizing deft expertise because the mercury drops through the winter months in West Bengal. It is one cause I maintain coming again to Kolkata through the winter months when candy retailers throughout the town are busy crafting delicious nolen gur delicacies. From the Jhol Bhora Sondesh (the place liquid Nolen Gur is cleverly hid contained in the traditional Nolen Gur Sondesh) to the Monohora, a Sondesh encased in Nolen Gur, there are lots of sweets which can be winter (sometimes December – February) exclusives. It was at Bangla Mishti Hub within the New City space (that rounds up a few of the metropolis’s iconic candy retailers underneath one roof), the place I first found the Moa final winter. It is right here that I heard about 150 candy retailers in a small city within the 24 Parganas district – Jaynagar (additionally spelt as Joynagar) that maintain this candy custom alive.
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I got here again to Kolkata a few weeks again for my winter fill of the Moa. And as I trekked by means of a few of North Kolkata’s iconic candy retailers, Rumpa Das, a Kolkata-based journalist and culinary fanatic regaled me with an interesting story concerning the origins of this candy. It begins in a village known as Bahru in 24 Parganas district. Jamini one of many residents of this village created the unique moa with simply two components – nolen gur and khoi. In 1929, Purnachandra Ghosh and Nityagopal Sarkar (each from Jaynagar) improvised on the unique recipe by incorporating components like ghee, cardamom and cashew. This finally got here to be referred to as the Jaynagarer Moa. In fact, you’ll hear conflicting variations of this story in each Jaynagar and Bahru.
The Moa is probably not as widespread exterior Bengal nevertheless it’s a delicacy that Kolkata’s Mishti fiends sit up for each winter. Each the core components – Nolen Gur and the Kanakchur Dhan (a popped rice crafted from a particular number of fragrant rice) are solely obtainable within the winter months. It is also not unusual to seek out variations that use Morishal dhan (a special rice varietal) as a substitute of Kanackhur. Sadly, the recognition of this dish has spawned a number of imitations normally made with inferior components. However a die-hard mishti fan can inform between these imitations and the true deal. The opposite problem is shelf life. It would not normally final greater than four days and loses a few of its moist, chewy attraction if it is put away in a fridge. The refined sweetness and distinctive textures of this candy are completely definitely worth the effort to make the trek to Kolkata. You would additionally strive making a moa at dwelling, after all it will not be a Jaynagarer Moa.
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Recipe courtesy – Novotel, Kolkata Lodge and Residences
I attempted this model of the Moa final yr as a part of an genuine Bengali meal on the Novotel, Kolkata and it is fairly simple to make at dwelling. You would order the popped rice on-line.
- 500 ml full cream milk
- 100 gm date palm Jaggery
- Crushed dry fruits
- 100 gm Popped Rice
- Cashew nuts for garnishing
- Warmth 1 cup of full cream milk over low flame until it’s decreased to 1/3. Now add yet one more cup of milk and boil for 5-7 minutes over low flame.
- Add date palm Jaggery and stir constantly.
- Add a handful of crushed dry fruits and popped rice to the above combination and blend till the milk and jaggery.
If you happen to do not make it to Kolkata or West Bengal through the winter months you possibly can strive a few of the Moa which can be obtainable across the yr just like the Murir Moa that is made with puffed rice. However they’re nonetheless no match for the Jayanagaer Moa.
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