The shop has a nondescript kind of appearance, quite a disappointment considering the popularity of the shop. As soon as you enter the place through a glass door, you find some tables strewn here and there; there is a simple green carpet. The sweet counter is on the other end. We could see that there was another sitting area on the mezzanine. The person at the counter was a type of person who looked short on words. The sweets were looking quite ordinary - I think the reason could be that artificial colors are not used, and as I had read on the net, the ‘sweets are steamed and not made on red-hot ovens’. We were directed to go to the mezzanine. There the waiter brought the menu card. In the card along with the usual sweets like ‘Rossogollas’, ‘Rossomalai’, ‘Misti Dahi’, ‘Chamcham’ and 'Sandesh', there were some names new to me like 'Singara', 'Nimki', 'Lalmohan', 'Mihidana', 'Seeta Bhog', 'Jilipi', ' 'Darbesh', ‘Ksheermohan’. Seated on the table, we could now see the names but not the sweets. Waiter, though affable, was uncommunicative – "language barriers". So I took the menu card in hand and went down. There was a big rosogolla-like thing of the size of a small football - in a yellow saffron colored liquid - the name was Rajbhog. I was about to order it, but was stopped by a customer who looked to be connoisseur. He said that in KC Das you should take Rossogollas and Rossomalai. That’s what I did. One bite of the Rs. 6=00 Rossogolla and the Rosogollas taken at other places since childhood seemed to be made of plastic. The smell and feel of the fresh cottage cheese, the delicate engineering which led to exact seeping of sugar into the rossogolla, were very clear at the first encounter. The Rossomalai was soft, creamy, and succulent. It was not loaded with dry-fruits, colors, and sugar like many other places. All the sweets were light on the stomach too. Never in our life had we eaten so many sweet as we ate that day, but the stomach did not feel heavy at all.
When you read about the shop on the net, you feel that you are going to go for an up-market culinary experience, but that may not be the case. What you get here are simple, home-like hygienic sweets - whose recipe might have been passed from generation to generation. If the people at the counter knew a bit of Hindi or English so that they could have thrown some light into the history and the manufacturing process, it would have been a very good experience for us. It looked as though the owners are not aware how famous they have become outside the state also.
July 26, 2005
From journal A Fortnight in Raichak