#RasagolaDibasa trends as Odias reclaim iconic dish

  • Ramani Ranjan Mohapatra, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jul 30, 2015 16:03 IST

An unusual but a sweet thing trending on Twitter overshadowed the news about the hanging of Yakub Menon, the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts convict, on Thursday.

#RasagolaDibasa was trending on the day when Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra, will return to the sanctum sanctorum at Odisha's famous Jagannath Temple of Puri after a fortnight-long sojourn that includes the famous Ratha Yatra.

Rasagola is a desert made of homemade cheese or chhena shaped into balls and simmered in a pot full of sugar syrup. It is very popular in India, especially in Odisha, West Bengal, Rajasthan, as well as in the neighbouring Mauritius.

Thursday's trend began when a bunch of youngsters from Odisha started the campaign on social media to celebrate and promote something which they claim is their indigenous sweet. It, however, remains a widely debatable topic as people from neighbouring West Bengal too say that the sweet dumpling is a product of their love.


The trend was started Odia youth on social media to celebrate and promote something which they claim is their indigenous sweet.

Bengalis are of the opinion that the rasagola, or rosogolla as they call it, was originally made in Bengal and was made all the more famous by KC Das, the son of Nobin Chandra Das who in their state is considered as the father of this sweet product.

Journalist Vir Sanghvi wrote of rasagola in a Hindustan Times article in August 2014: "…nobody can deny that Bengal's gift to Indian cuisine is the rasgulla. (Sorry, I'm not going to use a Bengali-type spelling). No matter where you go in India you'll find rasgullas. I once did a TV show on how KC Das perfected the rasgulla and how Europeans introduced Bengalis to the art of splitting milk to create the milk solids that go into their desserts. And it is true: without Bengal India would not have what we call a sweetmeat tradition."

Odias, however, beg to differ on the stories about its origin, saying that at the time when the rasagola was introduced in Kolkata, it was already a traditional sweet of Odisha, consumed widely in the cities of Bhubaneswar and Puri.

Subhashis Panigrahi, the founder of WeAreWikipedia, said rasagola has a much hallowed and long history because it originated as khiromohan in the world's largest kitchen inside the Jagannath Temple.

"During Niledri Bije, the custom of Jagannath offering khiromohan to his wife, dates back to over 600 years," said Panigrahi.

"With many Odia chefs moving to Bengal, our culinary skills also travelled. And Nobin Das in 1868 experimented with the recipe which brought the white rasagola."

He, however, gives credit to West Bengal for making the product globally known.

Although the Niledri Bije ritual will take place in the evening, by noon there were over 25,000 tweets on #RasagolaDibasa.

Congress leader Sucharita Mohanty, who tweets from the handle @Sucharita4Puri, wrote:

Arvind Padhee, the secretary of Odisha tourism and culture department, tweets:

@nidhi_budha, a Twitter handle, described in his post how to eat a rasagola with photos. Basically open wide and gulp it down whole:

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