A penchant for Bengali sweets? Find them at Mithaiwala in Alinchuvadu
Abar Khabo…roughly translated from Bangla means eat again or eat once more…it is an invitation to eat and keep eating, says Jadav Barui, a mithai maker from West Bengal. And of course it is also a very popular Bengali confection.
Jadav, ‘originally’ from Burdwan but from Kolkata, makes sweets for ‘Mithaiwala’, a Bengali sweet shop at Alinchuvadu. The sweet shop dedicated exclusively to Bengali sweets is the brainchild of K.J. John, a former employee of SAIL, Durgapur. One of the ‘fallouts’ of spending almost three decades in Durgapur was developing a taste for Bengali sweets. Returning to Kochi, post retirement, he wanted to start a Bengali sweet shop here and “introduce people here to the taste to Bengali sweets.”
Thus was born Mithaiwala. Initially there was another Bengali family that was making the sweets, but now it is Jadav. Over deliciously cool, sweet and soft rasmalai (Rs. 25), with Jadav looking on indulgently, John describes how Mithaiwala works. “The sweets are made in my house, in my kitchen. Jadav makes these sweets there under my supervision. And there are no preservatives either…it is like how you would make it at home. Only that it is a bit more professional,” he says.
“Abar khabo,” Jadav says or offers is not clear. Abar Khabo (Rs. 15 per piece) is a milk-based sweet, as most Bengali sweets are, which tastes like a combination of sandesh and rasagulla, minus the oozing sugar syrup. It has flaky white powder dusted on it. “Looks like coconut?” one dares to hazard a guess. “Naaa! Chenna,” says a horrified Jadav. Chenna is reduced milk, like khoya.
The rasagulla (Rs. 12 per piece) at Mithaiwala is a must-have. It is probably among the best you can get in the city. It doesn’t have that chewy blotting paper quality of some rasagullas available in the city. These are succulently soft and just melt in the mouth. Although the shop doesn’t stock too many mithais whatever there is, is good. Most of the sweets are the goodness of milk variety, the kind where you can taste the freshness.
The other goodies are Kalo jamun (Rs. 15), malai chop (Rs. 15, another paneer-based sweet), langcha (Rs. 15) which looks like an elongated gulab jamun made from sweetened paneer), motichur laddoos (Rs. 8), sandesh are some of the sweets available at Mithaiwala. The menu changes almost daily. For those who want something savoury after all the sweets there are delicious samosas (Rs. 7).
If Bengali sweets get you going then head to Mithaiwala. Contact: 9895688124