Before we begin, let us clarify:
Rasgulla is a mere sweet. Rosogolla is an emotion!
Rosogolla and Kolkata are as inseparable as the pristine connection between two lovers.
Ask anyone about Kolkata and they will never fail to mention Rosogollas. Tell anyone you’re from Kolkata and straight away comes a demand for a bhaand of Rosogolla the next time you visit home!
This world famous sweet has earned its name over the years so much that Bengal can now be called the sweet capital of the world.
There is something so satisfying about squeezing these heavenly loaded delicacies into your mouth with closed eyes and utter joy on your face, that we cannot do justice by describing this act in words.
Therefore we say that for the people of Kolkata, Rosogolla is not a dessert, it is a ceremony.
Even the thought of these round, soft, spongy and juicy balls, dipped into their sugary syrup, is enough to make many mouths water. No wonder every street and by-lanes of Kolkata houses a ‘mishti’ shop where you can satisfy your rosogolla cravings.
Ask any Kolkatan about where to avail the best Rosogollas in town and they will name at least two famous shops. But there is someone who sits laughing in her high-rise apartment in Kolkata, because she knows that she is changing the scene of Rosogollas in town with her flavours adding a 360 degree twist to the sweet tales.
If Nobin Das is known as ‘Rosogolla Columbus’, then Swati Saraf can safely be called ‘the mother of flavoured Rosogollas’.
Who is she?
Swati Saraf, of ‘Flavours of Rasgolla’, is an entrepreneur who dishes out more than 170 varieties of piping hot Rosogollas from her home. She uses natural products and avoids the usage of artificial essence, colour, preservatives or added flavour. The outcome of which is a perfectly balanced combination of sweetness and flavour.
Some of her bestsellers are
1. Green chilli Rosogolla
2. Cappuccino Rosogolla
3. Organic rose Rosogolla
4. Bubble gum Rosogolla
Green chilli is her personal favourite flavour because when you eat it, its sweet but the aftertaste is spicy.
Categories of Rosogollas
1. Health conscious: Clove ragollas, Tulsi dal-chini Rosogolla, Cinnamon Rosogolla, Coriander Rosogolla, Curry Patta Rosogolla, Capsicum Rosogolla, Tomato Rosogolla, Green Chilli Rosogolla.
2. Hot and sour Rosogolla
3. Chatpata Rosogolla, Puchka Rosogolla
4. Hot drinks infused Rosogollas: vodka, breezer, etc
5. Kids special: various fruit flavoured Rosogollas (strawberry, kiwi, litchi, orange, black current, very berry, etc)
6. Customized Rosogollas
7. Chocolate Rosogollas
8. Football sized Rosogolla
A Day In The Life of Swati Saraf
What made her start this business?
“I started it in April 2016. When I realized that the present generation is not eating Rosogollas even when they are ordering for it during various occasions like baby showers, marriages, etc. Since people are heath conscious, they eat some and waste the rest because of the excess sweetness in it. People have stopped eating a lot of sweets in general. People don’t have much chenna either. So what I do is that I mix the chenna with strawberries or any other fruit and make them into Rosogolla. In this way, the children are having the richnesss of fruit as well as getting high protein from the chenna. I want people to relish rosogollas again that is why I use less sugar and add more taste or flavour to my Rosogollas.” – says Swati. “People are surprised to hear that I sell so many varieties and they always want to taste all of them. I get fantastic feedback.”
How are her Rosogollas different from the ones already available?
Her varieties are of course far beyond anything available in the market. She does not make the regular ones like the plain Rosogolla, Nolen Gur and Raj Bhog because they are easily available in most places. She vouches that per person can eat at least ten of her Rosogollas at a go because she makes them in such a way that they are not laden with sweetness as compared to the regular ones available everywhere.
Her mom jokingly calls her ‘vasco-de-gama’ because of her innovations of such a huge range of flavoured Rosogollas. She started with only 70 flavours and then gradually increased it to 170 flavours, by this year end, she will be catering to about 250 flavours of Rosogollas.
Rosogollas is Bengal’s main sweet. It is ordered for almost all occasions so why make everyone taste the same kind of Rosogollas when she can add flavours to it!
“When people see flavours of Rosogollas in weddings, even if my name is not there, they knows that it is from ‘Swati’s flavours of Rasgollas’” chirped a proud Swati.
Her packaging is so beautiful that you would not want to throw it away. You can re-use it for other things. She also gives customised packaging as and when required.
Where could you find her?
People get to know about her through social media. She takes part in various food carnivals and exhibitions as well as caters in weddings.
You can call her and order a minimum of 25 pieces of Rosogollas for a minimal cost of Rs.20 Each, depending on the size, the rate increases.
“The taste of my Rosogollas are proof of the qualities of ingredients that I use. Till today, wherever I have set up shop, I have never come back with even a single piece of Rosogolla. It all sells out.” – said a happy Swati.
Her family is her strength. They are of great help to her. Every day, she makes about 3000 pieces of Rosogollas. Her kids are the ultimate taste masters. Whenever she tries a new flavour, they examine it and give it a thumbs up or down, depending on which she goes ahead with introducing that flavour. With their combined efforts, she vouches that she can even prepare 20,000 pieces of Rosogollas in a short notice of two days.
Keep a watch out for
1. Valentine’s Day special packaging: propose with a Rosogolla.
2. Holi: bhaang infused Rosogolla, thandai infused Rosogolla.
3. Diwali: Crackle Rosogolla.
From now onwards, whenever you see a rainbow spectrum of Rosogollas, you don’t need to second guess that it belongs to Swati’s flavour of Rasgollas.
On account of International Women’s Day 2018, we went around the streets of Kolkata asking people about the most special woman in their lives. Here’s what they had to say.