Misti Hub

Misti Hub, Kolkata (Near Eco Park)

Misti Hub, Kolkata (Near Eco Park)

Think of Kolkata and the word that never fails to pop up in our mind is Misti or Sweetmeats! If there is to be a world capital for sweetmeats, then it has to be Kolkata. Nowhere, in the world is so much of sweetmeats consumed and nowhere does so much research and innovation go into sweetmeat making. Throughout Kolkata, you would find sweet shops specialising in particular sweets like KC Das for Rasgullas, Hindusthan Sweets for Sandesh, Banchharam for its Curd, Naba Krishna Guin for Bonde and Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick for its fusion sweets. Now, Misti Hub was conceptualised by HIDCO (Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation) as a single outlet where Kolkata’s best sweet shops would be housed under one roof and guests can come and enjoy the best sweets Kolkata has to offer. Here, you can taste the sweets and buy some to take back home.

The Misti Hub has been built as a shop-in-shop concept where eleven famous sweet shops sell their iconic sweets under one roof. Each sweet shop has been allotted a counter with a glass front showcase, a refrigerator, its own cash counter and a back room for storage. The Misti Hub also has sitting areas and standing tables, where guests can enjoy their favourite sweets instantly. Sufficient infrastructure regarding, Parking, Drinking Water and washroom has also been arranged. As you enter, you would find interesting write-ups available on the history of various sweets of Bengal in the information desk. As of now, there are 11 shops housed at Misti Hub, namely KC Das, Banchharam, Gupta Brothers, Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, Ganguram, Nalin Chandra Das & Sons, Mithai, Mishti Katha, Naba Krishna Guin and Hindusthan Sweets. One outlet has been dedicated to the iconic sweets of other parts of Bengal like Mihidana from Bardhaman, Moya from Joynager, Jalbhara from Chandennagore, etc.


Location of Bangla Misti Hub

Eco Park Gate No 3 at Newtown.


History of Sweets in Kolkata

It is believed that the erstwhile capital of Bengal – “Gaur” got its name from “Gur,” which means jaggery in Bengali language, so it is evident that the love for sweetmeats in Bengal dates back to a time before history. Rest assured, a proper detailed history of sweetmeats or Misti in Bengal would cover several volumes in your library. One of the earliest records of sweets of Bengal can be found in the biography of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (early 15th Century Saint) where sweets were made of Jaggery, Puffed rice and thickened milk called Kheer and Sar which is a hardened milk layer. Still today some of the most renowned sweets are Sar based or Kheer based like Sar Bhaja, Khirpuli and Sarpuria.

The age-old ritualistic sweets made from Sugar and Jaggery like Monda, Batasha, Kodma and Math are traditional offerings made to Gods even today. Also, sweets made from Coconut like Narkel Naru (Coconut Laddus) and Chandrapuli (Half Moon shaped semi solid fudge made from Coconut, Sugar and Milk) are still enjoyed during the Bijoya Dashami and sweets like Pithe and Patishapta are made during Makar Sankranti (Winter Solstice). But, all these sweets are made at home and enjoyed occasionally.

Its quite interesting to know that the large scale economy of sweet-making and consumption in Bengal is a result of the Portuguese influence and the introduction of Chhana, which is basically Cheese Curd. The Portuguese settled around the Hooghly and Kolkata in the 16th century and they influenced the local cuisine with their love for Cheese. The Bengali Sweet makers or “Moira” found this new medium “Chhana” to be more attractive and very soon Moiras from all over Bengal started experimenting with Chhana and creating masterpieces like Sandesh, Chanar Payesh and more. Sweets made from Chhana covers the majority of Bengali sweets today. Starting from the legendary Rasgulla, Pantua and Chom Chom to Ledikeni and Kalo Jam – all are made from Chhana. The last few decades have seen the rise of fusion Misti too like the famous Baked Rasgulla, Mango Truffle Sandesh and Nolen Gur Cake.


Trivia of Kolkata Misti Hub:

  • The famous Mihidana and Sitabhog of Bardhaman was the creation of the local sweet maker Bhairav Chandra Nag, who made Sitabhog and Mihidana to mark Lord Curzon’s 1904 visit to Bardhaman to confer the title of Maharaja on Vijay Chandra, the then king of Bardhaman.
  • Back in 1818, the legendary Moira Surya Modak of Chandannagore was handed the assignment of creating any special Sandesh for a customer’s son-in-law. Modak created the famous Jalbhara, which is a palm fruit kernel shaped sandesh filled with rose water. As the son-in-law bit into it unsuspectingly, the liquid spurted out in all directions, much to the amusement of the giggly sisters-in-law.
  • Ledikeni is reddish brown in colour and resembles its closer cousin Gulab Jamun but unlike Gulab Jamun it is made from Chana and not Khoya. It was prepared by confectioner Bhim Chandra Nag to commemorate the visit of Lady Canning, the wife of the Governor General Lord Charles Canning to India in 1856. Lady Canning grew so fond of the sweet that she would often call for the sweet on all the special occasions and parties held at her palace.