Pahala, a village in the city outskirt is famous for its Rasagulla or you can say the villagers expertise in making Rasagullas.
When the famous Ratha Yatra festival in Puri gets over and three lord return back to the temple from their Aunt’s house (Gundicha Temple) , Jagannath tries to tranquilize his wife Laxmi by offering Rasagullas. An on-going ritual which has been followed more than 300 years in the land of Orissa .Though there are many debate in history , but the truth behind Rasagulla is that it owe it’s originality to the Puri Jagannath temple .
Later the texture had been modified and the Bengali sponge Rasagulla came into picture.
I personally doesn’t love the spongy texture.
Now the question is where to taste these if you are visiting capital of Orissa , Bhubaneswar. Though in every sweet shop it’s a must ,you can always get the difference in it’s texture.Some are spongy , some are smooth where some are both. “Bikalakara Sweet Shop” (Near Tanka-pani Square) are famous for their rich Rasagullas which are light brown in color. They also sell them in packaged tin box which can stay for a long time (a month) ,so you can carry them along in your way back to home.
In Pahala, around a hundred shops are there both side of the national highway selling Rasagullas like there is no tomorrow. As soon as you get down from your vehicle, countless cheese dumplings floating in the sugar syrup will hold your attention in each shop.
So what to try in Pahala .
Yes Rasagulla for sure but in two different state. The HOT and COLD state.Soon after the Rasagullas are made on giant earthen chulha (cookstove) ,they are very soft melt in mouth balls in light hot syrup. And the taste of a hot Rasagulla is completely different than a normal one. During evening hours only you can get them in Pahala .
Apart from Rasagulla “Chenapoda” is another thing to try here. I call it Indian-cheese cake , where mixture of cheese,sugar and semolina is baked in wooden chulha by sealing the mixture with sal tree dry leaves.The mixture is baked till the outer part is almost burnt thus caramelizing the sugar in it and bringing a distinct delicious flavor to mouth.
I have a big sweet tooth ,so i tried everything 🙂 .There is not any particular shop which makes the best , i find all are excellent in their own way.