Babarsa is one of the most underrated sweets of Bengal. While Ghewar is a famous sweets in the Rajasthani/ Gujrati community and is readily available, this is available in just one small town named Khirpai, in Midnapore. In this blogpost, we’ll talk on this sweets.
The very name Babarsa reminds us of the famous Mughal emperor Babur. But honestly, it probably was introduced in the honour of one British gentleman. During 1740-1750’s the town was attacked by the Maratha Bargis- the dacoits. And they literally were creating havoc there. During that time, one British army-man named Edward Babarash resisted them and actually defeated them. A local gentleman named Babarasa intoduced this sweet and thus, it was named as Babarsa. The second theory says, it was done in the honour of emperor Babur- but there doesn’t seem to have enough evidence to support that.
We left on our bikes from Kolkata, a few months back and this was at a distance of around 4 hours from Kolkata. The breakfast break was, as usual, at Kolaghat and rest of the ride was smooth. Just one work of caution. Please keep a sharp eye on the direction on Google map. We missed the actual crossing and the next available road was pathetic. Look for a place named HalderDighi More at Khirpai and there are few shops on the highway, selling this gem.
Just on the crossing, while going from Kolkata, you can find this shop on your right hand side- named Riya Mishtanna Bhandar. Of course, there are few regular easily skippable sweets, other than this at the shop- but I’d suggest to go for this one simple sweets only- Babarsa. The gentleman Mr. Kuntal Sasmal ccan be reached at 9679383789. And he loves to tell stories about his daily life.
What is Babarsa
Babarsa looks llike Amriti, or rather a fine version of Rajasthani Ghewar. It’s made with Flour batter and supposedly to be fried with ghee. But in today’s price-sensitive world, dalda is used. The fried sweets then is kept as it is, and once ordered, sugar syrup is sprinkled on it. “Ideally, honey is supposed to be sprinkled, but what to do?” – is the regular comment there. Taste-wise, it’s crispy and at 10/- a piece, quite tasty.
I won’t day, the taste is mind blowing, but it’s quite interesting. And in reality, if the government doesn’t take care of the promotion of the same, an important part of Bengal’s culinary heritage will be lost very soon. I heard, they are looking to get the GI tag, but am not sure of the current status of the same.
Babarsa is an interesting sweets and of course Khirpai is good for a day-ride or day-out. But I am not very sure, on how long this 250 year old heritage will be available in reality. Do let us know, if you’ve tasted the same and as and when I get some more information on this, this blogpost will be updated.
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