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|Famous Sweet Makers:History & Specialities
Punjabi Chandu Halwai Karachiwala
In 1896, Punjabi Chandu Halwai established its first shop in Karachi. Founded on the principles of uncompromising standards of quality and service, the business soon flourished. After the Partition of India in 1947, the business moved to Bombay and the company soon established itself as a reputable manufacturer of sweets and savouries in Bombay as well. The wide geographical network of centres has helped establish the company as the foremost sweetmeat manufacturer of Bombay. Generations of customers have come to trust the quality of this particular sweetmeat shop,
At a Punjabi Chandu Halwai outlet there is a mindboggling array of sweets, namkeens or even Fast Food. This with several forms of delightful packaging options ensures that they are the first choice of all consumers in the city whether they are homemakers or hard-nosed industrialists.Today, their sweets are appreciated all over the world! Their firm commitment to quality and value have held them in good stead. Some of their reputable customers are: Pepsi India, Lupin Laboratories, Crompton Greaves Ltd, Mahindra British Telecom, Philips India Ltd, Otis Elevators Ltd, Taj Air Caterers, Taj Mahal Hotel, Air India, Tandon Group of Companies etc.
They have also established their business overseas like Europe, the Middle East, the United States of America and many more. Punjabi Chandu Halwai has a strong administrative base built upon years of experience and goodwill. The company and associated concerns are administered with the common principles of quality of service, trust, reliability and excellence. The Company has a license from FDA, India.
Realizing the importance of information technology, the company was quick to adopt the computer as an administrative tool. The basic administrative functions like inventory control, sales and accounting and finance were computerized and are controlled by a LAN server. The company is also committed to providing value-added services using the latest information technology.
India is a country renowned for its range of food. The diversity of the nation has contributed towards the wide variety of food made here. The preparation of Indian sweets and savouries is an art that has developed over the centuries. For over a century, the house of Chandu`s has developed one of the finest ranges of sweets and savouries with the help of generations of expert workmen who have dedicated their lives to this pursuit of excellence. The recipes for the sweets and savouries are drawn from all corners of India and represent a wide cross-section of Indian culinary habits. Made with the finest ingredients and uncompromising quality standards, these sweets and savouries carry the hallmark of the commitment that drives the company.
Over 150 varieties of sweets and snacks are produced at the factory, Chandu Bhavan. Always humming with activity, the factory lives up to the high standards the company sets for itself. With new products being added on a regular basis, innovation is constantly the need of the hour.
The products are broadly divided into these categories: Pistachios-Almond Cashew specialities, Halwa specialities, Malai specialities, Barfis and Pedas, Bengali sweets, North Indian sweets, etc.
Nabin Chandra Das
Nabin Chandra Das was not a confectioner. His progenitors were associated with the production of sugar However, Nabin Chandra lost his father at a pre-natal stage and hence could not pursue the family trade. Financial stringency compelled him to abandon studies at a tender age and start a business. Success was very hard earned for him. After the initial hiccups in business, he set up a sweetmeat shop as his last resort in Baghbazar. Very soon, he came to realize that he had at last chosen the right metier.
In a short while, Nabin, the undisputed King in the kingdom of sweets discovered that `Sandesh`, though very tasty, was getting stuck in the throats of many owing to its dryness. So, the great improviser started thinking of some new sweetmeat sans the dryness but more palatable and juicy. Initially, he found it impossible to pressure the shape of casein soaked in sugar-syrup with its taste intact. His experiments went on unabated but every time, this ball of sweetmeat started to dissipate and could not be kept as a tight round mass as intended.
Now this dispersed sweetmeat with a little touch of `class` became popular as `Baikuntha Bhog` and won the hearts of the sweet-lovers. However, Bengali cuisine had taken some giant steps ahead during these experiments and trials and at long last, the much-desired round ball of casein, soaked in syrup, came into being. Nabin Chandra Das named it `Rosogolla`. The Baghbazar of Roop Chand and Mohan Chand was shot into limelight for this sweet of incomparable delicacy. This prized sweet is pure milk casein processed and preserved in sugar-syrup. It is highly nutritious and can be digested easily. It should not be eaten at one go but in slices and the excess of syrup should be squeezed out before eating.
Initially, Rosogolla did not evoke much response. The ordinary man did not like the sweetmeat of casein as they were granulated. One day Bhagwandas Bagla, an opulent businessman, stopped at Nabin Chandra`s shop while driving by. His child was thirsty. Bagla asked the helper-boy of Nabin`s shop to fetch a glass of water. As was the custom, the boy offered sweetmeat along with water. It was the special `Rosogolla` of Nabin Chandra`s shop served on a dish. Bagla`s child was delighted to taste this unique sweet. Seeing this, Bhagwandas Bagla himself tasted `Rosogolla` and was fascinated. Soon, the fame of this special sweet spread like wildfire and within a short span of 6/7 years, Rosogolla won the hearts of millions in and outside Bengal. Ironically, the orthodox society did not accept `Rosogolla` for a long time. They opined that a sweetmeat which was prepared by boiling, was not fit to be served to God for worship. Gradually, these negative thoughts and prejudices were eradicated and Rosogolla became a universal favourite.
Another ecstatic creation of Nabin Chandra was the ungranulated `Sandesh`, which was prepared with meticulous care after boiling for long. Some confectioners prepare such `Sandesh` without boiling much. Consequently, the sweets contain more proportion of liquid than desired, and the customers get deceived. But Nabin Chandra`s `Sandesh` was ungranulated and properly boiled. So it is devoid of the excess fluid, dry and very palatable. Some more of his outstanding creations are `Ratabi Sandesh`, `Abar Khabo` etc.
Krishna Chandra Das
Krishna Chandra Das was the only issue of Nabin Chandra Das. He is popularly known as K.C. Das - the unrivalled king in the world of sweets. He had inherited his father`s skill and finesse in preparing sweets. Moreover, he was a brilliant innovator. He made `Rosomalai` by treating Rosogolla with dense milk while his father was alive. Despite its novity and superb taste, `Rosomalai` was eclipsed at that time by the tremendous popularity of `Rosogolla`, which was reigning supreme. But Krishna Chandra Das was desperate to preserve the difference of Rosomalai as an exclusive sweet. So, he set up a new shop at Jorasanko in 1930. In the interim, Nabin Chandra Das`s shop shifted its address twice - at the north of Raja Ballabh Street and then towards its south in a small, unimpressive house. Today, that house has given way to a palatial building, which is the residence of the descendants of Nabin Chandra Das. After the demise of Nabin Chandra, Krisha Chandra`s sons viz. Tarini Charan, Bama Charan and Ambika Charan used to look after the original shop. However, the shop was later closed down on account of some legal hassles.
People outside Calcutta were very eager to have a taste of `Rosogolla`. But the earthen vessels had many inconveniences to bring `Rosogollas` from Calcutta. They are frail and could not be sent elsewhere by bearers. Krishna Chandra realized that if the sweets were packed in some metallic container, it would not diminish either the taste or aroma of the Rosogollas. Soon, he thought of a device and did not use any heavy container for that purpose. Thus came the famous tinned Rosogollas` of K.C. Das, which became popular not only in India but was sent abroad in large quantities.
K.C. Das created a sensation in the world of sweets and confectioneries. Their popularity was far-flung. All the sweetmeats in K.C. Das`s shop, are made from cow`s milk. The posset or casein made from buffalo`s milk, cannot make such palatable sweets as those made from cow`s milk. The sweets from the farmer`s milk are also very hard. Even curd and sandesh made from buffalo`s milk, are not fine enough or soothing to the taste-buds. As a result, there are umpteen syrup sweets in K.C. Das`s shop, such as `Singara`, `Nimki`, `Lalmohan`, `Chamcham`, `Mihidana`, `Seeta Bhog`, `Jilipi`, `Amriti`, `Darbesh`, `Ksheermohan`, `Rosomalai` etc. The shop also sells curds and `Sandesh`. Another remarkable feature of K.C. Das`s shop is the `Diabetic Sweet` which has impressed the diabetic patients highly. The milk for K.C. Das`s factory, comes from some renowned cow-sheds. Clarified butter/ghee made from cow`s milk, comes from Khurza in U.P. Besides, the factory has its own arrangements of making ghee from the liquid extracted from posset.
K.C. Das is in Calcutta since antiquity (for 10/11 generations). During this time, they have had interactions and exchange of techniques with different types of sweetmeats. As a result, the original mode and style of preparing sweets have undergone several changes and novelty in cuisine related to sweets, have been really spectacular. Above all, K.C. Das`s factory has an impeccably scientific and hygienic method of making sweets. It takes utmost care about neatness - such as protection from files and other germ-carriers. The factory also has an improved technology for making posset or casein from milk. The succeeding stages in making sweets are not done manually. After they are made, the sweets come on loaded trucks to the K.C. Das shop at Dharmatala. K.C. Das is the only establishment in the kingdom of sweets, where sweetmeats are not made on red-hot ovens but with the help of steam.
`Dwarik`s` sweet shop was set up in 1885. Then it had the facia `Dwarik Nath Ghosh`. In 1925, it was named as `Dwarik Ghosh & Sons Ltd.` in 1948, the shop was rechristened as `Dwarik Sweets (India) Ltd.` Finally in 1955, the name became `Dwarik Grand Sons.` The very name contains the essence and tradition of the shop, which has served the palates of the connoisseurs of sweets in Calcutta for three generations. In 1987 the legacy has passed over to the fourth generation. `Dwarik`s` is an institution in itself and today it not only bakes itself in its past glory but is ever alert in maintaining and improving its established standards.
`Dwarik` is not only famous for its sweetmeats but for salty food as well. At first the shop was founded at 77, Shyama Pukur Street. Initially, the shop used to sell `Pera` and `Borfi` made of thickened milk as well as `Danadar`, a granulated sweetmeat and curd. Sandesh was not that favourite and the specimen available was a grinded sweetmeat which did not go down well with the masses. In 1925, Dwarik Ghosh founded the second shop at the age of sixty. This shop no longer exists in Shyambazar. It was abolished while the Central Avenue was under construction.
The sweets of Dwarik are exquisite in taste. He did not introduce any new sweetmeat in the list of existing sweets. So it may be assumed that his popularity and fame was due to the superior quality and finesse in the making of the sweets which were prevailing then. It is a known fact that the same sweet has varied tastes at different shops. The taste varies on several grounds viz. purity, superiority and ingredients like milk, posset, sugar etc. Besides, grinding them properly also made them more palatable than those, which were less grinded. One can get an idea of this not so simple process from the stupendous arrangement as in Dwarik`s. According to an estimate of 1938, `Ghee` was purchased at no less than Rs.2 lakhs per annum for Dwarik`s. Milk worth Rs.2.5 lakhs, Rs.1.5 lakhs of sugar and casein worth Rs.75,000 were also purchased every year. Au least, 15 mounds of flour were purchased everyday. It goes without saying that Dwarik and his descendents have never compromised with the quality of their sweets. With the aforesaid raw materials, their yearly turnover was Rs.9 lakhs.
During the last phase of the twenties, Dwarik`s shop assumed a new furnished look. Tables and chairs were placed inside the shop for the convenience of the customers. The cups and dishes served to the customers had the name of the shop emblazoned on them. Before this, the customers who thronged the shop, had to stand and eat and the place looked slovenly.
Although `Dwarik`, was not famous for any special sweet or dessert, it had attained excellence in all its sweets. The `Ice-Cream Sandesh` and `Ice-Cream Sarbat` at `Dwariks` were indeed mouth-watering. Their ingredients were thickened milk, ice, vanilla essence, syrup etc. Now a days, the same item is being sold at various places and is called `milk-shake`.
Bhim Nag`s sweets
Simple `Sandesh`, `Pantua` and sweets of that ilk, were available in Calcutta in the early days. `Rosogolla` and the different types of superior sandesh, arrived in Calcutta much later. Sweets made of `Ksheer` or thickened milk was not in vogue and people in general, were not fond of such delicacies brought from Burrabazar.
At this time, Paran Chandra Nag, a confectioner and owner of a small sweet shop in the village of Janai, Hooghly came to Calcutta to set up a shop. He started with a sweet shop at Bowbazar. His shop did not sell a multitude of sweets. On the contrary, Paran Chandra only sold `Sandesh` as he had specialized on this sweetmeat. He wanted to grab the market at first with his unique `Sandesh` so that later on, while diversifying into other sweetmeats, the customers would flock in to buy them, keeping his reputation in mind.
Later Bheem Nag, who integrated this shop, excelled in the art of making sweets. His shop at Bowbazar, hogged the attention of the opulent `Babus`. Business started flourishing in laps and bounds. Since then, there has been no looking back for the `Bheem Nag` shop. To this day, the `Bheem Nag` shop takes utmost care in the preparations of its special `Sandesh` and is unfurling to compromise with their standards. Above all, the Nags are very enthusiastic and ever innovative to make their special `Sandesh` more palatable.
Incidentally, it derives mention that Bheem Nag`s `Sandesh` is different from the general `Sandesh` found in every confectionery attempt to render perfection to it. The Nags have always tried sincerely to do justice shop. The house of Nags has conducted all possible experiments, in an to the glorious tradition of Bengal in the department of sweets and confectioneries. Sandesh is made in different moulds as of various fruits. `Bheem Nag` is also famous for its `Diabetes Sandesh` a sweetmeat made by special process for the diabetics, which is devoid of sugar or treacle. Queen Rashmoni used to be one of the regular customers of this shop in her days. Palatable `Sandesh` from this shop, was also sent to Sri Ramkrishna in Dakshineswar.
LADYCANNIE - On the eve Lady Canning`s birthday, Lord Canning`s men came .to Bheem Nag`s shop and ordered a special sweetmeat, which would be entirely different in shape and size than the existing range of sweets and would also outclass them in taste The Nags after pondering over it for days made a new kind of sweetmeat, much above the expectation of Canning`s men. It was partially a `Pantua` and partially a `Lancha`. It resembled both to some extent but at the same time, was different from them. From the name of Lady Canning, this sweet came to be known in Bengal as Ladycannie and is very popular even to this day.
Ashutosh Sen set up a small and humble sweet shop at Fariapukur Street in the year 1897. He was not a professional confectioner. Making different types of sweets was his favourite hobby. One fine day, he made the `Ratabi Sandesh` which delighted the connoisseurs of sweets in Bengal. He went on scaling new heights with newer creations like the `Pink Pera`, `Malai Chop`, `Abar Khabo` etc., which were remarkable for their tastes and novity. He started with `Ratabi Sandesh` and `Pink Pera` which won the hearts of the Bengali gourmet. It was made of thickened milk churned heavily. They are still very popular in Bengal. Their tradition and dexterity still continue and the present proprietors are equally conscious and meticulous about maintaining the excellence in quality of their sweets. Today, the shop has added to its previous fame in the form of `Peshwari Sandesh` and `Cake Sandesh` - two sweets of unique delicacy. Moreover, the `Ksheer Kadam` of Deoghar reached a new dimension with an enriched taste, in the hands of Sen Mahasay of Calcutta. Thus Calcutta got an additional sweet which was exquisite in taste.
Bengal is a land of festivals. Umpteen religious ceremonies abound the yearly calendar. Apart from the vast number of religious festivals, every minute aspect related to the wedding ceremony is celebrated with pomp videlicet, `Gaye Halud` (rubbing the bride and groom with turmeric), `Phool Sajja` (decorating the bed of the newly married couple with flowers on the nuptial night), `Jamai Shasthi` (a day dedicated to the grooms when they are given a special treat by their in-laws) etc. On such occasions, the Bengalis have a custom of sending `Tatvas` (Precious gifts, Sweets etc.) to each other that is the brides family to the grooms family and vice versa. `Tatva Sandesh` is a special kind of sweetmeat made exclusively for the big day. The `Tatva Sandesh` of Sen Mahasay is not only palatable but an exquisite specimen of art. Tasty and colourful Sandesh is available in different moulds and designs ranging from small houses, shanties, bride and groom on the decorated nuptial-bed, sehnai-player to the butterfly as the symbol of an auspicious and happy marriage. The Sandesh made in the mould of a petite and buxom doll is so impeccable that a layman would mistake it for a clay doll made in Krishnanagar. Again, another would show a large decorated tray and a cogitating Lord Shiva on it with his trident and `Dugdugi` (tambour). Some other design would show a girl with a lamp. Her eyes are made of black pepper and her body is decorated with `Mihidana` (a finely grained sweetmeat) and cardamom. Small `Tub Sandesh` is also found which resembles the colour of clay.
However the most popular form of `Tatva Sandesh` is `Fish`, as the latter is regarded as a very auspicious symbol in Bengal. These model-sweets look no less authentic than the real ones. Besides, there are several other patterns like `Dilkhosh`, `Monoranjan`, `Pranhara`, `Dilhara` etc. which have carved out a niche for themselves in the glossary of the gourmets in Bengal.
There are several popular and reputed confectioneries in Calcutta and there is an immense variety of dry sweets and `Sandesh`. But the `Sandesh` of Nakud, stands out prominently from the rest because of their unique delicacy. Nakud and his `Sandesh` are synonymous. They bear a rich tradition of exquisite dry Sandesh since the last 150 years. Nakud`s shop is a source of delight to the connoisseurs of sweets because of its range, variety and superior quality. Nakud specializes in `Ice Cream Sandesh` during summer and `Nalenguder Sandesh` (sandesh prepared with jaggery made of date palms). Apart from these seasonal sweets, there are also `Pink Perra Sandesh`, `Jal Bhara Tal Sandesh`, `Ras Bhara Babu Sandesh`, `Abar Khabo`, `Kasturi Sandesh` etc., which are available to suit the palates of all gourmets at all times of the year. Names might vary but their rudimental ingredient is the same i.e. casein or `Chhana`, `Nakud` does not indulge in any other categories of sweets. `Nakud` and `Sandesh` are inextricably intertwined with each other.
Another notable confectioner, Girish Chandra was Nakud Chandra`s father-in-law. He hailed to Calcutta from Hooghly in 1844 and opened a sweetshop in `Shimla Para` in a short while. But his tenacity mingled with dexterity, soon led to a wide-scale popularity of the humble shop. He had mastered the art of making `Sandesh` and this was the beginning of a placid journey towards a towering success in the ensuing period.
It is indeed remarkable that `Nakud` is still so popular and admired by all, despite the fact that it has no branches and no variety to speak of since inception. It has always focused on its `Sandesh` as its forte. To this day, `Nakud` is always eager to enhance the taste of its wide range of Sandesh and make them more palatable. This is what makes it so different and unique.
Putiram is synonymous with `Raj Bhog` (enlarged and enriched version of Rosogolla) and salty food. The word `Raj Bhog` literally means `royal meal`. This is so named because it is a quintessential sweet and prepared in a grand way. A divine odour is emitted from the petals of roses, which are then specially processed with about fifteen different ingredients. Then it is boiled thoroughly. It is more than a normal Rosogolla in a container of syrup. This makes it `Raj Bhog` in the real sense of the term. `Putiram` has virtually made this `Raj Bhog` and `Dal Puri` as his forte. It goes without saying that `Raj Bhog` is an unparalleled sweetmeat of Bengal of which she is justifiably proud.
CHOP SANDESH - This is not the fried, salty and hot stuff that flashes in one`s mind at the utterance of the name. `Chop Sandesh` is an unique sweetmeat but resembles a chop apparently. Hence, it is so named.
BISCUIT SANDESH - It is flat and looks akin to a biscuit and tastes very similar as well. But it is a type of `Sandesh`.
AAM SANDESH - Aam Sandesh is very palatable. The word `Aam` means mango and the sweet is so named because it tastes and smells like a ripe mango.
Ganguram and Grandsons
Over a Century old a tiny Sweetmeat Shop existed on a land owned by Raja Kamala Prasad Mukherjee. Late Ganguram Chaurasia came from a remote village in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to Kolkata in the 1880`s. He was a skilled Halwai and could make mouth watering Sweets. He took up a job in the shop owned by the Raja and used to supply Sweets to the Rajbari. However, when the Government decided to evict the shop in order to construct a road, the Raja, pleased with his service, allotted him a small plot of land near Maniktola north Kolkata, where he set up a small sweetmeat shop in 1885.
Thus started Ganguram, a legend in the past and present sweetmeat industry of Kolkata. From the setting up of the shop gradually he expanded innumerable branches in and around Kolkata. His Sweets became synonymous with Bengali Culture and most celebrations were not complete without the Sweets being supplied by Ganguram. He had the distinction of serving his range to International celebrities such as Queen Elizabeth of England, President of Bulgaria & Knischer of Russia and Honorable Chou En Lai of China and many more down the years. Ganguram`s dream of building a brand consciousness in Sweets became a reality and today his later generations are proud of providing the traditional quality, trust, and never ending varieties of Sweets and Snacks to the people of Kolkata.
Today, they have over twenty outlets providing over 200 delicacies prepared daily in out mechanised factory in Kolkata which has qualified chemists to ensure the best food materials and ingredients go in to making our products. This is coupled with efficient production facilities managed by skilled labour, who are constantly developing newer and newer varieties of Sweets which were never made before with Chhena (Cottage Cheese), Kheer, Khowa or fried varieties. This process is being actively monitored and implemented by the Research and Development team.
Ganguram`s products today are regularly being catered to reputed Corporate Houses, prestigious Government Organisations, 5-Star Hotels, Multi Cuisine Restaurants etc. They have the rare honour of being official suppliers to the Hon`ble Govt. of West Bengal`s Residence & Secretariat.
They are planning to set up more manufacturing facilities in the State of West Bengal as there is a huge demand for their varied range of Sweets and Snacks. They are on the lookout to open mfg. facilities abroad too, provided we get sound proposals and business arrangements for the same. Their products are being taken abroad too by Tourists to their native places over the World.
Their products are bengali sweets, khoya sweets, dryfruit sweets, fried sweets, sandesh, mishti doi, snacks etc.
Sweet and Salt are as diametrically opposite to each other as North pole and South Pole but they perform wonders when used on the taste buds, this delicate use of both the tastes in Mithais (Sweet Meat) and Namkeens (Salty Snacks) has made Haldiram`s undisputed leader of the sweet industry. Haldiram is synonymous with sweet meat as Cadbury is to Chocolates. By default Haldiram`s can be termed as "Taste of Tradition".
From a humble beginning in Bikaner in 1937 Haldiram`s have grown phenomenally and are today an internationally renowned sweet meat manufacturer with chain of restaurants and is also on the verge of starting amusement parks. It is the flag bearer of the traditional Indian sweet, Haldiram`s was started by Shri Gangabisanji Agrawal alias Haldiram Agrawal, who is the grandfather of Shri Shivkisan Agrawal, the man responsible for the success and fame of Haldiram`s. He has made the brand a household name in India. Haldiram`s products inherits the Matchless quality, zero impurity and world class packaging, efficient distribution network are the hallmark of each and every Haldiram`s Product and to top it up the trump card of reasonable prices and efficient marketing strategy and the key to success. Headquartered at Nagpur the management at Haldiram`s is quality conscious, no doubt Shri Shivkisan Agrawal always believes in superior input superior output. It has regional offices at Mumbai, Banglore and Chennai.
PRODUCTS : Sky is the limit for Haldiram`s and its product range. The sweet meat range consists of the famous Kaju Katli, Bengali Rasgulla, Cham Cham, Gulab Jamun, Raj Bhog, Kesar Anguri to name a few. The Namkeen (Salty range) consists of the famous Bikaneri Sev, Aloo Bhujia, Moong Dal, Khatta Mittha, Classic Dal, Cornflakes, Potato Chips, Moth and variety of Papads. Soft drinks (Sharbats) the range includes exciting flavours like the Royal Badam, Rose Squash, Orange Squash, Khus Squash & Thandai which serve as energy supplements and coolants, In addition Haldiram`s enjoy a strong market share in Processed Milk, Bakery and Ice Creams.
"Agarwal Sweets" - a name associated with discerning consumers for sweets and namkeens for the past 22 years in India. It made its modest start in the beginning of way back in 1984 in Erode in the state of Tamil Nadu. The prime focus was to serve sweets and namkeens amongst direct consumers and the trade. Our natural ilk to improve our performance and quality with each passing year has taken us way ahead of our nearest competitor.
The main items of this sweet shop are divided into the following categories namely: Ghee sweets, Milk sweets, Bengali Sweets, Dryfruit Sweets and Gift Hampers.