Mother, “What the hell are you doing?” Her Blogger Daughter replied, “Mom I am writing; now please don’t irritate me!” …over curious mother asked “what are you writing and why there is a picture of “Bhim Nager Mistir Baksho” (Picture of sweet boxes from Bhim Nag)? Are you out of your mind! Are you going to click dust bean now! Irritated Daughter replied “can you please shut your mouth mom! Yes, I will click some dust beans if required while I will be there in Bhim Chandra Nag next time.” Mom replied with a curse “go to hell! Cynical food blogger!” Mom was about to leave the room and suddenly something clicked in her daughter’s mind and she asked “Maa one minute! Can you please tell me the story of “Shitola Pujo”; I mean specifically the details about the special Sweet that is prepared by Bhim Chandra Nag for the particular Puja each year that they sell 1.5 Rupees per piece; actually you know I love that sweet; I mean having Bhim Naager Sondesh by just paying 1.5 bucks isn’t it great!”
Now there was a pause and then Mom started “Look that is Prashad, not a typical sweet; so be polite! Well you know how much Bhim Chandra Nag is famous for their sweets in Kolkata and price of a Sondesh (or Rosogolla or any sweet for that matter) starts from minimum ten rupees there and in fact mostly beyond that but they make something special just for a particular day each year! They make an enormous amount of Sondesh for the Shitola Pujo each year and that particular Sondesh is having a selling price of 1.5 rupees per piece!”
The daughter is also well aware of the event being Bhim Chandra Nag is her “Parar Dokan” (the shop is nearby her ancestral place in Kolkata) but she was tempted for the story again from her mother and replied “Yes Mom I know that but would like to hear that again and I also want that to share with my readers”!
Mom then started “well it is said that the forefather of the shop owner was instructed through a dream by Devi Shitola to make the Prashad for her Puja each year. They were instructed to sell the sweet at least price possible so that the devotees can purchase the Prashad without paying much and Bhim Chandra Nag is preparing that particular sweet each year since then and now they sell that particular Sondesh on Shitola Puja 1.5 rupees each! This is all about trust you see! A shop known for their sweets in Kolkata are still making a huge amount of sweet almost by charging 1/15th of the normal cost on a particular day is not something easy even for their business and this is just simple mathematics but they are still doing it!
Here ends the story and mom finally retired for her TV soap and finally here I am with rest of the post meant for the legendary sweet shop “Bhim Chandra Nag”. Established back in 1826 by late Paran Chandra Nag, the shop was named after his son Bhim Chandra Nag and is one of the best sweet shops in Kolkata. Their main branch is located in Nirmal Chandra Street (Bow bazar) which is actually walking distance from my age-old ancestral house. I used to go there with my Uncle every Saturday to get my portion of “Bonde”; which is still my favorite pick from Bhim Chandra Nag. Even my daughter loves that “Bonde” madly and as a result, my dad brings it every week while coming to my place to meet his one and only granddaughter. My dad loves his daughter too and is not allowed to be at my place without the Misti Doi (Mango Doi in summer) and I typically wait for him to be here with the earthen pot full of Misti Doi without which having Saturday lunch (we are Saturday vegetarians!) is nothing but painful.
I never thought to write about Bhim Naager Misti ever! So they are popular but they are nearby; the place is like home and it never occurred to me that I can actually write about this fabulous place. However, I was there a few days back with a food blogger friend of mine who is not from Kolkata and requested me to show the shop! I went there with her and the first thing I showed her was the famous Cooke and Kelvey Clock hanging there in Bhim Chandra Nag and then we had sweets; starting from aabar Khaabo to Dilkhush (this one is my favorite) to Tal Sansh and finally ended with Bonde and Chanar Pulao. While returning from there she asked; do you have a blog on this shop and my situation was really awkward and I told her that I never felt about writing it! In fact what to write; we all know the specialties, we know the prices; we know what to eat there; then I thought this is what I write actually and here I am with my take on Bhim Chandra Nag.
So finally here I am with the details which I thought my readers would love to know about Bhim Nag apart from Bhim Naager Sondesh. Though I have my list of favorites from this shop but I am not going to compare one sweet with another neither going to share a list of what to have there or what to not because we all know that aren’t we. However, if you are not from Kolkata and wanted to taste the delicacies there in Bhim Chandra Nag; just go there and the owners of the shops and the staffs will tell you what to have there! Heritage requires no introduction or an ending line so let me close it with a bowl full of Chanar Pulao until next time!