Portuguese established strong links with the region through sea routes and settled in the province that the taboo of making cheese by splitting milk might have been lifted. The Portuguese loved their fresh cottage cheese, which they made by adding citric acid to boiled milk.
With a new taste hitting their palate, the confectioners of Bengal started experimenting with chhana and introduced a variety of sweet treats in the market. But it is a particular gentleman Nobin Chandra Das who had a stroke of genius and boiled the chhana balls in a sugar syrup, making it softer, spongier and sweeter, and most importantly, giving it a longer shelf life.
“Nobin Chandra Das invented the sweet in 1868. He was trying to come up with a new sweet for a number of years before he came up with it. He never thought of trying for a patent on the sweet but taught confectioners how to prepare it,” Nobin Chandra Das’ great-great-grandson Dhiman Das said, according to a report by Hindustan Times.
It is worth noting that even if Das might not have come up with the original recipe of rosogolla, and there is no proof or knowledge of the person who invented the delicacy, it has been established through the years that it was Das who tweaked it and brought it to people.
But coming to think of it, without the timely influence of the Portuguese in the region of Bengal, the soft, white ball of sweet doused in sugar syrup may have not come into existence at all.