18 Mar

The year is 1857 when in India Lord Canning was the last viceroy from the Company Bahadur. Lord Canning was fond of lending his name to structures, roads, jails etc. He decided, against some advice, to build a new port other than Calcutta in the Bengal tide country. The port, named Port Canning, was completed and was destroyed within 5 years by a tidal storm, as was predicted by an expert. It was around this time a sweet maker in Calcutta created a new sweet which was black/dark red balls soaked in syrup. He named his new product Lady Canning. It had nothing in common with the Lady as she was white, thin and tall. But the name stuck and the sweet was a runaway success. Soon people in their haste started calling it ledijeny. [source: Amitav Ghosh, “THE HUNGRY TIDE”

{My extrapolation):  Ledijeny when it arrived in Lucknow became ledijamin, ledujamin then golujamin and finally gulabjamun. The port Lord Canning is now a town called Canning, not Gulabcomun.


Posted by on March 18, 2013 in LIFE'S GREAT MOMENTS


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13 responses to “GULAB JAMUN

  1. Yousuf Q Hayat

    March 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Very Sweet Shakil Sahib,   Any feedback on Rossgulla, Russmalai and other popular Mithais.   Good research and nice addition of yours!!   Regards   Qureshi

     Dr Y Hayat Qureshi JP MNZIM MD DPH FACP DAB PhD Freelance Health Adviser Ex Associate Professor & Program Director Hospital & Health Care Management American University in the Emirates, Dubai, UAE Honorary Technical Adviser – CPD, IEC and Advocacy Health System Strategies LLC, Dubai, UAEAssociate Professor (Adjunct), College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, UAE IEC, Advocacy & CBD Adviser for UNESCO / UNFPA Board Member, Multi Media Medical University (MMU), Ex Associate Professor of Public Health & Director, Graduate Programs Hamdan bin Mohammed E University, Dubai, UAE., Ex Adviser & Coordinator CME, Internship & Residency Programs, Ministry of Health, UAE., Ex Member, Advisory Board, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE., Ex Associate Professor & Head Department of Family Medicine, GMCHRC, Ajman, UAE., Ex Manager, Public Health Promotion Programs, Mid Central Health, NZ., Ex Director Health Services, Solomon Islands, P O Box 503000, Dubai, UAE Mobile :+97150 631 5363;+6421 159 7701

  2. shakilakhtar

    March 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you very much Dr. sahib. It was just something I noticed in that book which is not at all about gulab jamun or Canning. I imagine Rasugulla and Ras malayee are also from Bengal, but cannot say how they originated.
    Correction: Canning was the last Governor General under East India Company and was made first Viceroy under the Crown for his successful steering of India from the storm of the ‘Mutiny” of 1857. He later decided to break the unity shown during ‘mutiny’ by Indians of different shades by introducing cunning policies that sowed hatred among different people. We are suffering the effects of that to this day.

  3. Rafiullah Mian

    March 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Ap ki post main tu gulabjamun ka maza hay, lekin Jab ap ki post par apnay Email list main pehli nazar pari, tu main nay isay — Ghalib Jamun (kashmir wala) parha, aor socha k another post on the legend.. phir socha kuch dair bad visit kar-k readonga… ab jo aakar gulab jamun ki tasweer par nazar pari, tu bari sharmindagi hoi k main nay isay kia parha tha pehli nazar main…
    haaye — pehli nazar ka dhoka!

    • shakilakhtar

      March 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Sir, I am not surprised as I appear to have churned a bit too many posts about Ghalib. From now I will be eating Ghalib Jamuns. Both Ghalib and Gulab are equally sweet.

      • Rafiullah Mian

        March 20, 2013 at 2:45 am

        Even you create, Sir, Ghalib Jamuns in the Muhabbat of legend poet! 🙂

  4. Madhu

    March 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Interesting – and fun – facts Shakil 🙂
    Shall have to lay my hands on the ‘Hungry Tide’.

    • shakilakhtar

      March 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      I am very happy for the like and the comment from you Madhu. You are yourself so sweet (Madhu!!!!) and Gulab Jamun can be jealous of you.
      I am a fan of Amitav Ghosh after his “Glass Palace” (about Barmah) and this ‘Tide’. very readable and interesting, very interesting (Morichjhapi is featured here)

      • Madhu

        March 19, 2013 at 7:02 pm

        Loved the Glass Palace. Shall check out the Tide as well.

  5. Sharmishtha

    March 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I love gulab jamun 🙂

    • shakilakhtar

      March 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      ledijeny is the best sweet for me too. I do not like chocolates, but my children are the opposite.

      • Sharmishtha

        April 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm

        ledikeny and gulabjamun are a bit different, they look alike but gulabjamun are tastier!

      • shakilakhtar

        April 3, 2013 at 9:29 am

        today after reading your comment i googled ledikeny and found that in Bengal this sweet is still known as ledikeny, The name ledikeni is a rendition of “Lady Canning” and was first used by confectioner Bhim Nag when he renamed his pantuas specially prepared on the occasion of the birthday of Countess Charlotte Canning, wife of Governor-General Charles Canning.

  6. Asifa Zunaidha

    March 30, 2013 at 6:00 am

    very interesting story Sir 🙂 the photo looks tempting 🙂


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