Rasgulla, Rasagulla, Rasagola, Roshogolla, Rossogolla, Rasbhari.
What’s in a name? that which we call,
A Rasgulla by any other name would taste as sweet.
Rasgulla is mainly derived from the two words ‘Ras’ which refers to syrup or juice and ‘Gulla’ means a ball.These soft spongy cheese balls floating like clouds in rich sugar syrup are a delight eat. I promise, you cannot stop at one.
After watching a million videos on YouTube to master this tricky dessert, I finally took the plunge. I didn’t believe how easy they were to make until I tried it – only a few important tricks to keep in mind. I have to tried to detail as much as possible in my notes below.
While West Bengal and Odisha are battling over who invented ‘Rasgulla’, let us get right to making these soft pillows. 🙂 We are in for a win either way.
4 tbsp sour yogurt or 3 tbsp lemon juice
For the Sugar Syrup
1 cup Sugar
5 cups Water
1/2 tsp fine cardamom powder
½ tsp rose essence (optional)
- In a heavy bottom pan, bring milk to boil. Keep stirring so the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. This will also ensure the cream not to accumulate at the top while boiling. If you see cream collecting on top; remove with the help of a spoon and keep aside. *I have used 3.5% fat cow milk. It is extremely important to use full fat cow milk to get good results.
- Now, gradually add yogurt or lemon juice and stir gently. You will notice that the milk starts to curdle at this point.
- Once all the whey is separated, strain the paneer/chenna into cheesecloth or a muslin cloth. If you have used lemon juice to curdle the milk, it is important to wash the cheese under running water. Else you will end up with a lemony flavor not desirable for this dessert. Skip this step if you used yogurt to split the milk.
- Gather the cheesecloth into a bundle and squeeze out as much water as you can. Do not squeeze too hard. Hang the cheesecloth for 30 minutes so the water is drained out naturally.
- After 30 mins, knead the dough with your palms until the dough comes together smooth and glossy. The trick is to stop kneading when you see fat releasing from the paneer. Test by pinching a small ball from the dough and roll it between your palms. There should be no visible cracks and glossy. Do not knead further if you achieve this texture. You can also choose to blitz the paneer/chenna in the food processor for a minute.
- Divide the mixture in to equal small balls; the size of a walnut or as you like keeping in mind that these balls double in size while boiling.
- Use a deep and broad dish to boil water along with sugar. Space is important for these balls to grow and not loose their shape. Do this in two batches if you do not have a large dish.
- The ratio of sugar to water is 1:5. You could add more sugar as per your preference. This ratio works perfectly for family.
- Once it reaches a rolling boil, add cardamom powder and transfer the cheese balls gradually one at a time making sure not to break them.
- Cover with a lid making sure no steam escapes and let cook untouched until it doubles in size. This takes approximately 15 minutes. To check if it is cooked, transfer one of the balls into a bowl of water. Well-cooked balls should sink to the bottom. If not cook for a few more minutes.
- When ready, transfer to serving dish and let it cool for at least 4-5 hours. (overnight is better). If you are using rose essence, add it at this point.
- Serve Chilled 🙂
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