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30 October, 2014

Rasgulla

Posted in : Sugary Ride on by : Isha K Tags:

Roshogullaaa..!! When you see it in a sweet shop, this is how you pronounce it, in typical Bengali accent, but more than that, you are mesmerized by its sweetness and tempting looks. What about if you give it a try at home..I know it is quite difficult to make but with a lot of practice, one day you surely attain the perfection. I tried it 5-6 times and finally my patience and hard work resulted into these sweet, syrupy and soft rasgullaaaass..!! 😀

rasgulla_a1

Rasgullas are made up of ‘CHENNA’ which is available in dairies, but it is better if you make it fresh at home. Chenna is the base for most of the Bengali desserts like sandesh, rasmalai, rasgulla and it is quick and easy to make.  You need to be careful and have to take many precautions while making chenna for rasgullas. Sometimes chenna comes out very hard which is not ideal for the dish. So here are some tips which you should keep in mind before making chenna:

  • The milk should be slightly more than lukewarm, it should neither be very hot nor very cold. This will make chenna soft and hence rasgullas more spongy.
  • You can also use buttermilk for separating chenna from milk. It will give you no other taste except that milky taste which you expect, though commonly lemon is used, but when using lemon, do not wash chenna with running cold water to strain out the lemony and sour flavor, it is not needed. This lemon only helps in binding, milk never inculcate the lemony flavor.
  • Chenna should be consumed as soon as possible. If you will keep it for a long time, the dish will not turn out good. So keep in mind the quantity you need.

Now lets make chenna and then rasgulla and enjoy this traditional Bengali dessert.

 How To Make Chenna:

Ingredients:

For Chenna:

Milk – 1.5 Ltrs

Lemon Juice – 2 Tbspn Juice

Process:

1. Take the milk in a heavy bottom pan and bring it a boil, then switch off the gas and let it cool down a less, slightly more than the lukewarm temperature.

2. Add lemon juice gradually and stir it.Chenna_straining

3. You will see that milk starts curdling and the whey turns into greenish color. If you still see milk, add more lemon juice.  These curdles that you see is chenna.

4. Pour the mixture in a fine and thin cotton or muslin cloth.

5. Make a tight potli and hang it on a tap to strain all the whey and water for 10-15 mins.

Your Chenna is ready to use.

Ingredients for Rasgulla:

Chenna

Sugar- 2 Cups

Water – 5 Cups

The Tasty Ride:

Now there are two techniques to make rasgullas, one in a pressure cooker and another in a pan.

1. Take chenna and give it a round in a blender or mixer to make it more smooth.

2. Now knead it well for at least 5-8 mins and make a dough. Kneading is all what it takes so it should be done properly. Make sure there are no crumbles and it should be smooth and soft.

3. Now divide the dough into equal parts and make small balls. Remember the size of rasgulla will get double while boiling in sugar syrup.

4. Cover the balls with a wet cloth till you make the sugar syrup.

5. For Sugar Syrup, take a wide and heavy bottom pan. Add water and sugar. Remember, sugar syrup for rasgulla is thin. You can also give it a cardamom or rose flavor for a twist.

6. Give it a boil. When the syrup is hot and boiling, add the rasgulla balls in it and cover it with a lid.

7. Let rasgullas cook in the syrup on high flame for 20 mins. Remember the flame should be ‘high’ and water should keep boiling otherwise balls would break.

8. Switch off the gas, remove the lid and let it cool down in that sugar syrup.

How to make it in pressure cooker:

1. Add the water and sugar in a pressure cooker and bring it to the boil.

2. Add rasgulla balls and close the lid. After one whistle, sim the flame and let it cook for about 7-8 mins.

3. Switch off the flame and remove the whistle, let all the steam come out quickly. Open the lid and take out your yummy rasgullas.

Chill and Serve. 🙂

Factual Ride

There is an interesting fact which I came to know about rasgullas while exploring. It is believed that rasgullas were invented as the sweet dish of Bengal by a confectioner named Nobin Das established in Kolkata. He is famously known as Rasogolla’s Colombus. But by the time he introduced rasgulla in Kolkata, it had already become traditional sweet in Orrissa, in the cities of Bhubhaneshwar and Puri. Yes, the recipe of rasgulla then spread from Orrisa to West Bengal.

During 1868, Nobin Das, who belonged to Kolkata, modified the recipe of the rasgulla as he wanted to extend the life of the sweet which was originally highly perishable. As a result of his modification, the rasgulla became a lot spongier than it originally was but it remained non-perishable for quite some time, which made it easier for Nobin Das to market it as a product. Subsequently, K.C. Das who was Nobin Das’s son began to can the rasgulla which resulted in the widespread availability of the sweets.
Slowly, the popularity of the rasgulla spread to all over India. We can find rasgullas all over the country today; specially the canned ones. Not only India, rasgullas have become very popular in Pakistan and Bangladesh as well. It is really heartening to see even South Asian grocery stores in countries like the United Kingdom and America are now importing rasgullas. They are marketed not only by K.C. Das but by some famous sweet makers from Bikaner and Delhi as well.
 
Now, we also find various variants of this traditional sweet. In Orissa, the Pahala variant for example, is generally served very hot. On the other hand, in Bengal kheermohan refers to a bigger version of the rasgulla, whereas in Orissa, the words kheermohan and rasgulla are used for each other.
 
There are rasgullas made of jaggery which are available in Bengal, as well as Orissa during festivities. Rasgulla has become a very popular dessert in India. It has also served as the precursor to many other sweets like the rasmalai, raskadam, chamcham, pantua, malai chop and the kheersagar.
Now, try this recipe of spongy rasgulla, till then I’ll discover and experiment different variants of this versatile dessert.
Happy Cooking..!! 🙂
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