Even though Hindi is very similar to Bengali, its common knowledge that all pronunciation changes by replacing A’s with O’s. Say a name like Ashok becomes Oshok, my daughter is named Prokriti and not Prakruti. Similarly we say Rosogolla and not Rasgulla. The secret reason is that we always imagine the round rosogollas in our head and unconsciously use it everywhere. Also it makes Bengali and the bong folks the sweetest ever :)
Being a NRB (non-resident Bengali) and a food blogger the most frequent question I get is “how to make rasgulla at home”. This seemingly simple and extremely tasty desert is one of the most technical to make. While it’s easy to land up with a white ball in a syrup, getting the right texture and softness is way more difficult then it seems.
Rosogolla is responsible for making Bengali sweets famous across India and outside and is easily the most commonly known bong food.I am always careful about making it, as the last thing I want to do as bongcook is to screw it up.
Ingredients for making ChEena
Cheena is homemade soft cottage cheese and is the primary ingredient in Rasgulla.
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- 1/2 cup vinegar diluted in 1/2 cup of water
- 1tsp. all purpose flour (maida)
- 1tsp. sooji ( Semolina )
Procedure of making cheena balls
In a thick bottom pan take the milk and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling remove it from heat. Stir for 5-7 minutes till the milk is slightly cool.
Add the diluted vinegar solution to it and stir the milk gently. You will see the milk will curdle and the whey will separate out from the milk solids. When the whey becomes clear, it indicates that the milk is completely curdled.
Line a colander with a cheese cloth and strain out all the whey.
Gather all the sides of the cloth and twirl it gently so that most whey is drained out. Don,t make it over dry.
For making rasgulla you have to use this cheena immediately.
Transfer the chenna onto a clean flat plate and add maida and semolina to it. Mix well. Knead the mixture with the back of your palm so that it is free of lumps. Then make table-tennis/ping-pong sized balls. Roughly around 20 from the amount of ingredients I mentioned for this recipe. Be careful that there shouldn’t be any cracks in the ball or else they will break off from the cracks later.
Ingredients for making sugar syrup
- 2 cups of sugar
- 4 + 2 cups water
Take a pan and add 2 cups of sugar in 3 cups of water. Heat till sugar dissolves completely and then increase the temperature and boil the syrup vigorously for 1-2 minutes.
Now add the chenna balls by turning over the plate on which they are kept. Do not touch them as they are fragile.
Cook the chenna ball in the sugar syrup while sprinkling water through out the cooking time.
Cook it for about 20 – 30 minutes depending on the size of rasgullas you made. Take out one after 15 minutes, if ready stop boiling. Ensure the syrup froths all the time while cooking.
Check whether rasgullas are cooked or not. If the rasgullas spring back and retain its shape when pressed, it is done.
Another way of checking is to drop a rasgulla in a pan of cold water. If it sinks, it is cooked.
Remove the pan from heat and transfer the rasgullas in a bowl along with sugar syrup. Wait for at least couple of hours before eating so that the rasgullas get time to soak in all the sweetness.
- Rasgullas should always be made on a high temperature
- Sugar syrup must froth all the time
- Sprinkle water little at a time approximately 1tsp. at a time when boiling in sugar syrup