Rasgulla (cottage cheese dumpling in sugar syrup) step-by-step recipe.
What is rasgulla?
Rasgulla aka roshogolla is cottage cheese balls cooked in sugar syrup. It originated from Bengal and is widely popular all over India. This is the first sweet dish that comes to mind when we think of Bengali sweets.
You can’t live in Kolkata and not fall in love with ‘Roshogolla’. Every Bengali has a special place in their heart (and stomach) for this beautiful sweet. I haven’t heard of (let alone see or meet) a Bengali who doesn’t get excited if you mention rasgulla.
This dish is special for me because of so many reasons. My husband loves it and the day I make them, he has the biggest possible smile. But my connection with this sweet treat is since childhood. We lived in a small town and our next-door neighbour were from Orissa. My neighbour aunty made them and shared a plate with us when she made them. Oh my God, I have never eaten this sweet treat better than what she made ever. I loved them so much, I learnt how to make them as a teenager. Since then, it has always been an integral part of my kitchen. Try the recipe, I am sure you will love them as much as we do.
Rasgulla is made with ‘chana’ or ‘chena’ which can be obtained by curdling the milk. Traditionally, the chena is kneaded well to turn it into smooth mass which is then cooked in sugar syrup. But here, I am using a food processor to blend it – this saves a lot of time and does not compromise with the texture.
Milk: I use full fat milk to make this dish.
Sugar: I use sugar to sweeten rasgulla; however, jaggery can also be used to sweeten it.
Lemon juice: Lemon juice is used to curdle the milk and seperate the whey.
Flour: Here is my secret ingredient. I add 1 tsp plain flour per liter of milk gives the rasgulla the perfect texture.
Tips for making perfect rasgulla
Use full fat milk to make rasgulla, and where possible, use unhomogenised milk.
Use the right-sized pan to boil the rasgulla. They swell up and become almost double in size. Do not overcrowd them in the pan. If needed, make them in batches.
Moisture content of chena/chana is important. You need to squeeze out the excess when from the chena but also take care it is not too dry. If the chena is dry, the rasgulla will turn hard and if it has too much moisture, the rasgulla will fall apart in the syrup.
Make chena/chana and do not use paneer. Chena and paneer are different and rasgulla cannot be made with paneer. Always make fresh chena to make rasgulla.
Once you add the lemon juice to curdle the milk, turn off the flame. Do not boil the milk after adding the lemon juice.
Do not overdo the chena in the food processor. Else, it will turn too soft and difficult to handle. Process it for just about a minute. You may knead the cottage cheese with hands but I find it time-consuming and tedious. Also, using a food processor will give you a uniform result.
Make sure you add just 1 tsp flour per liter of milk. Else, the rasgullas will lose its taste.
Why is my rasgulla hard?
They will turn hard if the chena is too dry or if it is over-processed. Take care not to make it too dry while squeezing out the whey. Irrespective of you use a food processor or knead it with hands, do not overdo it. The food processor should take less than a minute.
Why is my rasgulla chewy?
Do not boil the milk after adding lemon juice. Turn the flame off immediately. Rasgulla will turn chewy if the curdled milk is boiled.
Why is my rasgulla falling flat/apart?
This can happen for two reasons – the moisture content in chena is high or they are overprocessed. The rasgulla can turn flat if they do not get enough space to expand. They need a lot of space to expand.
How to check if rasgulla is done?
Drop a rasgulla in a cup of water. If they sink, they are done and if they float, they are not cooked completely and needs to be simmered for a few more minutes.
The rasgullas stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 days. Just heat them briefly in a microwave before serving – heating makes them softer.
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Rasgulla step-by-step recipe with photos
1. Milk curdles and whey separates
2. Process the cottage cheese/chana in food processor or mixer
3. Make small balls with chana
4. Boil them in sugar syrup
5. The rasgullas double in size once done