Rasgulla (cottage cheese dumpling in sugar syrup) step-by-step recipe.
About this recipe
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 was 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 learned 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 a 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 the texture. Do try my authentic Bengali rasgulla recipe to make the perfect spongy rasgulla at home.
Milk: I use full-fat milk to make this dish.
Sugar: I use sugar to sweeten them; however, jaggery can also be used to sweeten them which gives you brown rasgulla.
Lemon juice: Lemon juice is used to curdle the milk and separate the whey.
Flour: Here is my secret ingredient. I add 1 teaspoon plain flour per liter of milk to give the perfect texture.
Tips for making perfect rasgulla
Use full-fat milk, and where possible, use unhomogenised milk.
Use the right-sized pan for boiling. They swell up and become almost double in size. Do not overcrowd them in the pan. If needed, make them in batches.
The 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, they 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 your 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 their taste.
FAQs and Troubleshooting
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.
Do not boil the milk after adding lemon juice. Turn the flame off immediately. Rasgulla will turn chewy if the curdled milk is boiled.
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.
Drop a rasgulla in a cup of water. If they sink, they are done and if they float, they are not cooked completely and need 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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Step by step instructions
1. Milk curdles and whey separates
2. Process the cottage cheese/chana in a food processor or mixer
3. Make small balls with chana
4. Boil them in sugar syrup
5. The rasgullas double in size once done
- 1 litre milk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp plain flour
- Place the milk in a thick bottom pan and bring to boil
- Pour in the lemon juice stirring continuously and turn off the heat. Let it sit for a minute. At this stage, the milk will curdle and whey separates from it
- Take a muslin cloth or cheesecloth into a colander and pour the curdled milk into it
- Squeeze out excess water and let the cottage cheese/chana cool completely. At this stage, the cottage cheese will be very crumbly
- Put the cottage cheese into a food processor or mixie along with 1 tsp plain flour. Process until it comes together and is soft, about a minute (the flour is just to bind the cottage cheese together. Don’t add more than mentioned flour else the rasgullas will lose it’s taste)
- Make small balls with this chana
- In a thick bottom pan, add water and sugar together and bring to boil. Let the sugar dissolve completely
- Add the cottage cheese balls into the syrup and cover the pan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rasgullas are cooked and almost double in size
- Serve while it’s still warm
- Make sure you add just 1 tsp flour per liter of milk. Else, the rasgullas will lose its taste
- 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
- Do not overdo the cottage cheese in the food processor. Else, it will turn too soft and difficult to handle. Process it for just about a minute
- 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
Click here to watch rasgulla web story.