The sweet scent in the air, that joyful feeling, happier faces and lots of deliciousness to indulge on! You know festive season is here. And as a Bengali, my taste buds starts craving for sweets and more sweets. It’s funny how as a kid I was never a fan of rasgulla and now I make them at home.
Rasgullas are fresh soft cheese balls that are cooked in sugar syrup until they grow in size and turn spongy. Although it’s a very simple treat, it requires some practice for learning all the tricks and once you nail that, making rasgulla at home will no longer intimidate you.
These rasgullas are elevated with the rich aroma of jaggery. Date palm jaggery is a specialty in Bengali desserts and my absolute favorite kind of jaggery too. Beside the perfumy flavor, I just adore the gorgeous earthy shade it brings to any treat.
Time: 1 hour + 20 minutes Serves: 4 – 6 people
– Whole milk: 1½ liter
– Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
– Water: 3 cups
– Grated jaggery: 3 cups
– Layer muslin/cheesecloth in a colander and keep it aside to be used later.
– In a deep saucepan, something like Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 2.8 L Saucepan with Lid, pour the whole milk and bring it to a boil. Once done, switch off the heat and pour 1 cup water into the pan. It will cool down the milk to some extent. It’s important to cool down the milk a little bit before pouring lemon juice or else, the cheese will not turn soft. Pour the lemon juice into the milk and stir. The will cause the milk to curdle.
– Allow the milk to cool for a couple of minutes and then, strain the milk through the cheesecloth.
– Rinse the cheese under running water, as the sour taste needs to go away. This also ensures that the rasgulla turns out soft.
– Tie the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze off all the excess water. Hang it for about an hour so that it drains out all the water.
– After an hour, take the cheese out of the cloth on a clean plate and start kneading. It would take about 10 minutes of kneading to turn it into soft cheese dough. You will realize that your hand also feels oily, which is a good sign.
– Once the dough is ready, make tiny dumplings from the dough. As you roll the dumplings to a perfect circular shape, try to avoid cracks in the dumpling. Keep in mind that these balls do grow in size as they cook in the syrup.
– Next, make the jaggery syrup by mixing water with jaggery and bring it to a boil. The syrup should be runny.
Once the syrup is ready, drop the cheese balls into it and do not over the crowd as the cheese balls need space to grow in size.
– Cover the pan with a tight lid and let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes at medium heat. In the mean time, keep checking the consistency of the syrup. If it gets too thick, add some water and continue cooking the rasgullas. Once they are almost double in size, they’re ready.