Yes, I made Rasgullas… much against my long held belief that Rasgullas were extremely difficult and best left to be made by the sweet-makers at K.C. Das. Last Friday was Varamahalakshmi festival and holds quite a prominent place in many tam households, and rightfully calls for the preparation of some sweets. Sadly both the H and I aren’t big fans of payasam, except pal-payasam. But what we both are, is big fans of bengali sweets (Who isn’t, right? :)) Anyway, this was the perfect opportunity for me to make Rasgullas. Well, I must thank Swarna for finding this super easy recipe for rasmalai at superveggiedelight. Once we found this, I knew I had to share this secret with all of you. This was the second time I was making the rasgullas and I have tuned it down to suit my tastes, especially by reducing the sugar. The good thing about rasgullas is that it is not extremely unhealthy. It is made mainly from milk solids and not much else, so its like eating a lot of paneer. Plus this doesn’t take too long to make. So go ahead and make some mouth watering rasgullas in your very own kitchen and break the myth that rasgullas can’t be made at home. 🙂
Source- Bhavna Patel
Preparation time – 30 minutes
Cooking time – 15 minutes
Makes – 20 -25 rasgullas
What you’ll need:
- 0.5 – 0.75 litres fresh milk
- 1 medium sized lemon
- 4-5 tbsp sugar (you may need more if you like things very sweet)
- Cheese cloth or a muslin cloth
- 1/2 tsp chapathi flour/all purpose flour
For garnishing and flavor (optional)
- a few strands of saffron
- a pod of cardamom crushed
How to make it:
Making the Paneer –
- The first part of making rasgullas is making paneer. If you’re already used to making paneer at home then you’ll be familiar with this step. So start by heating the milk in a heavy bottomed pan at medium heat to avoid charring it at the base. While it heats up, squeeze the lemon juice into a cup and dilute with water. Once the milk begins to rise up or boil, add the lemon juice little by little, stirring it all along. Stop adding the lemon juice when the milk begins to curdle and the fat (white particles) separate from the water.
- Once the milk has completely curdled, layer a strainer with the muslin cloth and pour the curdled milk into it and separate the water. Then bunch up the muslin cloth and tie it up letting the milk solids sit in a small pouch below. In order to strain the remaining water from it, place the cloth pouch you just made on a pan turned upside down. Take a heavy bottomed pan (probably the one you just used to heat the milk) and place it on the pouch. The idea is it to create some weight on top of the cloth to squeeze out the water quickly. So try your own contraption.
Making the Rasgullas –
- After 15-20 minutes the water should have sufficiently drained out. Make sure that the water has drained out and bring the milk solids onto a plate or a board. Sprinkle very little flour on it and knead the mixture with your hand until it becomes a smooth dough (like chapathi dough). You’ll probably need to knead it for a couple of minutes.
- The next steps are the make the ‘gullas’ or the balls and the ‘ras’ which is the sweet syrup. Take a medium sized pressure cooker and add 3 cups of water. Add sugar to it and heat it on medium flame. While this is heating, work quickly and start rolling the balls. The balls need to be tiny, around the size of kabuli channa or slightly larger. Don’t worry, they will swell once they boil in the water.
- Stir the syrup occasionally. Once you have the balls ready, add them carefully to the boiling syrup. Make sure that the syrup is sufficiently watery. Cover the lid, add the weight and continue heating in medium-high flame. Let the cooker whistle 3-4 times and then turn off the stove. Let it cool and then open it. You will see that the rasgullas have grown in size. You are almost done! 🙂 Taste the gulla and the sugar syrup. If it is not sweet enough, then remove the rasgullas alone carefully into a bowl leaving behind most of the liquid in the cooker. Add a couple of more spoons of sugar, based on your taste and heat once more. Add in the saffron and cardamom and bring to a boil. Turn off the flame and pour the liquid into the bowl waiting with the rasgullas and you’re done!
- Serve hot or refrigerate. It tastes great eitherways. 🙂
- It is suggested to dilute the lemon before mixing into the milk so that it mixes evenly in the milk. Also add the juice little by little and stir as you do so because the lesser juice you add the lesser lemon flavor you introduce into your final cheese.
- Try rolling out the rasgullas as quickly and smoothly as possible, to avoid drying and cracks from developing on the surface. Smoothen out any cracks that may form to prevent rasgullas from breaking while cooking.
- Very little flour is added to help bind the rasgullas. Don’t overdo it though, since the paneer already binds very well.
- I tried to use as little sugar as possible. But considering that any amount of refined sugar is still dead calories providing no other nutrients, I am considering using honey, jaggery or palm sugar next time. Have you tried any desserts with alternative healthy sweeteners?