Rasgullas are a very popular cheese based sweet dish which originated from the Indian state of Orissa…now how many of us really knew that??? It has been a traditional Oriya dish for centuries.People throughout the state consider the rasgullas prepared by the Kar brothers, the descendants of a local confectioner, Bikalananda Kar, in the town of Salepur near Cuttack to be the best. Today this rasgulla famously named Bikali Kar Rasgulla is sold all over Orissa .
Rasgullas are usually served at room temperature or colder. Modern Indian households also tend to serve them chilled. A popular variant in Orissa and Bengal is freshly prepared hot rasgullas. In Orissa, it is not uncommon to embed a single raisin or cashew inside each rasgulla. Cardamom seeds may also be embedded to create a fragrant version. In northern India, the dish comes flavored in saffron, rosewater, and sometimes garnished with chopped pistachios.
I love recreating this dish as contrary to popular belief, its very easy to make and extremely welcome as a dessert in every Indian household. Many times, we would wait for milk to curdle, so we could get round to making this dish without any guilt! Since the base for rasgullas is curdled milk this is an ingredient that is available at any time we want it ! All one has to do it empty a couple tablespoons of lemon juice in to a vessel containing boiling milk …and the deed is done. I have tried many versions of rasgullas but I oved this one taught to me by my close friend.
4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tbsp water
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
- Boil milk in medium high for some time stirring occasionally.
- When it comes to boil add lemon juice and continue stirring.
- It will curdle slowly separating the whey water from the curdled solids.
- Sift in to a muslin cloth catching all the whey water in a container below and wash the curdled solids under cold water. This will remove a the traces of lemon from the curdled solids.
- Squeeze out all the water from the muslin cloth and let it hang to dry for a couple minutes.
- Place a heavy object like a pressure cooker on the paneer so that it makes it extra dry and without the water but with the moisture.
- When all water has drained, knead the panner on the counter top very nicely until its soft, rubbery and flexible. This should take a couple of minutes. The inherent oil and moisture comes out and combined with the heat in your hands, makes the panner soft and pliable.
- Make little balls with a little rock candy (kalkandu) in the midddle of each rasgulla. This helps the even spreading of sugar into the panner balls.
- Combine 4 1/2 cps of water with 1 1/2 cups of sugar and wait until it comes to a boil.
- Drop the prepared balls in the pressure cooker directly and close the cooker.
- Now after the steam starts coming lower the flame to medium and cook for 7 minutes.
- Switch off after that and remove juicy rasgullas and enjoy them cold!
- The rasgullas would have amost doubled in size and would be soft, spongy and extremely sweet!
4 1/2 cups of water.
1 1/2 cups of sugar.
Add the sugar and water to the pressure cooker directly and wait till it comes to a boil.
- Add a drop of rosewater to the simple syrup for a little more flavour.
- Optionally serve with little syrup, but garnished with saffron strands, powdered pistachios etc.
- I sometimes add the kesar essence to my panner balls when I am kneading them to get lovely yellow hued rasgolas.