I am a fan of bengali mithais which dominate the indian mithai market as they are very famous all over india,especially Ras Malai which i like a lot and i had posted it earlier here. So how can i skip posting one of the most important bengali mithai rasgulla.If its possible for me,I always prefer to make sweets at home rather then getting them from store, as home made sweets are always pure as campared to store brought for eg in some sweet stores they mix in lot of flour with the rasgulla paneer to get more quantity of them which reduces its real taste and home made sweets are also more tasty as they contain lot of love too:-)These rasgullas are very easy to prepare, i have made them often and they have never turned a failure:-)...Recently i had made them for my younger cousin as he loves them a lot so i am posting them now.
- 1 litre whole milk
- 2 table spoons of lemon juice/vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 cups water
- 3-4 tea spoons maida(optional)
- 1 tea spoon cardamom powder
- 1 tea spoon rose essence
Heat milk in a heavy bottomed pan. When it starts boiling add vinegar or lemon juice. Mix with a spoon and cook for a few minutes till the milk separates.Stir slowly and gently until white curd forms on the surface and separates from whey.
On straining this , the curd that is obtained is called "chenna".Strain thw water using a muslin cloth.Wash chenna well under cold running water and twist the cloth that was used for straining to extract water.Make a bundle of chenna with the cloth and hang it for 1-2 hours so that all the extra water in it sips down. Now the paneer/chenna is ready.
Take it on a plate and knead it very well to remove any chunks for atlest 5-6 mins. This is very important to get good quality rasgullas.If if find the kneded chenna difficult to make balls add he maida in it and kned it well to form a soft and firm dough.Maida is added so that the balls bind well and do not become loose.If you want you can skip adding maida but it will be bit difficult to make firm balls.
Now take little chenna in hand and make small ball rolling it with hand.similarly repeat this with remaining chenna.Remember when they are cooked, they increase in volume i.e they almost double, so don’t make them too big. It is quite difficult to make these as they break very easily. So apply a bit of pressure to hold them together. Try to give them as smooth surface as possible.Below i have put a pic of raw rolled chenna balls before cooking them.
In a big vessel, heat sugar and water.Remember they increase in size by 2-3 times, so make sure to use big enough vessel to hold them easily.When the sugar is dissolved and syrup comes to boil, slowly add the balls.Keep the flame very high , because of this high flame the balls do not break while cooking.
Partially close the lid and cook them for 20-25 mins on high flame.After every 5 mins spinkle 1 table spoon of cold water on the cooking mixture, because of this the rasgullas puff up very well.I had got this tip from a bong itself:-). They are done when they have almost doubled in size.Take one rasgulla out and slightly apply pressure, if it comes back to original shape, it is cooked.
Add the cardamom powder and rose essence and take off the heat. Serve them after some time.
NOTE: Always try to use fresh milk for rasgullas or else the rasgullas leave lot of oily drops(as fat separates ) in the cooking sugar syrup.