|Rasgulla was created in Puri, a temple town in Orissa. The dish was later introduced in Calcutta. Most of us mistakenly believe it to be native dish of West Bengal. Rasgulla is national sweet of India. This is a native dish of Bengal. Before I get into a recipe, I like to do review making Rasgulla in the form of question and answers.
I don't have baking powder, can I just add baking soda?
If you don't have baking powder, don't add any leavening agent at all. Baking soda alone will only spoil the taste and do nothing to make Rasgulla spongy. The baking powder is a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda, that releases gas at high temperature when cooking Rasgulla to make them spongy.
If you do not have baking powder, just add Maida or Sooji as a binder and cook Rasgulla in plain water in a pressure cooker.
I have heard that Rasgulla should not be cooked in syrup, is that right?
Professionals will cook Rasgulla in water with a very little amount of sugar in it. This makes it easier for the Rasgulla to absorb water and cook thoroughly. I call this a two step method as described here.
My Rasgulla puff up and then they collapse in a few minutes, what's wrong?
You have added too much of baking powder.
My Rasgulla turn out hard, what's wrong?
There are four possibilities
1. You did not knead Chenna fine enough
2. You added too much Maida
3. You did not add enough baking powder
4. You waited too long to cook the Rasgulla after the balls were made.
1. Regular Milk: 4 Cups
2. Distilled White Vinegar: 1½ Tablespoon
1. Sugar: 1 Cup
2. Sugar: 1 Cup
This is not a mistake. I add sugar in two stages. This allows the Rasgulla to remain soft and puff easier
3. Water: 3 Cups
4. Water: 1 Cup
This will be used to shock the syrup
5. Lime juice: ¼ teaspoon. This is used to complete the syrup
1. Binder/Puff Mix : 2 Tablespoons
Substitute: 2 Tablespoons of All purpose flour (Maida) and a pinch of baking soda (Double acting).
2. Pistachio Nuts Shaved: ¼ Cup
3. Rose water: ½ Tablespoon
Substitute: Vanilla extract
1. Make Chenna
2. Mix "Binding/Puff Mix". Work Binder into Chenna with the heel of your hand to make it dough like consistency. Gather it like dough and cover it with damp kitchen towel or plastic film wrap. Let it rest 15 to 20 minutes for binding to work.
3. Add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. Heat till sugar is absorbed. Bring it to a boil.
4. Pinch Cheese ball and make it into ½ to ¾" diameter balls. Put these balls in boiling syrup. The balls will puff up in about 5 to 10 minutes. The cooking time depends on the size of the ball, amount and age of the binding mix. Remove the Cheese balls. Remove the cheese balls as soon as they puff up.
5. Add the remaining one cup of sugar. Heat till all the sugar is absorbed. Do NOT stir. Turn off heat.
6. Add one cup of cold water to shock the syrup. Add lemon Juice. Stir.
7. Add Rose water. Let it cool to at least warm and THEN, re-introduce Cheese balls.
8. Garnish with shaved Pistachio nuts. Put in refrigerator. Serve cold.
Making Festive "Colored" Rasgulla
To make colored Rasgulla, do NOT add food color to the milk. Add desired food color in Step 2 while whipping cheese. When you work Maida in, the color will automatically bleed in to Maida. Normal colors of choice are yellow and pink.
The most common stuffing is "Batasha". Batasha is nothing but semi-spherical hollow sugar candy. In Step 4, flatten the cheese ball in your hand, place the Batasha and re-roll it in to a ball.