Rosogolla/ Bengali Special/ Rasgulla

All things eventually end but signing off on a sweet note is in our hands. I made this...and think it is perfect way to describe the state of my mind. A month long marathon on recipes from around the different states of India and in tow 25 mad foodies from across the world comes to an end. During this journey which actually began  months ago when this event was planned,  we spoke non stop on facebook, gmail and whatsapp. 
We held each other , guided others and most importantly sought inputs to ensure that there are no breaks in the journey.

If I am given an option to physically travel across the country in 30 days, I would love to go along with this gang of girls exploring the food, culture and along the way bring back treasure of information, nuances, and history.
I was sure about trying a sweet recipe for west bengal state (which is post independence called as the west bengal as the east half got converted to a neighbouring country called Bangladesh) from the time I began planning for the recipes. 

Bengalis that I have known are extremely talented, intelligent and culturally rooted.  They love their food as much as they dislike other forms of preparations (most of the folks I know). While I would push other folks to try and be experimental, with a bengali, I never take the chance. They love their food immensely , try mentioning sea food to them and they will immediately snap back saying river fish Hilsa is the king of all fishes and that they would never want to try it being cooked in any other cuisine. 
The 9 day festival during the navratri, where most communities celebrate fasting and praying the various forms and avatars of Goddess Durga/ Amba or Bhavani, the bengalis celebrate by eating. Large pandals and the puja rituals are culminated with abundant food. The presence of non vegetarian food at the pandals is not to suggest any mis doings but the fact that they love their fish and meat and express it unabashedly to their favorite deity. You wont find it inappropriate if you happen to be there as you surrender to the environment which is so festive and uproarious that you want to sway along and be as happy as they are.
Having said this, the vegetarian food is equally popular among the bengalis. They would rather prefer eating a non vegetarian dish outside than appreciating a vegetarian dish. Because they love to eat the way they prepare. The poppy seeds, the panch phoran and shukto would easily drench a native's mouth on its mere mention.
Though for the world outside it is the sweets , the bengali sweets that have become the major identity of the food's cuisine. The funny part is that the rosogolla which is the face of this sweet bengal, was never part of its traditional cuisine. It was adapted from the versions of sweets made in Orissa using the chenna. They did an extremely good job out of it making it durable and most sought after sweet world wide. The more authentic recipes for sweet include the mishti doi (fermented sweet curd), nolen gurer (palm jaggery) based milk sweets like sandesh etc

I am happy to share one such recipe with you today....







Ingredients
1 ltr Milk ( I used buffalo milk, strained the cream from the top)
1 tspn vinegar
2 tspn corn flour
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 tspn cardamom powder
1 tbsp chopped nuts for garnishing
Method
1) Boil the milk and skim through any fat or cream later that floats on the top
2) Reduce the flame and add the vinegar. When the milk starts curdling, remove from the stove and strain it using a muslin cloth.
3) Quickly place this cloth in cold bath to stop its cooking.
4) Squeeze out the excess water and gently start kneading the "chenna". 
5) At this stage, you can put it in a food processor or use the base of your palm to knead a smooth dough.
6) Once the chenna is smooth and pliable, start making small balls out of it. Try to give a smooth outer layer but do not fret much about a crack or a line
7) Mix the water and sugar and let it cook on high flame until it is completely dissolved. Let it simmer for few minutes. Add the cardamom powder at this stage
8) Reduce the flame . Start dropping the rasgullas in it one at a time carefully. Use a large pot to give space to the rosgollas.
9) Cover the vessel with a lid, slightly left open at one end to avoid overboiling.
10) Cook for 20 min exactly on low flame.
11) Uncover the lid and check whether the rosgollas are done, they will be floating at the top and also doubled up in volume almost

Serve when they are cooled down with some syrup and garnish

Tips:
1) When you make the paneer / chenna, quickly move the curdled strained mixture in cold bath to avoid it from getting overcooked.
2) Try not to squeeze out the liquid very rigorously this will end up making the mixture very dry. Gently let it drain. Also do not put any weight on the strainer as you need to only remove the excess liquid
3) You may use buffalo milk, but avoid any floating cream to be mixed in the paneer/ chenna. Cow's milk gives better sponginess
4) Adding corn flour is optional and hence should be used sparingly else it makes the paneer less spongier
5) Do not overboil or overcook the chenna balls
6) At every stage of this recipe, there is another bengali sweet hidden, so if anything goes wrong, do not discard the ingredients, just make a sondesh, ras malai, chenna payesh, chenna podi of it.

18 comments:

Varadas Kitchen said...

Those are perfectly made Rosagulla. I have enjoyed all your recipes from the different states for the last one month.

Nivedhanams Sowmya said...

30 days of physical travel across the country - nice idea!!! but the travel virtually was great and fun!! rosogulla looks awesome..

Mythreyi said...

OMG, This Rasgulla Sounds Super Soft and Delicious, I want some!



-Mythreyi
Yum! Yum! Yum! - Coffee Grinder GiveAway

Ms.Chitchat said...

Spongy tasty rasagollas.

Priya Suresh said...

Wat a super softy rosogullas, i can swallow some anytime, you have nailed them prefectly Pradnya, gal its really wonderful to run this long marathon with u.

Nisha Sundar said...

These are perfect Pradnya. I was expecting many to post this and my most fav sweet. :) :) Love them anytime.

Harini-Jaya R said...

A beautiful wrap up(write up) of the mega marathon with a perfect bengali sweet. It was a great journey along with you, Pradnya.

vaishali sabnani said...

its been a great marathon Pradnya and what a perfect way to end it..lovely rasgullas.

Srivalli said...

Pradnya, you wrote it so right!..If I ever had to travel, I would surely prefer you guys..:)..it's been such a fantastic journey and I enjoyed each day so much..this is a great way to end the series..personally I don't prefer this sweet and have not even tasted it..:)...but your pristine white rosogullas are looking cute sinful!

Pavani N said...

Sweet & Perfect way to end the series Pradnya. Loved joining you ib this journey through the Indian states.

Jayanthi Padmanabhan said...

superb tip pradnya.. bengali sweet at every step :) perfectly put. rasgulla looks lovely

Sapana Behl said...

Very delicious rsogullas !! Love to finish whole bowl....

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Loved those cute balls,perfectly made rasagullas..

Padmajha PJ said...

That's a lovely thought- travelling across the country!!And as you said, this has become a sort of identity of Indian sweets!
A nice way to finish this marathon,Pradnya.I enjoyed doing this marathon with you :)

Usha said...

Rasgulla is a nice way to end this month long marathon. Enjoyed reading and drooling our your recipes.

Archana Potdar said...

Pradnya lets plan a trip! A real one not a virtual one. And the rasgullas look so very delicious and awesome.It was great running this marathon alongside you.

neha said...

Made rasgullas using your recipe...they turned out perfect..thank you!!

Suma Gandlur said...

What a perfect way to end this exciting journey! The rosogollas look super cute and yummy.
It was a pleasure running the marathon with you. Enjoyed all your posts.

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