Rasgulla Delight

My Experiment with Rasgullas .

I love to learn..be it something from a good book, my travels..the world around in general or something from my friends..
But I was thrilled at what I learned today...and emulated successfully!!
Another first in the world of Mithai...taking baby steps one at a time, I present to u my first ever Rasgullas..!!
Hoppity poppitty happy right now!Rasgullas.. the mithai thats an ultimate fave with most Indians...be it kids, youngsters or elderly folk, everyone loves their rasgullas.. 
These lil cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup are soft, sweet and spongy.. they are easy to make and a dream to eat.. 

Needless to say, I have the queen of Rasgullas, the lady who s as sweet at the Mithai itself, Our beloved G, Garima Sarolia Narera to thank this for!! 
PS: pls follow her recipe to the t... it's simply mind blowing and as good as u get in sweet shops..as proclaimed proudly by my "He"!!

You can find the recipe as posted here or go to her blog here http://cafegarima.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/rasgulla/ 

For the Rasgullas you need
1 Litre cow milk, cream removed (I buy the milk an evening prior, boil,cool and refrigerate. Next morning, remove the cream and proceed to make chenna/paneer)
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
To Make Chenna
(Here is a step wise guide to making paneer/chhena at home)
 Bring the milk to boil, add 1-2 tbsp lemon juice gradually so that the milk mass and whey separate completely.Add 10-15 ice cubes. Rest for a minute.
Strain in a colander lined with muslin/cheesecloth. Wash thoroughly with fresh water to remove the lemony sourness. Drain the water by squeezing. Knot the muslin cloth and hang it  to get rid for any excess whey/liquid.
After about 10-15 minutes, remove and rub the chenna with fingers and heels of the palm till the chenna gives out some fat/ ghee/chiknaayee. It takes me about 5 minutes to get there. By now the chenna is like a dough ball that comes together easily, neither too hard nor too soft.
Take pinches off the dough and make small balls, you should get about 15. Remember, they are going to double up on boiling so size them accordingly.
Watermarked rasgulla 2
For the Sugar Syrup
For the Light Sugar Syrup to boil the rasgullas
1 cup Sugar
5 cups Water
1/2 tsp fine cardamom (ilaichi) powder
For adding to the Light sugar syrup after boiling the rasgullas
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
8-10 saffron strands (optional- I haven’t used here)
While you make the paneer balls, bring to boil 5 cups of water with a cup of sugar (light sugar syrup). Add half a tsp fine cardamom powder. Just as the syrup comes to a rolling boil, add in the rasgulla balls. Boil covered for 12- 15 minutes on medium flame.
I make my rasgullas in two batches so that the rasgullas get enough space in the water to expand and also keep their round shape.
You may uncover to check every 5 min minutes. Switch off the gas. Transfer gently to a big bowl full of clean drinking water. There should be enough water for the paneer balls to float freely.
Add one fourth cup sugar and half a cup of water to the same light sugar syrup in which the rasgullas were boiled  and give it a boil so that the sugar melts. Add in the saffron strands when the syrup becomes warm, do not add while it is hot.Let the sugar syrup cool to room temperature ( takes about 30 minutes)
Remove the rasgullas from the plain water, squeeze gently and drop into the sugar syrup.
Chill for three hours. You may top with some finely slivered pistachios and almonds.

Problems and possible reasons and solutions
Tricky buggers, but delightful once tamed! And super addictive! My friend Suchitra commented yesterday on the numerous successful rasgulla attempt on CAL- my food group on FB. Sadly, some misses too :(. I know how disheartening it is to not get it right. I got into the kitchen last night and made a fresh batch
Just tried one- perfect! No lemony taste, just the right amount of sweetness, no kich kich sound when you bite in.
1. The right milk is the first step, I cannot say that enough!! Fresh cow milk from the dairy works best. I always use that, never had a failed attempt with that. In case you do not have access to that, try with a good brand of cow milk. People have tried with Amul and got good results.  A friend in the UK gets perfect results with Tesco green milk 
And try, try, try till you figure out what milk works best!
2. I remove the malai/cream and then proceed to make chhena because my trial with full cream milk gave me greasy Rasgullas. But your choice, you can go with full milk.
3. While making chhena, do not boil the milk after adding the lemon juice. That leads to chewy Rasgullas.
4. Washing the paneer THOROUGHLY is vital, else you get the lemony taste in Rasgullas. I pour 3-4 glasses of drinking water and wash all of it with my fingers- very nicely!
5. Draining the chhena right is again,very important. Too dry and the Rasgullas go dry, too moist and the Rasgullas scatter in the syrup. This comes with handling the paneer. But a couple of attempts and you get it right.
The chhena should look like this to start with
and look like this after kneading- perfectly smooth dough-like.
6. I do not add any binder- sooji,maida,cornflour or arrowroot. Nothing against binders but I wanted to do it without them for the fasting community in my family ;) Also, I got softer Rasgullas without the sooji/maida- yeah, I did try making them with both.
7. Kneading well is important! The chenna has to be crumbly to start with. Knead it till you get a smooth non-sticky dough like consistency. Knead till it leaves out some ghee/fat/chiknaayee. And stop then.
8. Make smooth, crack free chhena balls.
9. I transfer the chhena balls to water at room temperature to stop the cooking process. This also ensures I don’t get chewy Rasgullas due to over cooking in the residual heat. Keeps their shape well while I cook batch 2 of the Rasgullas in the same syrup.
10. I cook the chenna balls in light (less sweet) sugar syrup to get spongy Rasgullas. Later add more sugar and water to the SAME sugar syrup. Then cool the syrup to room temperature and add the cooked chhena balls which were put into water at room temperature
11. I always leave them in the syrup for 3-5 hours before serving so that they soak in the sweetness. Eating immediately is fine too, only they will be little less sweet.
12. The water sugar ratio of 1:5 gives medium sweet Rasgullas. If you want them sweeter, you can increase the amount of sugar
13. I make them in an open vessel. People use the pressure cooker too. I felt they get a little yellow in the cooker. Also I enjoy watching them double up, hence the open pan with a lid works beautifully! ;)
14. Sometimes Rasgullas shrink after they boil and double. Usually happens because of the wrong milk in my experience. They do shrink a wee little bit once taken of the heat, but not remarkably so.
15. If you get flat or shapeless rasgullas, it is because they aren’t getting enough room to expand. Use a deep and wide vessel. I make the rasgullas in two batches so that they have enough space and also because it gets done in less amount of sugar syrup- no wastage. If you want to make them at one go- you may double the amount of sugar syrup.
16. And pray! I always do when I make them :D

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