Roshogolla, perhaps the most sweetest thing that can ever happen to mankind.
Happiness is – “…making perfect spongy rasgulla every time.” And today I am going to divulge all the minute details and secrets of making perfect roshogolla.
As I am hard pressed for time and too tied up with many things at this moment, will keep the post to the point. Much has been written about the history and origin of rasgulla, so I am not going into that discussions at all. Sometimes such discussions brings unwanted distasteful flavour, and am sure no one will love that kind of things to be happened with rasgulla, which I guess had won many hearts through out its journey spanning centuries.
Making rasgulla is perhaps the simplest thing ever and needs no recipe. Because boiling the chenna balls into sugar syrup hardly qualifies for any “recipe”. Yet, people fails many times, including it’s inventors before one can nail down the techniques perfectly.
Yes making rasgulla at home is more about techniques, rather than any recipe.
Let’s start with zen and art of making perfect roshogolla.
What kind of rasgulla I am taking about?
The one that is super soft, juicy, spongy, melt in mouth kind and slightly chewy. Not the kind that you get in most of the sweet shops in India that taste much like cardboard.
What is rasgulla made of?
A high quality rasgulla or roshogolla is made of pure chenna (99%) only. Roshogolla does not contain any baking powder or soda to puff it up. I in fact, laughed out loud when I first read a recipe that tells you to add baking powder to rasgulla to make it puffy.
Why rasgulla puffed up in sugar syrup, is pure science and nothing else that I will discuss some other day.
Let’s begin with – finding out a perfect technique to make white spongy rasgulla by deconstructing all the elements that involves in making roshogolla.
Milk : an important element and ingredient. Most of my previous failures were due to the kind of milk I was using for long. I changed the milk and my “roshogolla making progress bar reached midway”.
Only pure cow’s milk is all you need to make rasgulla. No homogenized milk, no toned milk where fat is distributed throughout due to heat treatment and so on.
Milk fat is another important thing to consider. Too less fat and too much fat wont work for you. The milk that I use for making rasgullas contains 3-4 % fat.
How to curdle the milk : this is again an important step. Unlike paneer (how to make homemade paneer here), here you need soft cushion like chenna. Hard chenna will not yield soft rasgullas. Details are in the recipe section.
Sugar Syrup: we all know how to make a basic sugar syrup. But for rasgullas, we need to perfect the ratio of sugar and water. The type of sugar syrup we will need for rasgulla should be very light and watery kind. Anything between 1:5 to 1:7 should work for you. That means, for every cup of sugar add 5-7 cups of water. This ratio has worked out for me, you have to find yours. Because we don’t have any standardization in measures and kinds of sugar we all use.
For measure – I use an industry standard liquid measuring cup.
Type of vessel for preparing rasgullas –
Most common choice in India to prepare rasgullas are pressure cookers. I too had tried this many times but never got that satisfied results. Nowhere, my rasgullas become triple in size, yes using pressure cookers saves fuel. Moreover, I feel that rasgullas need more wide open space to move freely while cooking, and pressure cooker (at least mine) does not provide that ample space.
Space or volume of vessel you are going to use is another important factor while choosing to make roshogolla. I have switched to wide open mouthed flat kadhai and my rasgullas puffed up beautifully, may not be thrice in size, but definitely more than the double.
Troubleshooting the roshogollas:
1) Roshogollas disintegrates in sugar syrup – this happens if your curdled chenna has more moisture content in it. Moisture content is another important factor that you have to take care of. You will be able to judge the required moisture content slowly and with practice.
Many people of the opinion that rasgullas disintegrates in sugar syrup becasue of no binding agent. Believe me binding agent does not help here. I have made rasgulllas several time without using any binding agent and my rasgullas never disintegrates in syrup.
2) Rasgullas breaks into two ( like two -three pieces ) after boiling in sugar syrup – this happens when rasgullas balls are two oily and less moisture content. While making the balls out of the kneaded chenna dough, you have to make sure that there should not be any visible wide cracks (very fine cracks will be there) in the balls.
3) Flat Rasgullas – this one was the most irritating thing I was stuck with long. I had applied all the tricks and followed all the instructions verbatim, whatever had been written by the experts on “how to address this issue of flat rasgullas”. But nothing works out for me.
At one time, I had given up making rasgullas, instead concentrate my efforts on perfecting rasmalai.
Then, one day I found my eureka moment. I changed the type of vessel I was using for so long to make the rasgullas. Moreover, I discovered that the kind of chhenna I was getting from the milk I was using is too soft and fat content is slightly higher than required, and as a result rasgullas were not able to hold on to their round shapes. Once puffed up beautifully, they slowly become flat (much like peda shapes) .
So, I have started using barely a teaspoon of cornflour into the chenna dough and that solves my problem. Because I can not procure any other kind of milk. I have to use that particular milk only because I have no other options.
Again, I am stating here, you really do not need any binding agent. First try making the rasgullas without any binding agent, if it works out, fine. Else, try adding the binding agents and see the differences.
A pictorial representation of making spongy rasgullas.
- 2 litre Pure cow's Milk, with fat content 3-4 %, no toned and homogenized ones
- 3 tbsp Vinegar white, diluted in one cup of water
- 1 cup Sugar , industry standard measuring cups, do not use your tea cups
- 7 cups Water , using the same measuring cup
- Rose essence : few drops
- 1 tsp Cornflour, leveled up
- Nakul dana / ram dana : few (optional)
Boil the milk . Switch off the heat. Curdle the milk by slowly adding the souring agent.
Stir properly after adding the souring agent. Go slowly and if it didnt curdle well, add little more.
The chhenna curds will coagulate and separate from the greenish whey.
Strain the chenna in a soft cotton cloth. Wash the warm chenna under running cold tap water.
It will keep the chenna remain soft.
Tied it nicely and hang the chenna for 3-4 hours or more.
I usually prepare the chenna at night and hang it overnight. Next day morning I prepare the rasgullas.
In a wide open mouthed vessel, (I use a flat bottom kadhai) dissolve the sugar in water.
Bring it to the boil.
I use one cup sugar and seven cup water ratio.
This will take some time, so meanwhile knead the chenna with the help of your hand's knuckle and heels of your palms.
Chenna will slowly change its texture from soft granular curds to fine textures.
Sprinkle cornflour , if using and knead it gently.
Stop kneading the chenna when your hands are greasy enough.
Make small balls out of it and stuff each balls with a piece of nakul dana in the center.
This is to get that hollow texture in the middle, like sweet shops. You can totally skip this part also.
Make sure that the balls do not have any visible cracks. Fine cracks are good.
Drop a ball in the hot rapidly boiling sugar syrup.
After ten seconds, drop another one and continue with the process.
I make 16 rasgullas out of my 2 l milk chenna.
And my vessel can hold comfortable 9 rasgullas at one go.
You should not overcrowd the space in your vessel.
After adding the balls in sugar syrup, there should be at least 3/4th space left for the rashgullas to move freely.
Cover the vessel with a lid and let it cook on high flame for 4-5 minutes.
After that remove the lid and sprinkle or add half cup cold water.
Cover the vessel again and let it cook for another 5-6 minute.
Remove the lid and add the cold water in similar fashion.
Last five minute I cook the rasgulla without any cover.
It takes total 15 minute to get the rasgulla cooked through.
Every gas, every vessels are different. So you have to figure it out for yourselves, how much time it will take.
Note - how to check that the rasgullas are cooked properly. For that take a glass of water and drop a rasgulla in it. if it floats on water, you need to cook it for few more minutes. If it sink to the bottom of the glass, it is done.
Leave the rasgullas in syrup for 6 hours or more, before refrigerating it.
If you want to increase the sweetness of the rasgulla , then prepare a thick syrup of more sugar content. Keep that syrup warm and drop the freshly cooked rasgullas in it.
If you are a fan of Bengali sweets, do try our Mango Sandesh.