This year Diwali starts the string of festivals for us. Diwali, Halloween, follwed by Tiny M's birthday, three in one week. To contribute to the sugar high (after all it happens once a year) I decided to to make some rasgullas. It has been a favorite for years and now it's time to make it at home.
Truth be told, I have gone through several rounds of rasgulla making and testing before the recipe was ready to be posted on the blog. So the pictures are all a mix from those several rounds.
In paper, the recipe looks rather simple -- make chana (paneer/indian cheese), make it into round balls and then soak it in sugar syrup and cook till it is ready. But it's easier said than done. The first couple of times it crumbled, the ones in brown sugar were brown and were swiftly made into rasmalai. But this one were soft and spongy. In fact, Tiny M was so excited, he stood up (not sit) on the chair and tasted them.
So this Diwali, it's back to the basics with homemade rasgullas. I hope you have a joyful festive season too.
(makes about 10-12 medium rasgullas)
5 cups whole milk
juice of 1 lemon
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
Boil milk and when it starts to boil, add the lemon juice till all the milk curdles. Wash it under water, tie it in a cheese cloth and let the extra whey drip.
Making rasgulla balls:
This is the fun part or the hard part. Many times recipe calls for adding a tspoon of suji (semolina) to add more firmness, but not mine.
I prefer to do it with plain chana. Now get ready for some hand exercise. Start kneading the chana with your hands till it becomes soft with a dough texture.
Then take a little in your palm and roll it with both hands without causing a break in it. If there are small ones, don't worry, but bigger ones can make it fall apart during steaming.
The kids also joined in the fun of making the cheese balls. The little balls you see were kids handiwork and the big ones are mine.
Making sugar syrup
Boil the sugar with the water and cardamom in a pressure cooker till it disappears and thickens, about 6-8 minutes.
Once the syrups is ready, add the chana balls in the pressure cooker gently, taking care that it doesn't disintegrate. Now steam the rasgulla balls in the sugar syrup without the whistle for 6-8 minutes. The rasgullas are ready. Feel it with your fingers, it should be spongy.