When it comes to Bangladeshi sweets made of chhana(except for pranhara, or sandesh) such as the famous Bengali rasgolla, pantua, kalojam, I was a total failure for the longest time. When I say the longest time, I mean for really a long time. The failed experiment started during my college days after I came to the U.S. and continued well into my married life. Instead of the soft, spongy texture you would expect for a Roshogolla (rasgulla), mine were either chewy and rubbery or hard like a golf ball.
As determined as I am, I would forget the past disappointments and start another experiment in every 6-8 months. My philosophy was, if every other Bangladeshi I know outside of Bangladesh (the store bought rasgulla, kalojam, etc. are too good for anyone to try making traditional sweets at home in Bangladesh.) can tame it, why can’t I? Arrogance…I know.
After numerous gallons of wasted milk over the years, I had, finally, requested Ali that the next time I go to the kitchen lab to experiment with another gallon of milk, he should steer me out of the roshogolla experiment and politely remind me of the last tryout experience, and he did. However, despite his gentle reminder and convincing, I would sneak in to the kitchen… and the story started all over again.
While I continued to fail in the kitchen in this area, I continued to gather data points from successful roshogolla makers. Making rasgulla is tricky, but you are sure to succeed in making fabulous Roshogolla, if you diligently follow the Tips and Tricks I outlined before. Soft, smooth, melt in the mouth just the way it should be.
So, when are you trying to make some delicious Roshogolla?
- 2 cup chhana
- 2 teaspoon semolina
- 2 cup sugar
- 6 cup water
- Steps to make the balls:
- Knead chhana(fresh ricotta) and semolina until smooth and forms a soft dough.
- Divide chhana dough into marble size portions. The sizes will double, so make accordingly.
- Roll each portion into smooth balls. Be careful that there is no cracks.
- Steps to make Syrup:
- In a heavy bottomed pan, boil water and sugar in medium heat.
- Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves and bubble just starts to form.
- Steps to cook roshgolla:
- Add the cheese balls to the syrup and immediately cover with a tightly snuggled lid.
- Cook for 35 minutes in medium heat. Do not open the cover. Again, do not open the lid.
- Remove from heat keeping the lid on. Let cool for about 20-25 minutes.
- Open the lid and pour the sweets in a large bowl. Let the rasgullas soak in syrup and completely cool before serving.
Follow all the Tips and Tricks for every step and fabulous Roshogolla/Rasgulla should happen.
You may apply some ghee/butter on your palm when making the cheese balls. I usually don’t.
The syrup temperature should be warm to medium hot, not boiling when submerging the cheese balls.
You may use a food processor to make the chhana smooth instead of kneading by hand.
You may add cardamom or rose water in the syrup for some variation in flavors.