January 8th, 2016
The sweet contentment I derive after savouring rasgullas, which are soft cheese balls dunked in a light sugar syrup, if you are unfamiliar with this Bengali sweet meat, is unparalleled and cannot be replicated by any other food for me. Without a doubt rasgullas happen to be one of my top favourite sweets and if anyone were to make me happy this would be it!
My tryst with Rasgullas began by eating these succulent sweets sold in mud pots in K.C Das, Bangalore. Originating in Bengal, these sweetmeats are now sold all over the country. The finest rasgullas I have eaten are from the temples in Vrindavan. There are a few shops selling good rasgullas where I live, but the best rasgullas in Mumbai are the ones that are offered to the deities in the Radha Rasbihari temple in Juhu, Mumbai. These are not for sale and if you are fortunate enough to taste them, then you would know what I’m talking about.
Making rasgullas at home was never on my bucket list! I never imagined that making soft, spongy, juicy rasgullas was an easy peasy affair. My romance with rasgullas took a passionate turn when I happened to make them with stunning results.
And this event coincided with ASUS sending me their newly launched ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL. This tablet delivers high end value across many platforms, photography, social network usage, apps, games and browsing the net.
What is of particular interest to me is ofcourse the camera. The high definition display panel with the anti-fingerprint coating makes sure that the screen is clean and the vision of the subject is crisp. The zero shutter lag helps to capture moving images and the camera fares well in low light situations as well. The colour and contrast of the pictures taken from this camera are quite great too. The camera is simple to use and comes with in-built features that will help you decide to take pictures from Auto, HDR, Low Light, Selfie, Panorama, etc. The time rewind feature that helps to capture burst shots is something that I’m waiting to explore.
The camera also offers features to improve the picture quality like adjusting the White balance, ISO, exposure etc for the advanced user. The pad also has editing features and filters that will help to improve the picture quality. I have also been quite impressed with its battery that claims to have a 10 hour battery life. To know more about ASUS Zenpad 8.0, click here. Thank you ASUS, for giving a hardcore apple user like myself the android experience.
The step by step pictures for making rasgullas given below are taken with the Zenpad 8.
My recipe does not involve any binding agent and makes use of few ingredients, infact just three ingredients- milk, lime and sugar. The result is fresh and luscious rasgulla with a natural taste. Using great quality milk is key to getting top quality rasgulla. And all you need is a pressure cooker and other simple kitchen utensils.
Ever since I posted a picture of these rasgullas on twitter, instagram and divinetaste facebook page, there were several requests for the recipe. So, here I am sharing my secret and penning down my rasgulla recipe for you. Making, sharing and eating these rasgullas is a joyous experience for me. I hope you will share the joy too.
2 Litres (8 cups) full fat milk (preferably raw cow milk)
3 tbsp lime juice + 3 tbsp water
330 to 440 gm (1 ½ to 2 cups) sugar (use more sugar if you prefer sweeter rasgullas)
1 liter (4 cups) water
In a heavy bottomed pan, pour the milk and bring it to a rolling boil. Keep stirring in between to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan and getting burnt.
After the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Mix the lime juice and the water together and pour it into the hot milk. Within seconds, the milk solids will start separating from the whey.
Pour the coagulated milk into a strainer lined with cheesecloth with a bowl underneath to collect the whey. You can use the whey to make Indian breads or in soups and stews as it is very nutritious.
Pour water over the paneer (known as chena) to remove the acidity of the lime. Once the chena is washed, gather the corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze well to remove excess whey.
Once the whey is drained, transfer the contents of the cheesecloth onto a flat surface and knead into a smooth dough. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.
After the dough is smooth and fine, and without any grains, it is time to make little balls from the dough.
Take a small portion of the dough and roll into a smooth ball, using your palms. Make sure there are no cracks on the surface of the ball.
After you are done rolling the balls, put in the sugar and water in a pressure cooker, stir until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar syrup starts to boil, put in the prepared balls made from the chena and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
After the first whistle, turn down the heat and cook for exactly 8 minutes. After eight minutes, turn off the heat and transfer the pressure cooker onto the kitchen platform. After about 3 to 4 minutes, place the pressure cooker under a tap and allow all the steam to escape.
Slowly take off the lid and transfer the rasgullas into a bowl and pour the syrup over them. You can serve them warm or chilled in the refrigerator.
Makes 20-22 rasgullas
My Top Tips For Making Rasgullas
Use the best quality full cream milk. (unprocessed is best!)
Make sure you wash the coagulated milk solids (chena) well to remove the acidity from the chena.
All the excess whey/water needs to be squeezed out from the cheesecloth.
The dough balls need to be smooth and fine. If there are cracks, then the rasgullas will break while being cooked.
Cook the rasgullas in the pressure cooker for exactly 8 minutes. Time is crucial, so use a timer.