Rasgulla - Traditional Bengali Sweet


soft-bengali-rasgullasSince childhood, I've had a weakness for Bengali sweets like Soft Rasgullas, Rasmalai and Sandesh, just because they have a juicy and rich texture made of ricotta cheese and khoya, and combined with "ras", made with either sugar syrup or milk, these delicious indian sweets never fail to impress! "Rasogullas", as they are called in West bengal, are favorites with not just the locals, people around the country love them. They have a fake reputation of being hard to make at home. But I'd seen my mom make these when I was young, so it gave me enough strength to try making them myself. After some hesitation, a bit of aprehension, and a mindset to not feel bad if they didn't turn out well, I was surprised to find that my rasgullas were actually pretty good!

I had a big batch of homemade paneer and as RCI-Bengal was around the corner, I decided to try a hand at my favourite indian sweet. The recipe is simple, its just the pressure-cooking part that makes you apprehensive. I have added some tips to keep your rasgullas soft, and hope they help you in your sweet venture too! Remember, its definitely worth the effort!

Ingredients
2 cups homemade paneer
2 tsp all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
6-7 strands of saffron (kesar)
2 tsp cardamom powder (optional)
3 cups water

Method
Make paneer at home following my recipe for homemade paneer. (sorry, I didn't want to type it all again!:))

Take the paneer at room temperature, add 2 tsp of flour and crumble this mixture in a food processor. Pulse coarsely for 30 to 40 seconds.

To make the sugar syrup, pour 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Add 1 cup sugar(keep the other 1 cup for later) and bring this to a boil on medium heat.

Meanwhile knead the ricotta cheese mixture again for about 1 minute using your hands. Rub it against the palms to make it smooth; remember, the more you knead the softer the rasgullas will be, and the easier it would be to shape them.

Now divide the mixture into 15 equal sized portions and roll them into balls or any other desired shapes. I have made rasmalai before, hence find it easier to shape these into flatter discs as it gets cooked faster.

When the sugar syrup comes to a boil, gently drop the rasgulla balls into the syrup. Close the cooker and pressure cook for about 7-8 mins. After one whistle, wait for 5 minutes and turn off the stove.

Do not overcook, else the rasgullas will become too hard. It's generally good to wait for one whistle to go off, then turn off heat and check if the balls are cooked. They should approximately double in size and become fluffy. If you think they are not done yet, cover the lid, without the whistle, and cook for another 5 mins or so at medium heat.

Open the cooker after 10 minutes and add the cardamom powder to the syrup and stir gently. Add another 1 cup of sugar and let it boil. Take the saffron strands and place in 2 tbsp warm water. Microwave for 1 minute, when it starts bleeding, add the saffron water to the sugar syrup to evenly flavor and color the entire sugar syrup.

Allow the rasgullas to cool before transferring them to a container and refrigerate till ready to use. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can do this is a large crockpot too. Just keep it covered to allow steam to build and cook the rasgullas.

How To Make Rasgullas Soft?
I came across this while looking for tips to make rasgullas soft. To achieve this, divide your sugar in half; add only 1 cup sugar in the syrup initially and let it boil. Put the balls in boiling syrup; as soon as they puff up in about 5 to 10 minutes, remove the cheese balls. Add the remaining one cup of sugar. Heat till all the sugar is absorbed. Do NOT stir; turn off heat when syrup gets thick. Keep these tips in mind:

1. The more you knead the cheese (chenna), the softer your rasgullas will be
2. Do not add too much flour as that will make them hard
3. Do not let the cheese balls sit long; immediately cook them in the sugar syrup to keep them soft and allow them to puff up.

When serving, layer the rasgullas, add a generous helping of the syrup and garnish with chopped pistachios or saffron strands. Serve chilled and enjoy a traditional Bengali sweet! To make Kesar Rasmalai instead, follow the exact same recipe but use milk instead of sugar syrup.

Related Recipes:
Gulkand and Khoya Burfi
Coconut Laddoos
Gajar ka Halwa

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43 comments :

Swati Raman Garg said...

rasgulla.... aah .. thanks mansi... good food makes me so happy...
love the way u explain...

Happy cook said...

Wow u made this at home.
I always thought they are so difficult to make.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

These look so pretty! I've never seen a dessert with saffron in it before. Really fascinating. Your dishes always surprise me.

anjali said...

we just love rasgullas, and you have explained it sooooo well!! the step-by-step method, and also the tips to keep it softer..they are great! thanks for such details that you add to all your recipes! it makes it so much simpler for us!:)

-anjali

Mansi Desai said...

swati - good food should make everyoone happy!

HC - yeah, I thought that too till I made them...but trust me, they are not that difficult!!:)D

SDcook - saffron is used in quite a few indian desserts for aroma, flavor and color in varying degrees...I personally love it and like to use if often:) you should try it too!

anjali - thanks so much for those words of appreciation...I really put a lot of effort in my posts so these words from my readers mean a lot to me:)

kamala said...

Lot of nice tips for Rasagulla mansi.I will keep them in mind to get soft rasagullas

Rosie said...

Oh wow mansi this looks stunning girl! I have never tried this before but wow I would love too now after viewing your lovely pic :)

Rosie x

Trupti said...

hey manasi, these rasgullas looks delicious & thanks for sharing tips for soft rasgullas

Divya Vikram said...

your rasagullas are mouthwatering..they are my fav too..thanks for ur tips too dear..

Anonymous said...

they look very very good mansi! and I love the pic too! looks festive indeed:)

-shanti

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Oh wow lovely .... tasty. After seeing this want to try it out once :)

Mandira said...

this looks delicious mansi... homemade rasgullas look fabulous :)

Madhavi said...

Ragulla looks very tempting, awesome jus divine, thanxx for tips mansi..

Uma said...

simply delicious.

Kalai said...

Gorgeous, Mansi! You're so tempting me to want to try this recipe... :)

Mansi Desai said...

hahah..nice to see so many rasgulla-lovers! and yes, tempting, inspiring, challenging, and eating a lot are the primary objectives of my blog!:)

you should try this recipe ppl..as i said, its not as hard as it looks!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

This looks excellent! I love Indian sweets and while I experiment with Indian cooking here and there, I've never tried to make a dessert yet. Very nice work!

Siri said...

wow.. u made rasgullas.. they look amazing mansi and count me in the rasgulla-lovers-list..:))

Siri

Swati Raman Garg said...

mansi you know how to make me happy... you visit is a delight... thanks a ton...

SMN said...

Rasagulla.. this is my fav luks nice Manasi

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

hi mansi loved your rasgulla..though it comes in different color, i loved your style and its color. well done..so when can i come ?

Rupa said...

Wow..Rasgullas..My favorite sweet..I love Bengali sweets :)Thanks for lovely write up and tips..I am going to try this

Sagari said...

home made rasagullas ,looks delecious mansi

Homecooked said...

Wow....the rasgullas look great.Bookmarked to try it.

Priya said...

this looks awesome!!! I am going to make it this weekend.

Sandeepa said...

Thanks manasi, for such a sweet entry. Your tips and steps are very detailed and helpful

I am more of north-indian sweet fans, you know the burfi etc. kind :)

Nags said...

i stay away from bloghopping for a week and u have 6 posts!! thanks a ton for the wishes, mansi :) and this is a yummy yummy dessert :D

Mallugirl said...

when u said u made rasogollas, i came running but u had only reached the cheese stage then..lets trade.. i love rasogulls or rasgullas too..how much time did it take start to finish?

Mansi Desai said...

nags - u r excused as you had a very valid reason!:)

mallugirl - i made paneer on saturday, and the ras the day before...the steaming doesn't really take much time...so 3 hours for the paneer process, and 1 more hour for the actual rasgulla...not too bad, but yeah, you can't do it often enough..hehehe:)

Julie said...

I love these types of sweets, this looks so delicious.

Sonu said...

Hey Mansi,
U definetely born at Superchef's home...he..he..he...:D
I wonder that u can make spicy and sweet dishes both perfectly. U are really versatile cook buddy...!I also wonder tht ur Rasgulla recipe in pressure cooker...??? I hesitate that Rasgulla shouldn't get burst/tear while cooking. But, I must try it. I love ur all recipes.
I appreciate the way of ur sharing and efforts buddy. Keep it up.
Thanks a bunch.
Sonu:)

Mansi Desai said...

thanks sonu! glad my efforts pay off and can help others cook good food!:)

Traditional Sweets said...

This is a great recipe, it looks so edible - yum yum! We dont have anything like this in England so i will try and make (a poor) attempt at one on the weekend but it looks so difficult :(.

Anonymous said...

just made these rasgullas. turned out very well, very easy to make too. just made them but the sugar hasn't penetrated those rasgullas. guess i will have to eat them after soaking them. how long do i have to wait for them to soak up the syrup? thanks for the recipe

Anonymous said...

another query. did you pour the sugar syrup directly into the pressure cooker or keep some water in the cooker and then boil the syrup in another vessel ?thanks coz mine truend out to be soft and porous but not that porous.

Mansi said...

hi - I used the cooker only to make the sugar syrup, as steam helps dilate sugar molecules faster. However, the "gullas" will not entirely soak the syrup, at least not enough to make them sweet by themselves. So I'd say soak them in the syrup for at least 2-3 hours before serving, and serve along with the "Ras". Also, the flat disc shape helps absorb it a little better compared to the round balls, I think...

As long as your Rasgullas came out soft, I think you nailed the recipe!:) hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the clarification. i am gonna try it out again.:)

Usha said...

hello Mansi, you made this diff recipe so easy!!! your method itself motivates to try.Thanks
one confusion in tips para.You did not say that we have to remove the cheeseballs from sugar syrup after one whistle. But u have mentioned it later to remove cheeseballs from sugar syrup and boil with remaining one cup of sugar,but there u have written,do not stir, so will u please make it clear?? thanks

Mansi said...

Hi Usha, sorry for the confusion:)

Here's what I meant:

cook the gullas in 1 or 2 cup boiling sugar syrup, keeping 1 cup sugar aside; after they puff up, remove them, make sure they are cooked through and have become soft. If not, let them cook for some more time in the same syrup.

After removing the gullas, add the remaining 1 cup sugar, boil to make a thick syrup; do not stir the syrup, just allow it to boil, then remove from heat. Once it cools down to room temp, you can pour it over the cheese-balls, so they become evenly sweet and stay soft till its time to serve.

Hope this clarifies your doubt!:)

Anonymous said...

hi , have just made the rasgulla . they are so simple to make and they turned out so soft ....thanks for the way you explained it and cooking in the cooker was so easy and fun ...thanks a ton i enjoyed making it at home .

Anonymous said...

Just a minor correction. Rasgullas were invented in Orissa. So technically it is not a Bengali sweet.

aqua said...

Love the pictures, you have illustrated. The saffron is an additional touch. Mouthwatering dish indeed.

Indian sweets

Sangeeta said...

Thanks for the tips. I'll keep them in mind. Just to let you know, Rasagolla is a traditional Oriya sweet, not Bengali. It originated in Orissa and was popularised by Bengal.
The original Oriya name is Kheermohan which was renamed as Rasagolla in Bengal.