Rasgulla,cottage cheese balls in sweet syrup

My first post is a sweet one. The no-fry,no-ghee Indian dessert loved by most and relatively low-calorie as far as desserts go!

rasgulla or roshogulla

Rasgullas- the soft and squeezy delight from Bengal

Hailing from the eastern state of West Bengal, these light-delights are so loved that one sees rasgulla eating competitions at weddings. I have seen a participant, who eventually was declared the winner, down three dozen at a go!!

Here is a recipe very close to my heart, perfected after more than half a dozen trials till I reached close to perfection. Rasgullas are now almost a weekly affair in my house. Two months back I wouldn’t have dreamt of making them at home!!

You follow the directions below and get perfect rasgullas at home 🙂
Let me warn you-making rasgullas is very addictive! Once hooked to making them, you just aren’t able to stop!

RASGULLA

For the Rasgullas you need
1 Litre cow milk, cream removed (I buy the milk an evening prior, boil,cool and refrigerate. Next morning, remove the cream and proceed to make chenna/paneer)
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice/Vinegar / 3-4 Tbsp curd
Tip- Off late I have started using curd for splitting the milk. You don’t need to wash the chhena and it gives perfectly round rasgullas. 

Paneer
Split the milk

To Make Chenna
(Here is a step wise guide to making paneer/chhena at home)
 Bring the milk to boil, add 1-2 tbsp lemon juice gradually so that the milk mass and whey separate completely.Add 10-15 ice cubes. Rest for a minute.
If using curd, simply keep adding the curd till the milk splits. Strain and drain the chhena well and proceed to make rasgullas. No need to put the ice cubes and wash the paneer! 

Making paneer at home
Strain through muslin cloth
Making Paneer at home
Wash well under running water
Making Paneer at home
Hang for 15-20 minutes for the water to rinse

Strain in a colander lined with muslin/cheesecloth. Wash thoroughly with fresh water to remove the lemony sourness. Drain the water by squeezing. Knot the muslin cloth and hang it  to get rid for any excess whey/liquid.After about 10-15 minutes, remove. The chhena you get will be crumbly like in the picture below.
Making rasgulla1
If it is too wet, it is not drained well and will be impossible to knead. So, make sure chenna is crumbly and slightly dry and yet a little moist.

Making Rasgulla2
Knead it to get a smooth dough

Rub the chenna with fingers and heels of the palm till the chenna gives out some fat/ ghee/chiknaayee. It takes me about 5- 7 minutes to get there. By now the chenna is like a dough ball that comes together easily, neither too hard nor too soft.

Take pinches off the dough and make small balls, you should get about 15. Remember, they are going to double up on boiling so size them accordingly.

making Rasgulla3
Make small chhena balls

For the Sugar Syrup

For the Light Sugar Syrup to boil the rasgullas

1 cup Sugar
5 cups Water
1/2 tsp fine cardamom (ilaichi) powder

For adding to the Light sugar syrup after boiling the rasgullas

1/4 cup Sugar (I keep the sugar very low. Please  increase the sugar to 1/2  or 3/4 cup here to get sweeter rasgullas)
1/2 cup Water
8-10 saffron strands (optional- I haven’t used here)
1-2 Tsp rosewater/gulabjal (optional- I haven’t used here)

While you make the paneer balls, bring to boil 5 cups of water with a cup of sugar (light sugar syrup). Add half a tsp fine cardamom powder. Just as the syrup comes to a rolling boil, add in the rasgulla balls. Boil covered for 12- 15 minutes on medium flame.
I make my rasgullas in two batches so that the rasgullas get enough space in the water to expand and also keep their round shape. If the syrup is less or there are too many gullas in the liquid, they will either become flat or lose their shape.
You may uncover to check every 5 min minutes.

making Rasgulla4
Boil them in light sugar syrup till they double up

To check if the rasgullas are cooked, drop one in plain drinking water. If it sinks, it is done. If it floats, boil for a couple of minutes and check again. Switch off the gas.

Making rasgulla at home
Drop in a plain glass of water. If it sinks to the bottom, it is done!

Transfer gently to a big bowl full of clean drinking water. There should be enough water for the paneer balls else they might lose their shape.dd one fourth cup sugar and half a cup of water to the same light sugar syrup in which the rasgullas were boiled  and give it a boil so that the sugar melts. Add in the saffron strands (if using) when the syrup becomes warm, do not add while it is hot.Let the sugar syrup cool to room temperature ( takes about 30 minutes)
Remove the rasgullas from the plain water, squeeze gently and drop into the sugar syrup.
Chill for three hours. You may top with some finely slivered pistachios and almonds.
Enjoy!

Problems and possible reasons and solutions

Bengali Rasgulla

Tricky buggers, but delightful once tamed! And super addictive! My friend Suchitra commented yesterday on the numerous successful rasgulla attempt on CAL- my food group on FB. Sadly, some misses too :(. I know how disheartening it is to not get it right. I got into the kitchen last night and made a fresh batch

Just tried one- perfect! No lemony taste, just the right amount of sweetness, no kich kich sound when you bite in.

1. The right milk is the first step, I cannot say that enough!! Fresh cow milk from the dairy works best. I always use that, never had a failed attempt with that. In case you do not have access to that, try with a good brand of cow milk. People have tried with Amul and got good results.  A friend in the UK gets perfect results with Tesco green milk 
And try, try, try till you figure out what milk works
People living overseas should give them a go with 2 % milk.

For people living in the US– My friend and co-blogger, the brilliant Sonal Gupta has done a fantastic detailed post on rasgullas. The post has exhaustive notes on the right kind of milk and how to go about making rasgullas. Find this very helpful post here on Sonal’s blog simplyvegetarian777.wordpress.com. A big shout of thanks Sonal 🙂

2. I remove the malai/cream and then proceed to make chhena because my trial with full cream milk gave me greasy Rasgullas. But your choice, you can go with full milk.

3. While making chhena, do not boil the milk after adding the lemon juice. That leads to chewy Rasgullas. Better still, use curd to split the milk. No washing required, but drain well. If the paneer is too moist, rasgullas will break. Paneer made with curd gives perfectly round rasgullas 🙂 

4. Washing the paneer THOROUGHLY is vital, else you get the lemony taste in Rasgullas. I pour 3-4 glasses of drinking water and wash all of it with my fingers- very nicely!

5. Draining the chhena right is again,very important. Too dry and the Rasgullas go dry, too moist and the Rasgullas scatter in the syrup. This comes with handling the paneer. But a couple of attempts and you get it right.

6. I do not add any binder– sooji,maida,cornflour or arrowroot. Nothing against binders but I wanted to do it without them for the fasting community in my family 😉 Also, I got softer Rasgullas without the sooji/maida- yeah, I did try making them with both.

7. Kneading well is important! The chenna has to be crumbly to start with. Knead it till you get a smooth non-sticky dough like consistency. Knead till it leaves out some ghee/fat/chiknaayee. And stop then.

8. Make smooth, crack free chhena balls.

9. I transfer the chhena balls to water at room temperature to stop the cooking process. This also ensures I don’t get chewy Rasgullas due to over cooking in the residual heat. Keeps their shape well while I cook batch 2 of the Rasgullas in the same syrup.

10. I cook the chenna balls in light (less sweet) sugar syrup to get spongy Rasgullas. Later add more sugar and water to the SAME sugar syrup. Then cool the syrup to room temperature and add the cooked chhena balls which were put into water at room temperature. We are using the same syrup and not making two syrups here.

11. I always leave them in the syrup for 3-5 hours before serving so that they soak in the sweetness. Eating immediately is fine too, only they will be little less sweet.

12. The water sugar ratio of 1:5 gives medium sweet Rasgullas. If you want them sweeter, you can increase the amount of sugar

13. I make them in an open vessel. People use the pressure cooker too. I felt they get a little yellow in the cooker. Also I enjoy watching them double up, hence the open pan with a lid works beautifully! 😉

14. Sometimes Rasgullas shrink after they boil and double. Usually happens because of the wrong milk in my experience. They do shrink a wee little bit once taken of the heat, but not remarkably so.

15. If you get flat or shapeless rasgullas, it is because they aren’t getting enough space to expand. Use a deep and wide vessel. I make the rasgullas in two batches so that they have enough space and also because it gets done in less amount of sugar syrup- no wastage. If you want to make them at one go- you may double the amount of sugar syrup.

16. I keep the sugar low in the rasgullas. If you like them sweeter, please add more to the syrup after having boiled the rasgullas once.  If you feel they are less sweet even after the second soak for three hours- remove the rasgullas, add sugar to the syrup, give it a boil, cool and soak the rasgullas again for a couple of hours.

17. And, above all-  pray! I always do when I make them 😀

Roshogulla

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278 thoughts on “Rasgulla,cottage cheese balls in sweet syrup

  1. Dear Garima, thanks for the recipe. They came out nice and soft but for some reason they are all most flat. There was plenty of syrup and I didn’t put too many. Doubled up in size but are flat. So I’m turning them into rasmalai. Could you tell me where I’m going wrong.

  2. Hi garima ji; while boiling the rasgullas they wer nice and round. We closed the lid and checked after 10 mins. They become big in size but some broke.. Wat cud be the reason? Out of 8 rasgullas 4 broke and other 4 had little cracks. Plz let me know so that we take care in future.

  3. Thank you Mrs.Garima. It was amazung feeling to make the rasgullas. I had never even imagine I could make them. Feeling super happy. Credit goes to you:-) 🙂

  4. i have tried to make Rasgullas they came out nice but after reading all your cooking steps i am sure next time i will be able to make better thank you.

  5. Hi Garima
    I tried your rasgulla recipe 2 times. Both the times, the taste was good. But i faced 2 issues:

    1) They were not spongy. .
    2) And after chilling, the outer part becomes Lil hard, they r soft though from inside

    Please tell me what can b the reason

    Thanks in advance
    Shikha

  6. garima

    thanks for this receipe, i followed urs but have 2 observation ::

    a) rasgullas does not double its size like urs but it did pass the sink/float test.
    b) it does make kich kich sound while biting

    can you tell where i am going wrong

    1. Hi Sagarika
      Kich kich happens when you keep boiling the milk even after it splits.
      As for doubling, try a different kind of milk maybe. I live in Bombay and use Aarey milk to make them. They come out well.

      1. one more question, after left my rasgullas overnight to cool down, when it was warm, it was softer but when it cools down , it was harder 😦 thiswas my fifth attempt and still not successful

      2. Awww
        Sorry to hear that dear. But really I’m not sure what makes them work.
        I follow the exact same method to make them as I have shared in the blog post. It works 9 times out of 10.
        Once in a while I have a bad outcome too 😦

  7. I prepared rasgulla according to your way…they become double of the size
    But only problem was they have a taste of raw paneer and chee chee sound.
    Pls help me

  8. I have been eyeing this recipe even before it came on this blog,from the rasgulla fever in CAL and made it today…I am extremely happy with the result…Thank you Garima

  9. Hi i tried rasgulla recipie.2 queries.although they increased in size but not doubled.secondly they were not very soft ….pls help what went wrong

  10. Hi Garima,can I use pasteurised and homogenised milk to make rassgullas .it’s called pride of cows milk,comes in 1lts plastic bottle supplied early day from Pune to Mumbai.
    Another thing that after boiling the rassgullas ,you said drop it in room temp water and gently squeeze out the water ,won’t it get compressed and go small???

  11. Garima Ji.. I tried your recipe and took all the steps into consideration .. And I guess paneer was a little moist.. Now.. I already kneaded the dough and for experiment I dropped 3 rasgulla in the boiling syrup.. They are all falling apart.. I am totally clueless how to correct my rasgulla.. Please reply..ASAP.. 😢

      1. That’s ok.. May be next time I will strain for a longer period.. For now I will make paneer bhurji from this.. 😬😬 thank you so much for your input

      2. Ha ha yaah! Bhurji is perfect!
        See you need to find the balance. Neither too dry else syrup won’t get soaked, nor too moist, else they scatter.

  12. Hi garima. First heartily congratulations on start of ur blog. I make my rasgulla often. This time followed your tip to cook 2nd batch in same sugar syrup. As already I noticed after my first batch done, the syrup got little thick.so added more water in same syrup for second batch, boiled n dumped rasgulla balls. But at end I noticed that the syrup was really much sweeter than needed. So finally got 2 batches of different taste. Little disappointed. Help me out what should I do when I next time make them….. Thanks in advance

    1. Hi
      I boil them in light syrup and then transfer to plain water.
      Later add them to the same syrup. Keeps the taste uniform.
      In case you found it too sweet, reduce the quantity of sugar.

  13. Hi Garima
    Very nicely explained. I followed this exactly
    My little buggers are cooling away now. Not really round but that’s how I roll :p

    This was my second try, i live in the UK and I tried organic homogenised milk- bad idea
    Got myself fresh non homogenised farm milk and it worked. I hope they taste good and dear husband doesn’t smirk at my attempt no 2

    Thanks for the detailed recipe
    Vrinda
    xx

  14. Hey Garima, how are you? I am wondering if you can measure the temperature of syrup when you add rasgullas to boil. Reason for asking this is because “medium flame” can be quite unpredictable especially for users like me who live abroad. Our gas burners are very different to those in India, so flame that comes out on our burner;s medium is not so high. So temperature of syrup on medium flame would be great.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Garima
      I have never really measured the temperature and do not own a measuring device too. The idea is basically to get it to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat a little ( say two levels down) and let the paneer balls cook for about 10-12 mins. Hope that helps 🙂

  15. Hello Garima….. I tried the recipe but only one change I did is using market paneer instead of homemade chena but I am facing the problem of non increase in the size while boiling. Have you ever tried making rasogulla with paneer?
    Thanks for sharing the recipe dear 🙂

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