Rasgulla or Rasagolas are soft spongy sweet balls made using fresh chenna or paneer. The chenna is mashed to make smooth balls and then are boiled in sugar syrup until they light and fluffy. Soaked in the same syrup for some time, and one gets the best soft spongy Bengali Rasgulla.
Bengali Rasgullas are one of the most common sweet from the East of India. There are many chenna or paneer based dishes from this part of India. I and my family love this rasgullas as they are easy to make and the best part is that they are not fried. One can even squeeze out some of the sugar syrup to make eat it with less guilt.
Fresh Chenna or Paneer, the difference
The process of making a chenna or paneer is the same. That is the milk is boiled, then curdled using an acidic ingredient. I have already detailed the recipe on how to make fresh paneer at home, with step by step instructions. So Chenna has slightly more water content and is generally in crumbled form.
Paneer is a shape given to chenna. That is it is made into blocks so that it could be used in different paneer dishes be it savory or sweet. A very versatile ingredient and can be used in the main course as in this Methi Matar Paneer, Santa Thongba (Manipuri Curry), or in this Palak Paneer. Delicious starters can be made using paneer as in this, Barbeque recipe Paneer Tikka or this Nutty Spinach, paneer and potato balls.
It is best to use cow’s milk instead of buffalo milk for making chenna for rasgulla. For people staying outside India use milk which has reduced fat. I use the full-fat milk available here, but then that is like 3-4 % fat, so ideally it is reduced fat.
Process of making Bengali Rasgullas
Making of this Bengali Rasgullas is not tricky at all. If a few things are taken care of. Every recipe has some tips and tricks and if one follows them properly you will attain the best every time.
Rasgulla in cooker
I remember I had made this Rasgullas when I was a child and I used the open pan method. But for the last few years, I am making this Rasgulla in cooker. I love the cooker method more than the open pan method as it is quick and easy to make. Another thing I found that the cooker method always gives the best spongy rasgullas.
People get worried that in a pressure cooker it might spread or break. But as said if method is followed properly, making rasgulla in a cooker is a fail-proof recipe. I have been making it in the cooker for more than 7-8 years now and it always works for me.
Rasgulla in an open pot
Many prefer making rasgulla in open pot instead of a cooker. The process is almost similar to that of cooker, except that the lid is not closed here completely. The soft chenna balls are added in hot boiling water and boiled for 20 minutes until soft. It is then allowed to cool so that the syrup is well absorbed by rasgulla.
So what makes spongy Rasgulla?
Always use fresh chenna to make rasgullas. Yes, one can make rasgulla with spoiled milk or the milk which is being curdled too. It is advisable to use the chenna in one hour after it is made so that some moisture is still there. However, we do not want it to have too much water too. So when I make this, I follow the same process as making for Paneer. However, I use this chenna to make rasgullas in an hour.
What makes the rasgulla hard?
The next trick is not adding too much sugar in the water used for boiling. If one adds to much water the rasgullas will not be spongy and might turn a bit hard. So I just add about ¼ or less of the total sugar needed. Once they are cooked, I remove it add the remaining sugar and then mix everything. Check the recipe for detailed steps.
I also like to add cardamom seed in between each of the balls. This creates a cavity and makes the rasgullas soft. It also adds a nice flavour the rasgulla.
Why Rasgulla becomes flat
If you add too little water while making the rasgulla, they will be flat. Also, they need space to expand. If you overcrowd your pot they will not be able to expand and hence flatten. So keep that in mind while making rasgulla.
There are many ways to flavour the rasgulla. I like it plain or with some saffron. So while making the rasgulla I add a pinch of saffron to the sugar syrup. The saffron will also add a nice yellow tinge to the rasgulla. However, if you want plain white, do not add the saffron.
I love to enjoy this rasgulla chilled. Rasgullas are best enjoyed when they are cold and not hot.
If we go a step further, and soak the rasgulla in reduced sweetened milk we end up in another delicious dessert called as Rasmalai. A classic Indian dessert, soaked in sweet and flavored milk typically cardamom and saffron.
So here goes the recipe of Homemade Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla
Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla (Pressure Cooker & Open pot method)
To make Paneer and Rasgulla
- 1 ltr low-fat Milk (Cow Milk)
- Juice of 1 Lemon or 2-3 Tablespoon’s Vinegar
- Make the chenna. Follow the instructions mentioned here in the recipe for how to make Homemade Paneer.1 ltr low-fat Milk, Juice of 1 Lemon or 2-3 Tablespoon’s Vinegar
- After 45 mins- 1 hour, remove the chenna mix on a clean working surface. Make sure the chenna is not too wet and not too dry.
- Start kneading the chenna with the heel of your palm.
- We need to smoothen out the chenna to make softballs.
- This process will take around 8-10 minutes.
- The mixture is done kneading when you are able to get a soft smooth dough, without any lumps.
- Now take approximately 1 Ltr water and add around 75-80 gms (one-fourth of total) in the water.1 liter Water (Divided)
- If using saffron, add it now.Few saffron strands
- Bring the water to boil.
- In the meantime divide the dough into equal size balls. Around 2 cm in diameter. Size can be adjusted as needed and depending on your pan or cooker size.
- Press the balls in between your hand so that it the mixture come together and it helps to make a tight ball.
- Press and add 1-2 seeds of cardamom. (This step is optional)10-12 green Cardamom seeds
- Now roll them lightly in between your palms to make a smooth and a crack-free ball.
- Roll the remaining balls.
- Once you have rolled all the balls, and once the water starts boiling drop all the balls gently in the boiling water.
- Take 1 whistle on full pressure.
- Now immediately lower the heat to a minimum.
- Set the timer to 5 minutes and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Switch off the gas after 5 minutes.
- Remove all the pressure from the cooker as shown in the video. Do not open the lid of the cooker.
- Once the cooker is cooled down, approximately after half an hour, open the lid and gently remove the rasgullas in a bowl.
- Do not remove all the syrup from the cooker or the pot.
Open Pot method
- Once you are rolled all the balls, and once the water starts boiling drop all the balls gently in the boiling water.
- I have used Dermera Sugar and hence the colour is brown
- Let this ball on medium to high heat for 20-25 minutes.
- After 20-25 minutes switch off the stove.
- Gently remove the rasgullas in a bowl.
- Do not remove all the syrup from the pot.
Remaining Common Process
- In the remaining water add the sugar and let it boil for 2-3 minutes so that the sugar gets dissolved completely.1 liter Water (Divided), 125 gms sugar
- Switch off the gas and let the sugar syrup cool for half an hour.
- After that add the rasgullas in the sugar syrup.
- Once cooled completely, add 1-2 teaspoon of Kewra Syrup (Optional but I like the refreshing taste of this)Kewra Water
- Let the rasgullas refrigerate for minimum of 12-16 hours.
- Enjoy soft spongy Bengali Rasgulla.
- Chenna should not have too much water and at the same time should not be too dry.
- Kneading the chenna is crucial, so do not rush this step. It should be smooth.
- While making balls, make sure you first press it in between your hands to make a tight ball.
- There should not be too much of the time spent between making balls and putting it in the water.
I have added this post in July 2014, today I and updating the content, and added new pics. (Process shot video’s coming soon) and sharing with Foodies_RedoingOldPost
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