Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla (Pressure Cooker & Open pot method)

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.

Close up look of Soft and spongy rasgulla, pure white

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.


Soft and Spongy Rasgulla presented in a 2 brown bowls, with a stole on the side for presentation

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. 

A little closer look of rasgulla presented in a brown bowl, with a golden stole on the side


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.

Inside soft texture of rasgulla seen with 1 rasgulla piece cut and 1 whole


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. 


Flavouring 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.

Kesar Rasgullas presented in a glass bowl, dipped in sugar syrup


Serving Suggestions

I love to enjoy this rasgulla chilled. Rasgullas are best enjoyed when they are cold and not hot.

Kesar Rasgullas presented in a small glass bowl seen in the near. At the back there is a large bowl with many rasgullas.

 So here goes the recipe of Homemade Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla

Close up look of Soft and spongy rasgulla, pure white

Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla (Pressure Cooker & Open pot method)

Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla or Rasagolas are sweet balls made using fresh chenna and soaked in sugar syrup and served chilled.
5 from 6 votes
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Course: Sweets
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Keyword: Paneer
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Making Paneer: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 16 medium size Rasgulla
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker or Open Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 ltr low-fat Milk (Cow Milk)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon or 2-3 Tablespoon’s Vinegar
  • For Syrup
  • 1/2 liter Water – 2 Cups (Depending on your cooker size can add more or less)
  • 125 gms sugar – Approximately 3/4 Cup (can be more or less according to taste)
  • Few saffron strands (Optional)
  • Kewra Water (Optional)

Instructions

  • Make the chenna. Follow the instructions mentioned here in the recipe for how to make Homemade Paneer.
  • 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.
    The made chenna
  • Start kneading the chenna with the heel of your palm.
  • We need to smoothen out the chenna to make softballs.
    The smooth chenna dough
  • 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.
    Adding of Sugar in water
  • If using saffron, add it now.
    Water boiling in pressure cooker
  • 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)
  • Now roll them lightly in between your palms to make a smooth and a crack-free ball.
    The chenna balls being rolled to perfection, without cracks
  • Roll the remaining balls.

Cooker Method

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.
    Boiling water in open pan for Rasgulla
  • 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.
    Making of Rasgulla in open pan , the syrup is brown due to Dermera Sugar
  • 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.
  • 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)
    Rasgullas soaked in all the water and sugar syrup
  • Let the rasgullas refrigerate for minimum of 12-16 hours.
  • Enjoy soft spongy Bengali Rasgulla.
    A little closer look of rasgulla presented in a brown bowl, with a golden stole on the side

Video

Notes

  • 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.
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Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla or Rasagolas are sweet balls made using fresh chenna and soaked in sugar syrup and served chilled.


Update

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

Foodies_RedoingOldPost



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