Rasgulla/ Rossogolla is a syrupy dessert popular in India, especially in Bengal. The dish originated in Orissa centuries ago, while a whitish spongy variant (“Bengali Rossogolla”) became popular in Bengal later. Rasgulla is made from ball shaped dumplings of chhena or Paneer(an Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in light syrup made of sugar. This is done until the syrup penetrate through the dumplings.[wiki]
The traditional rasgullas of Orissa are softer, more creamish in colour than white, and less spongy than the Bengali rasgullas. The Bengali rasgullas are whitish and rubbery.In Odisha, it is common to embed a single raisin or cashew inside each rasgulla. Cardamom seeds may also be embedded to create a fragrant version. In northern India, the dish comes flavored in saffron, rosewater, and sometimes garnished with chopped pistachios.[wiki]
Now here goes the recipe for preparing Bengali rasgullas..
Rasgullas can be made in pressure cooker also…basically rasgullas are made by boiling paneer balls in syrup…my experience is that to get beautiful white rasgullas it good to boil paneer balls in pan rather than pressure cooker..
1 cup paneer
For sugar syrup
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
Medium, wide, deep pan with lid
Step 1: Make chhena at home as explained . Remember that the whey must be drained out completely, otherwise you will not be able to form the balls.
Step 2: Mash the chhena with the heel of your hand ) on the table top. If you have a very moist chhena, when you mash – the chhena will get stuck to the table top and making rasgulla is very difficult in this situation. As you mash by dragging your palms, your palms will automatically get greased by the fats from the chhena, which helps you to mash and smoothen it better. In case your chhena has become too dry, you could use a drop of the whey (or plain water) and continue. Make sure the chhena is smooth.
For about ten minutes mash it until you are able to form a very smooth ball with no cracks.
Step 3: Once you get a flawless ball of chhena (paneer), bring together the paneer like a dough and divide into equal portions. Roll each portion between your palms until you form a round ball. You can make either 15 large rasgulla or 25 medium-sized rasgulla balls.
Step 4: When your paneer balls are ready, heat the water and sugar in a pan over medium flame until the sugar melts, and it just about comes to a boil, and you see bubbles.
The paneer balls expand to double in size, so you need to give them enough space in a wide, deep pan to expand. Drop the paneer balls in the pan, cover the pan with its lid, and keep it on for about 12 minutes.
Put only as many balls as you think will fit after expansion. The balls will expand
Step 5: Once your 12 minute completes, check your rasgulla
To test whether rasgullas are ready take a bowl of fresh water, drop one of your rasgulla balls in it. If it floats, put it back in the pan covering the lid and letting the balls boil in the sugar syrup for a minute or two more. If the rasgulla ball sinks in the fresh water, it is done.
If this is your first batch of rasgulla, transfer the boiled rasgulla gently into a bowl of fresh water ,dont crowd them in the bowl. Handle them gently because they are delicate when they are warm and fresh. Put your second batch of paneer balls in the same sugar and water mixture for 12 minutes again. You may not be able to use the same sugar syrup)for a third batch because the mixture starts to get more syrupy and dense, and may not result in good spongy rasgulla.
Putting them in frsh water is important since if you keep the boiled, warm, spongy rasgulla in a bowl on top of one another, they will become flat and lose their round shape. If they are immersed in water, they will retain their shape.
Once all your rasgulla is done, you can transfer all the rasgulla balls from fresh water to the original sugar syrup after gently squeezing out the fresh water so they can then absorb the sweetness from the syrup.Do this only after the sugar syrup cools down completely so that your rasgulla balls do not cook further in a hot sugar syrup. this tip i found in Nisha’s blog ..Thanks Nisha for this tip
For Rasgulla the water-sugar ratio is 4:1. For every 4 cups of water, add 1 cup of sugar. If more sweetness is required , once you transfer the balls in plain water add ½ cup sugar to the still warm/hot sugar syrup and let it dissolve. Then when you squeeze out the balls and leave in the sugar syrup they will absorb the sweetness.
If you make smaller quantity of Paneer, halve the water-sugar quantity.Mismatched water and sugar ratio, or adding balls when the sugar syrup has boiled too long will result in rasgulla becoming dense and not spongy. [Recipe courtesy by Nisha]