When we say Bengali, the only thing comes to mind is Rasgulla. Here is a simple to make Bengali Sponge Rasgulla
- Milk* – 1 Liter
- Sugar – 2 Cups*
- Lemon – 2-3 Tbsp
- Heat milk, stirring occasionally.
- Mix lemon juice with 2 tbsp of water. Line a colander with muslin cloth/dupatta/cheese cloth.
- Once, the milk boils, switch off the flame. Wait for 30 seconds, add about ½ of the lemon mixture and stir well.. It should start curdling. Add a few more drops and stirring again.
- Once the milk is curdled and greenish whey is out. Pass it through the cheese cloth lined colander.
- Wash the chenna with some cold water. This will remove the lemon thing and will also help in making soft chenna.
- Gather the sides, and lightly squeeze the chenna. Don’t apply much pressure. Lightly squeeze. After that, hang this for 30 minutes in a kitchen tap or a cupboard.
- While the chenna is hanging, take a pot which is wide and is deep. The more the deeper and wider, the better! I took a cooker which is of 3.5l. Any pot works as i dint close the lid of it.
- Add 10-11* cups of water to the cooker and 2 cups* of sugar. Heat that up!
- Take the chenna out from the cheesecloth, it should be dry* but moist*. Start kneading this.
- Kneading time depends upon the quality of milk. I wont give a specific time, just knead until it gathers all together, no lumps and bumps are there. And some fat will start releasing, as soon as it starts releasing, stop there and make balls. Make smooth round balls of about 1″ diameter.
- You would need at least 4″ of sugar syrup in the pot you are cooking and at least 10″ of width. Calculation behind it is, the 1″ will expand into 2″, and you at least need 2″ more for the Bengali sponge rasgulla to swim in the syrup to ensure it is round. The more the height and width, its better!
- Now when the syrup is boiling, add the balls into it and cover it. Setup a timer of 15 minutes! The water should be continuously vigorously boiling.. I keep the flame on the higher side!
- After 5 minutes, open the lid once, and stir with utter care. Cover and do the same after 10 minutes.
- As soon as the timer rings, transfer the rasgullas to a bowl with a good amount of syrup!
- Now the most patient thing, you’ll need to wait for a 6 – 7 hours..
- After 6 – 7 hours, it’ll be soft, juicy, moist, spongy, it’ll hold its shape and will be heavenly!
- Serve it cold!
Sugar – Sugar quantity depends upon the pot size. The ratio of sugar water i prefer is 1:5.
Chenna – It has to be dry but also should have a little amount of moisture. If the chenna is dry, the Bengali sponge rasgulla will be dry/will dilute with syrup. If it has much of moisture, the rasgulla will be flat/dilute/crack.
Kneading – Follow this simple rule, knead until it starts leaving the fat/ghee! Once you feel the plate and your hands are getting greasy, make balls and cook!
Rasgulla Size – You can make them smaller or big, its up to you! Ideal size if 1 inch diameter when raw. It’ll be double in size when cooked!
Sugar Syrup – You need at least 4″ or more of deepness of sugar syrup in the pot you are using for making this to ensure they remain round while cooking. Pot’s width should at least be 10 inches.
Sugar Syrup should be continuously boiling while they are cooking!
You can clean the sugar syrup if you want crystal clear sugar syrup. To do so, add 2 tablespoon of milk to boiling sugar syrup. Remove the scum which will float in just another 10 seconds. And then cook the rasgullas.
You can use any pot with a lid. Ideal size of pot for 8 rasgullas: 10 Inch Width 6 – 8 Inches height! You can cook up to 10 rasgullas in this big cooker and this much syrup. But i make 8 or less to be on the safer side!
Sugar syrup can be used again to make this delicacies again. You can make these in batches when making more than 10!