Rasgulla is a soft, spongy and juicy milk based Indian sweet. These are melt-in-mouth soft paneer ball-shaped dumplings made of chena and then cooked in a light syrup made of sugar.
In simple words, rasgulla is an Indian dessert contains paneer (cottage cheese) balls that are cooked in the sugar syrup.
With this easy and quick rasgulla recipe, you can learn to make Sponge Rasgulla at home. Because this rasgulla recipe has all the important tips, tricks, and variations that will help you make soft, spongy & juicy rasgulla every single time.
This dessert Rasgulla is loved by people of all age groups. These spongy paneer balls are so delicious and enticing. They make a wonderful dessert during festivals and celebrations.
Make them when you have guests coming for dinner or make them to satisfy your sweet cravings, they will always hit the spot.
Rasgulla also makes a wonderful holiday gift.
I mentioned in an earlier post that Diwali ( दिवाली ) countdown has already begun. So continuing the tradition, here is my next recipe in Diwali series which I talked here when I explained ‘how to make Kaju Katli ( काजू कतली ).
My today’s post is Sponge Rasgulla. Hint: It is a very famous Indian sweet.
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Rasgulla is healthy and delicious:
I consider rasgulla as one of the healthiest Indian sweets, if you limit the sugar part.
It has no butter (ghee) and not very sugary unlike most of the other desserts.
And you might also assume that I have some inclination for this dessert as this is my childhood favorite 😉 Jokes apart, but truly, everyone just loves this light and delicious delicacy.
Rasgulla is a long lasting love for me. In India, my Mom usually buys all the delicate sweets from the sweet shops.
I don’t remember if she has ever made rasgulla at home. But when I moved to Eurpoe I started missing this humble dessert.
A story that ended well:
Doesn’t it happen when you are living thousands of miles away from your family and suddenly start feeling nostalgic, especially during the first year after you have moved to the new place? The same thing happened with me.
Then I started looking for options and luckily I found the packed Rasgulla at one of the Asian stores. I tried it, but it was missing that WOW factor which I loved in fresh rasgullas. So I tried making my own rasgulla and I must say they were a bigger disaster than the packed ones. OUCH!
Few trials till perfection:
After a few trials, what I got almost everytime were the failed Rasgullas. Yes, I call them failed attempts as sometimes they turned out hard, other times they melted in sugar syrup. Basically, they were everything other than the desired Rasgulla. 😉
I wanted to eat Rasgulla so badly, so I asked my Mom if she knows a good spongy Rasgulla recipe.
Then my Mom said: “One of her neighbors is from Bengal and she makes her own Rasgullas. I have tasted them, they are just so spongy and so good. Just the way they should be. I will ask her if she can tell me the recipe of Bengali Rasgulla (Mishti).”
Me: “Please mom, ask her. I badly want to eat Rasgullas. Feeling homesick. Seriously.” 🙁
Mom: “Okay, I will let you know today during the evening”.
My mom’s neighbor was kind enough, so she not only told her recipe but she gave a tutorial on how to make rasgulla to my Mom in her kitchen too. Just perfect! My mom told me the recipe with do’s and dont’s and I tried it soon after.
And they came out just perfect like my mom said; they are exactly the way they should be.
So today I am sharing the same rasgulla recipe which I have been now using for almost a decade now. And it’s super easy and super fast. So let’s jump to the recipe without any further delay. I am sure that you will love it.
What is Rasgulla?
Rasgulla is one of the most popular and delicious Indian sweets made using milk where paneer (cottage cheese) balls are cooked in thin sugar syrup. This dessert comes from the state of West Bengal which is very renowned for its rich and delighful milk-based desserts like rasmalai, cham cham, and rajbhog.
This dessert rasgulla is made using chena or curdled milk. The drained curdled milk (chena) is squeezed, kneaded and rolled into smooth dough balls, and these balls are cooked in boiling the sugar syrup until they turn light, fluffy and spongy.
How to make Chena?
The chena (milk solids) is made by curdling milk and draining the whey away. The milk solids you get after curdling is known as ‘Chena’.
What is Sponge Rasgulla?
Sponge Rasgulla is melt-in-mouth soft paneer ball-shaped dumplings made of chenna / chena (छैना) and then cooked in a light syrup made of sugar. Rasgulla is also known as Rasogolla or Bengali Rasagolla.
These rasgullas can also be used in making Rasmalai.
Why did my Rasgulla break?
Rasgulla breaks because of moisture in chenna. For making rasgulla, chena (curdled milk) should be moist but not too much. It should not have any whey and also it should not be too dry. If there is moisture in chena then your rasgullas will break while cooking, or if it too dry then the rasgulla will turn chewy, hard and also flatten after cooling.
How do I know if my Rasgulla is cooked?
You actually don’t need to check the rasgulla’s doneness if you are following the recipe carefully. A perfect Rasgulla is all about perfect cooking time and the right temperature.
It is recommended by Halwais that we should not open the lid while cooking, it may ruin the texture of Rasgulla.
However, if you want to check if the rasgullas are cooked, drop one cooked rasgulla in a bowl filled with cold water. If it settles to the bottom, that means your rasgulla is done. But if it swims on the surface then it needs more cooking. Boil them for a couple of more minutes and check again. I usually don’t do this test because in my experience opening the lid of the pot alters the texture of the rasgullas.
How long does Rasgulla last?
The Halwai (confectioners') in India, use this make the rasgullas in bulk and then leave them dunked in sugar syrup at room temperature for about 3-4 days. This is because sugar syrup acts as a preservative here. Since rasgullas are high in sugar content, they will not be spoiled at room temperature. Rasgulla can stay fresh for about 3 days when kept at room temperature.
Serve this rasgulla as an after-meal dessert, or serve it along with Indian Thali indcluding paneer korma, khoba roti, mushroom pulao, and kiwi raita, and salad to make an amazingly delicious weekend or festive meal.
Hope you will all enjoy it.
What are important tips, tricks, and variations to making your best rasgulla recipe at home?
- Making this sweet at home is not very easy, because homemade rasgullas don’t always come out soft and spongy as they should. If you keep these simple tips in mind while making rasgulla at home, your rasgulla will always turn out perfect.
- Always use a wide pot or pan for making the rasgulla at home. This is because they get double in size while boiling in the sugar syrup, so make sure there is sufficient space for the rasgullas to cook in the pan.
- Squeeze out all the excess water from the chena before hanging it. This is because chena should be dry when you knead it.
- The dough should be really soft and smooth when you make balls out of it. So knead the chena with your palms for at least 10 minutes or until it starts leaving the fat, or you see your palms are getting greasy. Kneading time also depends on the quality of chena. So knead chena till it turns glossy and smooth.
- For making sugar syrup you need to make sure that water to sugar ratio is 4:1. So if you are using 1 cup of sugar then you have to use 4 cups of water.
- Never make small paneer balls for rasgulla, this is because they increase in size. So if you mage big balls then you’ll end up with huge rasgullas.
- Let the sugar syrup boil for 3-4 minutes before dropping the rasgulla in the sugar syrup.
- Boil rasgullas covered on high heat, and don’t touch them while boiling, or else they might break in the sugar syrup.
- You can make rasgulla a day before you are planning to serve them. This way they sponge up and taste great because they have absorbed the sugar syrup well.
- Do not use skim or low-fat milk for the rasgulla recipe. Whole milk or full cream milk gives the best results when making rasgulla.
- Over kneading can make the chenna sticky, and it would be hard to mould balls from the sticky dough. Also, the paneer balls might also shrink after cooking.
- If you want to make white rasgulla, then always use white refined sugar for making sugar syrup.
- But also do not over knead the chena as it might make it sticky.
Rasgulla Recipe - How To Make Soft and Spongy Rasgulla (Step-by-step photo instructions)
Making Sponge Rasgulla:
- Heat milk in a pan and let it come to a boil. Stir the milk occasionally to prevent burning.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and add lemon juice/vinegar to it. Stir with a spatula.
- When you see the green whey separated from the solids, then your milk is curdled. Turn off the heat.
- Line a strainer/colander with a cheese/muslin cloth and pass the curdled milk through the lined strainer. Rinse well. Washing will remove the tang from the (curdled milk) chena.
- Now gather the cloth from the sides and squeeze well. Chenna has to be dry well.
- Hang the cloth for 25-30 minutes, or put some weight.
- Remove the chena out from the cloth.
- Knead well for about 10-12 minutes. You can also use a food processor for kneading.
- Knead until it starts leaving the fat, or you see your palms are getting greasy.
- Divide the dough into 12-14 pieces and roll them between your palms to make smooth and round lemon sized balls.
- Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, 6 cups water, and cardamom pods to a large pot and stir with a spatula.(The ratio of sugar water should be 1:4.)
- Let the water boil for few minutes and add the balls into it.
- Cover the pan. Shake the covered pan slightly and boil for 15 minutes or until the balls are double in size. Do not open the lid while boiling.
- Once cooked, let them cool completely and refrigerate.
- Garnish chilled rasgyllas with saffron strands and pistachio and serve rasgulla chilled.