Whenever any celebration starts, one of the things that reminds us of that joyful ambience is Indian sweet. Well! There are many desserts that come to our mind when we ponder about them, one that definitely gives us the wet dreams is  the ‘Spongy Rasgulla’.

Rasgulla is one of the best and most loved sweet delicacy that speaks of mouth-melting sweetness and festive treat. It can be enjoyed all the year round irrespective of any weather conditions. The sweet is made by curdling milk and then separating chenna by draining in a muslin cloth. The well-drained chenna is kneaded to a smooth texture and then rolled into tiny balls. These balls become double in size after getting boiled in sugar syrup. They are served chilled and are quite addictive and delicious.

You must try making this Bengali sweet at home at least once in your lifetime.

Serves: 10-12

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Cow milk/Full fat milk: 1 litre

Lemon juice of medium-sized two lemons

Water: 1 litre

White refined fine grain sugar: 2 cups

Saffron: 10-12 strands

Rose water: 2 tsp

Method

Transfer cow milk in a pan and give a boil on high flame.  Turn off the flame and remove the pan from the burner and let the milk cool for five minutes. It will remove the excess heat which remains there for few minutes after boiling the milk.

Mix lemon juice with equal quantity of water. After five minute, add one tablespoon of lemon juice and water solution to the milk and give a light stir. Again add one more tablespoon of water-lemon juice solution and give a light stir. Repeat this process until the milk curdles and chenna  gets separated.

Take a big muslin cloth and spread it on a soup strainer. Place the soup strainer on a big bowl and strain the curdled milk. You will get the chenna in the muslin cloth and the whey in the bowl. Take out chenna from the muslin cloth and wash it in running water thoroughly to remove the sour flavour and whiff from the chenna.

Then tie the chenna tightly in the same muslin cloth and keep it in the same soup strainer placed on a bowl. Put a weight on the tied chenna. It will keep pressing the chenna and the remaining whey will drain out and get collected in the bowl. After three hours, open the muslin cloth and take out the chenna.

Transfer the chenna to a big flat plate and knead it for 10 to 15 minutes to make it smooth and grain-free. Divide the kneaded chenna in 12 to 14 equal small parts and roll them round ensuring that there is no crack. Keep them aside.

Take a big pot with lid. Boil one litre of water adding two cups of refined sugar. Stir the sugar to mix well and give a boil. Simmer for few more minutes on medium-low flame.

Add chenna balls one by one to the simmering sugar syrup and stir the syrup once very carefully without touching the chenna balls. Cover the pot immediately and let the rasgullas get cooked on medium-low flame for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, take off the lid and stir the syrup once again very gently without touching the rasgullas and cover the lid again for another 10 minutes. Then turn off the flame and remove the pot from the burner immediately so as to stop further cooking.

Keep the lid on for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and let the rasgullas remain soaked in the same sugar syrup and cool at room temperature. At this stage you can add rose water if you like its flavour. Stir gently without damaging the rasgullas to get the rose water mixed with sugar syrup. Transfer the rasgullas along with the sugar syrup in a glass bowl and refrigerate for four to five hours. Garnish with few saffron strands.

Serve chilled.

Important tips to be taken care of while making spongy-soft rasgullas

Use only cow milk or full-fat milk to make rasgullas. Low-fat, skimmed or tetra pack milk will not result in spongy-soft rasgullas. To curdle the milk, mix lemon juice with equal quantity of water. It will eliminate the acidic flavour of lemon juice from chenna. Wash the chenna properly in running water after separating it from whey. It will remove the sourness of lemon as well as its whiff. While kneading the chenna, do not over knead it. Over kneading can make it greasy. You have to knead it until it becomes smooth and no crumbs are left. Always use white refined fine sugar grains to make sugar syrup. Organic sugar or any other kind of sugar would not work to give you snow-white rasgullas.

The sugar syrup should be boiling steadily at a constant medium-high flame throughout the process. If you feel that the heat is too much, reduce the flame a little, but ensure that the sugar syrup is still bubbling. Otherwise your rasgullas would not be soft and spongy. Also boil the rasgullas with lid on to provide the rasgullas with enough heat and steam so that they can swell double in size. The pot you are using to boil the magical balls should be big enough to provide sufficient space to rasgullas to puff as much as possible.

After the initial 10 minutes of boiling, do not forget to stir the sugar syrup once gently without harming the rasgullas. It ensures even cooking and perfect sponginess. Cover the lid again immediately.

When it comes to selecting a “best” sweet, the answer includes a pretty huge list of special desserts owing to almost every state of the country. Although it is very difficult to select just one, ‘The One Best Tasting Mithai’, however, rasgulla is a favourite with every sweet lover. The delectable sweet wonder from Bengal is enough to leave you happy and calm without thinking too much about the calories. The chenna balls are not fried, they are boiled in sugar syrup and the sugar syrup can be squeezed as much as possible before eating.

So if you are the kind who craves for some ‘mishthi’ at the end of a meal, this sweet dish can make your dream come true.

Simple yet heavenly!