A Royal Treat!
Yield. Paneer from 8 cups of milk will make about 15 to 20 Rasgullas.
To make Paneer
Milk (Whole or 2%) – 4 cups
Curd – 4 to 5 tablespoons. (You can also use Lemon juice or Vinegar – 1/4 cup)
Ice cubes – 8 nos. (optional)
Colander or strainer
Cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel
To make Rasgulla
Water – 3 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Cardamom powder (elakka powder) or Rose essence – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Saffron – Few strands (optional)
Pistachios – 3 to 4 nos. chopped finely for garnishing
To Make Paneer
In a heavy bottomed pan, set the milk up to boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally and make sure not to burn the milk.
When the milk comes to a boil, sim the fire and pour the curd gradually into it and keep stirring. Reduce the heat and stir continuously until the milk completely separates into curds and whey. If it doesn’t seem to be separating completely, add another tablespoon of curd.
Once the milk starts curdling, you will see a light yellowish whey along with the curdled milk. If the milk has curdled completely, stop adding curd. Remove from the heat when the separation of the curds and yellowish whey is complete. Let it sit aside for 10-15 minutes. Do not stir it.
Collecting and wrapping the cheese
Place the muslin cloth over a colander or strainer. Rest the colander over a large vessel. Now, strain the curdled milk through a clean muslin cloth.
Then, hold it under running water for a minute so that the smell and sourness of the curdling agent goes away and also prevents the cheese getting stiff. Now, gather the corners of the muslin cloth into a bundle and squeeze out the excess water as much as you can.
Hang the muslin cloth either in your kitchen cabinet or the kitchen sink tap. Leave it as such for about 2 hours, and the excess whey will drain completely.
Knead and Roll the Paneer
Kneading is a very important step in making Rasgulla. Knead the Paneer well with your fingers like how you do for Chappathi to form a smooth ball. The right consistency to make Paneer balls is when you knead and roll it, your palm and fingers should become oily. The balls should be very smooth without any cracks or holes. Make sure that there are no cracks on the surface of the shapes. Kneading is very important as it will make the Rasgullas smooth and spongy.
If you feel the Paneer is too wet, then wrap it in paper towel and remove the excess water. If water remains in the Paneer, then it will break during the process of making Rasgulla. If the Paneer is too dry, add few drops of whey water and knead it again. If you face difficulty in rolling the Paneer, sprinkle some all purpose flour and knead it again.
Note. Make sure you don’t leave the Paneer balls exposed to air for a long time as the surface would dry up and once cooked, the Rasgullas will have a crusty outer layer.
In a pressure cooker, bring the water to boil. Add sugar and boil until the sugar has completely dissolved. Put a few balls in the boiling syrup. The sugar syrup must froth continuously. Do not add many balls as it should have enough space to double its size.
Cook for one whistle and then keep it in sim for 10 more minutes. Once you open the cooker, you will see that the size of the Rasgulla would have doubled up.
Right consistency. Using a spoon, if you press the Rasgulla and if it springs back and retains its shape, Rasgulla has passed the test. Another test is drop a Rasgulla in a bowl of cold water. If it sinks to the bottom, it is cooked.
Now add the saffron and cardamom powder or rose water to the syrup. Let the Rasgulla come to a room temperature. Now, transfer the Rasgullas to a serving bowl and refrigerate.
Serving Suggestions. Garnish using pistachio nuts. You could also fry pistachios in ghee and garnish the Rasgulla. Serve cold.
If you find difficulty in kneading and making balls or if your Paneer balls are soggy, dust little maida (more or less 1 tablespoon) and then knead to form balls. Adding maida is optional.
You may not put so many Paneer balls into the cooker as it needs space to double up.
Do not expose Paneer balls to air for a long period. It will dry out and once cooked, it will not absorb the syrup.
Paneer softness depends largely on the milk’s fat content.
Why is my Rasgulla not spongy?
- added too much lemon juice or vinegar while coagulating the milk
- had cooked the milk too long after the whey had split
- added too much maida
- overcooked the Rasgulla
- did not knead the chenna fine enough
My syrup is too thick.
When you have cooked the first batch of Rasgulla and found your syrup too thick or reduced in volume, add more water and little sugar to the syrup. When the sugar has dissolved completely and the water has boiled then add the second batch of Rasgulla and repeat the procedure.
Once refrigerated, my Rasgulla has lost its softness
Yes, when Rasgulla is refrigerated, it would lose a little bit of softness.
My Rasgulla is not smooth and pure white in color.
If you cook rasgulla more than the required time, there is a chance that it would lose its white color and smoothness.