Pressure cooker Rasgullas:
Cooking is not just about creativity it’s mainly science. I’ve been dying to get the rasgullas right since sometime and though they always tasted good something was amiss. Recently I decided to do some research and the most trusted source for that is Sangeeta Khanna’s blog. I read her recipe and immediately knew what was wrong. The art of making the right chena for good soft spongy rasgullas lies in doing it the scientific way and that’s where I was going wrong. I tried her method and Voila! the rasgullas came out excellent. I made them a few times before posting the recipe here.
This time I tried the fruit juice infused rasgullas too from her blog. The yummiest ever. I did some variations of my own.
Here’s how you make the softest chena for any Bengali Mithai and especially Rasgullas. If this step goes wrong the rasgullas may not turn out the way they should. There is no substitute for this step. Market bought Paneer is NOT a replacement to homemade chena. The perfect rasgullas are soft, porous and spongy not rubbery or chewy.
This Nolen Gurer Sondesh recipe has the steps to make perfect chena and also the link to Sangeeta’s blog post. Do check it out.
So as we now know that rasgullas are soft balls of Indian cottage cheese dunked in sugar syrup. They are boiled in the syrup or in plain water if going into a fruit juice cocktail ..
Now the Ingredients and the steps.
To make chena :
Full fat milk / Cow’s milk – 2 Cups
Juice of lemon – 1/2 lemon or 4 tbsp curd (home cultured preferably) or 1-2 tbsp white vinegar
For Basic Rasgullas –
Water for syrup – 600 ml approx
Sugar – 200 gm
Once the chena is ready take in out in a large plate and rub and knead with the heals of your palm till you get a smooth, lump free cohesive dough. When you feel the fat from the cheese on your hand its done. Do not overdo it. Make a smooth ball of it and cover with a damp cloth. If the chena crumbles then it is not good for making any sweets, use it for stuffing parathas, cutlets or make a veggie with it. A dry chena will disintegrate in the syrup or boiling water so it needs to be soft and cohesive mass.
In a pressure cooker boil the water with the sugar to make the syrup. You can add a few threads of saffron or 2-3 green cardamom to give a flavor to the syrup. We keep enough water to help the rasgullas expand. They swell up 2-3 times of their original size. Do Not crowd the pressure cooker with the chena balls. Keep some free space.
While the syrup boils, make small balls with the palm of your hands. In 500 ml full fat milk chena usually I make 6 large rasgullas.
Once the syrup is boiling away nicely gently dunk one rasgulla in it to see it it floats and swells up or disintegrates, flattens etc. This will give you heads up to go for the rest. Drop them gently in the syrup one by one.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and after one whistle let the rasgullas cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool.
Once you open you’ll have the perfect soft bouncy rasgullas. You can see i nthe piucture that there is a lot of syrup. I keep it that way for the rasgullas to expand then use as much as needed. Rest I keep for other things.
Take them out in a wide bowl and let them chill. The rasgullas will take different shapes as the sides press against each other but will regain their round shape when removed in a serving bowl. That is the test of a good rasgulla.
Serve them chilled with a little syrup.
When making the fruit juice infused rasgullas do not use the sugar syrup. Instead boil plain water for poaching with lemon, orange zest if using orange juice or keep it simply plain.
Once the rasgullas cool down, squeeze them to remove excess poaching water and add the rasgullas to a bowlful of your favorite juice. Let them absorb the juice for a good flavor. The juice will give them a nice color too. You can click the link above to see how Sangeeta has made exquisite cocktails with rasgullas etc.
I used fresh orange juice and Real cranberry juice for infusion.
In the cranberry fruity rasgullas I used cranberry juice, fresh lemon juice, a dash of gin and pomegranate pearls. Topped with mint.
In the Orange Juice infusion I opted for fresh orange juice which gave a lovely citrus flavor to the rasgulla. I have observed that the more you keep the rasgullas soaked in it better the flavor. I’m sure a bit if Vodka would go superbly with it but this time it is just pure juice.
You can use aam panna bael panna, pomegranate juice, pieces of fruits like lemon or prange wedges, apple or pomegranate pearls etc and get creative with the cocktails. I will post some other variations as i make them. Perhaps a mango panna or bael panna cocktails as this is the perfect time for these drinks. Stay tuned.
I guess you will need to acquire a taste for these but rust me these healthier versions are perfect if you want to avoid white sugar. Homemade juices work out the best and are healthier option.
They look pretty too though I am such a lousy photographer.
In any case the rasgullas were a huge hit and that made me happy.
Do give these a try and let me know your experience.