Rasgulla is famous as a Bengali Sweet, however it actually originated in Odisha which was later introduced to Bengal. Pahala and Salepur Rasgulla has different and unique taste for which this is exported in large quantity from these two places. The Halwai in these places use their unique recipe that they will not share with others. They use Chenna and Semolina mixed together to form the balls. However, the canned Rasgulla available in market is actually sponge Rasgulla that I am going to share , this will be very spongy but this cant be compared with the taste of Rasgulla from Pahala or Salepur.
For The Rasgullas
1 recipe chenna
1 tsp plain flour (maida) for dusting
For The Sugar Syrup
5 cups sugar
2 tsp plain flour (maida)
For the rasgullas
Knead the chenna well.Divide the chenna into 16 equals parts and roll each part into a ball, taking care to see that the there are no cracks on the surface
Dust the back of a flat plate (thali) lightly with the flour and place the rolled chenna balls on it.
For the sugar syrup
Combine the sugarwith 3 cups of water in a large pan approx. 200 mm. (8") in diameter and 150 mm. (6") in height and heat while stirring continuously till the sugar dissolves.
When the syrup comes to a boil, the impurities in the sugar will begin to float on the surface, forming a grey layer.
Heat over a medium flame to allow the grey layer to float. Do not stir at this point as the layer will break and it will not clarify the syrup.
After about 5 minutes, slowly drizzle 1 cup of water form the sides of the pan with the help of a ladle. Water added at this stage will bring down the temperature of the sugar syrup and will not allow it to boil and break the grey layer.
Continue to simmer the syrup over a medium flame for about 10 minutes and then gently remove the grey layer using a slotted spoon.
Bring the syrup to the boil once again and then slowly drizzle another cup of water from the sides of the pan using a ladle. Remove all the remaining impurities from the syrup, again using a slotted spoon.
Increase the flame and boil vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes. Keep aside.
Mix 2 teaspoons of the plain flour with 3/4 cup of water to make a flour solution. Keep aside.
Heat the sugar syrup in a deep pan over a high flame and allow it to boil vigorously.
When it boils, sprinkle half the flour solution in the sugar syrup and then add the chenna balls by upturning the plate on which they are kept. (do not touch the chenna balls at this point as they are fragile).
When the flour solution is added, a frothy layer is formed on the surface of the syrup.
If the frothy layer begins to subside, sprinkle the remaining half portion of the flour solution.
After this, keep on sprinkling water (minimum 1 cup) on the surface of the sugar syurp. Ensure that the syrup froths all the time while cooking the rasgullas.
Cook for about 15 minutes, continuously sprinkling water to enable the froth to form.
Check if the rasgullas are cooked. This is determined by touch. If the rasgulla springs back and retains its shape when pressed, it is cooked. Another way of checking is to drop a rasgulla in a pan of cold water.
If it sinks to the bottom, it is cooked.
Remove form the fire.
Transfer the rasgullas to a bowl along with 2 ladles of sugar syrup and 1 cup of water.
Cool and chill for approx. 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Rasgullas should always be cooked on a very high flame.
While cooking rasgullas, the sugar syrup must froth continuously.
The pan should be approximately 200 mm. (8") in diameter and 150 mm. (6") in height and the sugar syrup should fill about 1/3 of the pan.
While making rasgulla shapes (see variation below), always ensure that there are no cracks on the surface of the shapes.
While cooking, rasgullas expand to at least 4 times their original size.
While sprinkling water on the syrup when the rasgullas are cooking,
make sure you sprinkle a little water at a time (approx. a teaspoon at a time using your hands) and not large quantities.
The cooking time of the rasgullas will vary depending on their size.
(i.e. large shapes viz. the rolls, rajbhog etc. will need more cooking time and versa).
Note :- To make Chenna, boil milk and a few drops of lemon juice when it starts to boil, reduce flame and let it boil till water and Chenna separates. Remeber not to add too much lemon as the taste and smell of lemon will come in Chenna.