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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Sponge Rasgulla Recipe

Sponge Rasgulla

Today my heart was filled with mixed emotions..we were planning for Gulshan's Farewell and all Cook Hearts buddies  decided for a Zumba session and a Pot Luck Party. Talk of Fare Well party and my heart starts sinking and for a person like Gulshan who is too close to my heart it was all the more. I wanted to cook something which would make her feel special and Rasgullas were the one I could think of ..
             Rasgulla a famous Indian Sweet , refers to a spongy syrupy dessert made from chenna (cottage cheese) . These soft, spongy, white balls drenched in chilled sugar syrup can make any mouth water. They stay good for a week in Refrigerator and I usually make them one day ahead of special occasion or festival.
           To be very frank, I have miserably failed many times as I tried my hands on these  delectable snow white balls . Every attempt to get them  spongy , ended up getting too hard, very soft at times, irregularly shaped or flattened ones but I  kept on trying and learnt some new tricks from each attempt , finally  now I have a recipe which gave me the perfect Bengali Sponge Rasgulla . I have tried to give all the possible details and tips so that you all can also get them right.

  • Milk - 1 liter
  • Sugar - 2 cups
  • Curd- 4-5 tsp / lemon juice - 2 tsp 
  • Rose essence / Kewda water/ cardamom powder (optional )
  • 8-10 ice cubes or cold water
  1. Take a wok add little water to it or rinse it with water and then add milk, this will prevent milk from burning. Heat milk, stirring occasionally so that the cream does not separate out. If using refrigerated milk, keep the flame on low , otherwise you may get a wired smell.

2. When the milk boils, switch off the flame. Wait for 2-3 minutes, add about ½ of the curd and stir well.. It should start curdling. Add little more and keep stirring.

3. Once the milk is curdled and greenish whey is out add 7-8 ice cubes or cold water in it, to arrest the chenna from further cooking( this helps in getting soft Cheena). Now pass it through the cheese cloth or kitchen towel lined colander. Reserve the whey. I generally keep a small quantity of this whey in fridge and use it for curdling the milk while making paneer or Cheena the next time, this gives super soft cheena.

4. Wash the chenna with some cold water if you have used lemon juice for curdling. This will remove the sourness of lemon and will also help in cooling down the cheena. Gather the sides of kitchen towel and lightly squeeze the chenna. Do not apply much pressure. . now knot the cloth and hang it for 30 mins on a kitchen tap.

5.  While the chenna is hanging, take a deep and wide pot , add 10 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to it. Add 2 drops of rose essence or kewada water or cardamom powder at this stage . Some flavouring is good , otherwise it gives a milky flavour to the Rasgullas. Start heating up.(I have noticed that if we cook Chenna balls in concentrated sugar syrup, they turn hard on refrigeration , so try to cook them in a dilute sugar syrup and then you can add concentrated syrup after cooling down if you wish to have more sweet syrup)
Add 1 tsp of milk in the sugar syrup, to remove the impurities from sugar. The scum which floats up can be easily removed with a tea strainer or spoon.

6.    Take the chenna out from the cheesecloth, it should be dry but little moist. Start kneading this.

7.  Kneading is crucial here, knead the cheena by rubbing your palm on it, kneading time depends on quality of milk too. knead until there are no lumps and the mixture gathers up and fat start releasing out ( you can see your palms turned greasy), at this stage stop kneading and make smooth round balls of 1" diameter. I have not added Semolina or Suji while kneading the Cheena, If you are trying this dish first time you may add 1 tsp of un roasted Semolina in the Cheena, this helps to bind the mixture and prevents from breaking.

8.  Now when the syrup is boiling, add the balls into it and cover it with a lid . Add only 6-7 at a time as they double up their size and there should be enough space for them to swim in the syrup to ensure they do not loose their shape. keep on medium to high flame as the water should be continuously and vigorously boiling .Set timer for 15 minutes.

9.     Open the lid after 5 min and stir the Rasgullas carefully. You will notice that the Rasgullas have expanded and are almost double their size.  Cover it and repeat after 10 min.  Transfer the Rasgullas in a bowl after 15 minutes with good amount of syrup and wait for 7-8 hrs before serving it , because only after 7-8 hrs will the Rasgullas hold their shape and the flavors get infused in them well.
Serve chilled.

  • Try to use whole Cow milk for making Rasgullas. Skimmed packet milk, or tetra pack may not give good results.
  • Do not use citric acid crystals or vinegar to curdle the milk, for soft chenna, ideally use curd or left out whey . if using lemon juice, add lemon juice in Luke warm water and use it.
  • Try to use wide and deep pot or big pressure cooker for cooking the chenna balls,  so that there is enough space for chenna balls to swim and expand, as they almost double their size after cooking.
  • 1 liter milk will give you approximately 17-19 Rasgullas of medium size. 
  • If Rasgullas are left out you can squeeze them and add in Rabadi (condensed and sweetened milk) and have as Rasmalai.
  • If Rasgullas are over and only sugar syrup is left out, do not throw it , it is reusable. A very simple dish that can be made with left over syrup is "Sweet pancakes". Mix some wheat flour into the syrup and give it a good whisk and make pancakes on a greased skillet. You can also make Gulgullas , Kesari bhaat , Halwa , Barfi or Tomato chutney using the syrup.
  • Use the whey for kneading chapati or paratha dough. It is not only a good protein source but also makes Chapatis and Parathas soft. Store a small batch of this whey in fridge and use it to curdle the milk for future, this will ensure super soft Paneer or cheena. You can also use whey to condition your hair or you can use it to water plants in your kitchen garden.


  1. Thanks Poonam for sharing the recipe in such a detailed way.The information is crisp yet clear.Looking forward for many more such amazing recipe's.