Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lip-smacking Rasgulla recipe

I have tried for long to make rasgullas that taste like the ones I had a Ganguram's in Kolkata. I tried buying rasgullas from many shops, and tried making on my own in the hope of being able to reproduce that taste and texture that had lulled me into have a lot many Rasgullas that rainy day in Kolkata, but to no avail. None came even a close second.... Then, I read somewhere the milk that is curdled should be curdled slowly, taking care not to shock it, so I decided to try it out.... The rest is history....

The secret of making good, no GREAT tasting rasgullas is in what milk you use and how you go about curdling it and then processing it. Every step is very important, but I wasn't able to get the 2nd one right for quite a while. I finally tasted success (and moth-watering rasgullas) after a long time yesterday. I'll mention how you can go about reproducing them at home....

  1. Buy cow's milk for making rasgullas. 3.5% to 6.0% fat content is alright. Do not get low fat milk

  2. Boil it till about 10% of it boils off, taking care to not let it stick to the vessel. To ensure that, keep stirring as you boil it

  3. For 1 litre of milk, you will need about 2-3 tsp of vinegar or about 3/4th of a lime's juice. IMPORTANT: Dilute this juice in about 1 cup(240ml) of water

  4. Now, slowly keep adding this juice to the boiling milk, making sure to stir all the time. You can add about 1/4th every time, and stir for a minute. Do this about 4 times, and keep stirring and heating the milk on a low-medium flame. The milk should continuously keep curdling

  5. The milk is completely curdled when it separates into while solid and a greenish liquid

  6. Make sure that you do this curdling VERY VERY slowly, otherwise the paneer will result in rubbery rasgullas

  7. Now, separate the solid part(paneer) using a muslin cloth and squeeze out as much water as your possibly can. You can wash the paneer to remove the acidic part and squeeze out again, as much water content as you can

  8. Let this paneer dry up for about 30-45mins

  9. Now, you can follow any standard rasgulla recipe that tells you to knead the dough, form balls and cook them in boiling sugar syrup. However, I would like to clarify a few things

  10. The ratio of sugar:water in the boiling syrup should be 1:6 or lesser. I have heard some people boil the paneer balls in just water

  11. Make sure you roll the paneer balls tight and their surface is smooth. You can smear a bit of ghee(clarified butter) on your hands while rolling to ensure that they don't stick to your palm, and result in smooth balls

Use these rasgullas as rasgullas by dipping them in 1:2(sugar:water) syrup or by squeezing out the water(on cooling) and dipping them in rabri(to make yummy rasmalai!!!!)

Some lessons learnt

I have been working closely with this person called "Ramki", and have learnt a lot of interesting things from him that I wish to share. I don't know if I'll keep appending them to this post or create a new one each time. I guess it depends on my mood and the context and other such stuff....

  1. Never use filenames or variable names in an application that have the name of the product in it. If you ever decide to change the name of the application, you'll have to change all those file and variable names too. This can be a nightmare.

  2. When creating database tables which hold the email address of the user, also use a unique user ID. This allows users to change their email IDs when they please. If you use the email ID as the primary key(like how I was going to), it would not allow a change of email address in a cheap fashion. You would probably have to do an ON UPDATE CASCADE, etc.... and it would be quite an expensive operation.