I learnt the basic rasgulla many, many moons ago from a friend in Dallas and had made it several times while living there. It never failed to impress. When I saw the Sweet Series announcement at Mythreyee's Paajaka Recipes, it suddenly dawned on me that I haven't made these rasgullas in almost six years, ever since I left Dallas. So I am thankful to her for reminding me of this dish. This time I decided to make Angoori Rasmalai, mini grape-size (angoori) rasgullas in sweet milky syrup. This is a very popular dessert at weddings...infact we had it at our wedding. Here's how I made them:
For the Rasgullas (makes about 45 angoori rasgullas):
2 cups milk
1 tbsp white vinegar
Bring the milk to a boil on medium heat. When it come to a full boil, remove from heat and add the vinegar. This causes the milk to curdle and the whey separates from the cheese. Leave this as is for about 5 mins for all the cheese to settle down. Strain this in a cheesecloth. The whey can be used to knead dough for rotis. Wash the cheese under cold running water for a minute or two to remove any trace of the vinegar. Tie the cheesecloth fairly tightly and hang it to drain for 2 hrs. Then spread out the cheese on a plate and knead it gently for about 5 mins. To ensure it becomes very smooth, use the base of your palm while kneading to gently press the cheese. When the cheese becomes very smooth, form it into balls. For making angoori rasgullas, I made garbanzo bean-size balls. Once cooked, these double in size. If making regular-size rasgullas, shape them slightly bigger.
For the sugar syrup:
2 cups water
5 tsp sugar
Add sugar to the water and bring to a boil in a pressure pan. Gently drop in the cheese balls, close the pan lid (with the whistle on) and cook for 1 whistle. Immediately take the pan off the heat and place it under cold running water. This helps to release the steam pressure. Open the lid carefully, you will see the rasgullas have doubled in size.
Since the rasgullas swell on cooking, remember to cook them in batches to ensure that they have enough room in the pan while cooking. I cooked the 45 angoori rasgullas in 2 batches in my pressure pan, using the same sugar syrup.
When making rasmalai, I always add less sugar to the water used for boiling the rasgullas, since they later get a good soaking in the milk syrup. If making plain rasgullas, the proportion of sugar to water should be equal, or slightly less if you prefer it less sweet. Also, add a pinch of cardamon pwd. to the water when making plain rasgullas.
For the milk syrup:
1.5 cups milk
5 tsp sugar
Few strands of saffron
Sliced almonds and pistas for garnish
A pinch of cardamon pwd.
Bring the milk to a boil on medium heat and then simmer it for about 1 hr. This is the most time consuming part of the recipe, since it is prefarable to keep stirring the milk as it simmers. This ensures that the cream that forms on the milk mixes evenly with the rest of the milk to slightly thicken it, rather than clumping. After simmering for 1 hr, add the sugar, saffron, cardamon pwd. Cool slightly. Add the rasgullas, garnish with almonds and pistas if desired.
Chill before serving.
These Angoori Rasmalais are off to the Milky Sweets - Spongy Texture event at Paajaka.
I am also sending these over to Aparna at My Diverse Kitchen to celebrate her first blog anniversary.