Unbeatable, irresistible and one of the most popular Bengali sweets is Rasgulla.
According to historians of Odisha, the Rasgulla originated in Puri as Khira Mohana which later evolved into the Pahala Rasgulla. It has been traditionally offered as bhog to goddess Lakshmi at Jagannath Temple, Puri
The Jagannath Temple scholars such as Laxmidhar Pujapanda and researchers like Jagabandhu Padhi state that the tradition has existed since the 12th century when the present-day temple structure was first built.
Pujapanda states that the Niladri Bije tradition is mentioned in Niladri Mahodaya, which is dated to the 18th century by Sarat Chandra Mahapatra. According to Mahapatra, several temple scriptures, which are over 300 years old, provide the evidence of Rasgulla offering ritual in Puri.
According to folklore, Pahala (a village on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar) had a large number of cows. The village would produce excess milk, and the villagers would throw it away when it became spoilt. When a priest from the Jagannath Temple saw this, he taught them the art of curdling, including the recipe for Rasagulla. Pahala thus went on to become the biggest market for chhena-based sweets in the area.
The spongy white Rasgulla is believed to have been introduced in present-day West Bengal in 1868 by a Kolkata-based confectioner named Nobin Chandra Das.
Enough of history. Now let’s learn how to make this mouthwatering Rasgulla.
- 1 liter – Low-fat cow milk
- 250 grams – Sugar
- 2 tablespoon – Vinegar
- 4 Cups – Water
(Long history but only short 4 ingredients!!)
- Boil the milk in a container and add vinegar.
- Stir continuously.
- The remainder will be yellow liquid and Chhena (Paneer/Cottage Cheese).
- Cool it for 5 minutes.
- Remove water with the help of a sieve.
- Keep Paneer in a thin cloth and rinse with running water for a few seconds.
- After a while squeeze the cloth with Paneer to remove all water.
- Take out Paneer on a plate.
- Knead the Paneer till it becomes smooth, make the dough.
- Keep 4 cup of water in a cooker, add 2 cups of sugar.
- Heat the water till sugar melts.
- While the water is getting heated, make small balls (with soft palm) from the dough of Paneer, stuff it with a little sugar.
- Add 6 balls in cooker water and heat it till 1 whistle.
- Cool the cooker for a while.
- Repeat the process till all balls are processed as per 13/14 above. Add water and sugar as required.
- Now what is coming out of the cooker are not balls but Rasgulla. (Gulla – balls, acquired Ras i.e. water in the cooker process).
- Take out these Gullas with some hot water, keep in a glass bowl
- Add 3 to 4 cubes of ice. You may keep Rasgulla in a fridge after 3-4 hours to serve cold Rasgulla later.
- Rasgulla is ready to serve.
Bengali sweets are to be consumed as quickly as possible. It may get spoiled (sour taste) if you keep for more than a couple of days. Always keep Rasgulla in a fridge.
Rasgulla is protein-rich low-calorie food.
Add less sugar and it’s also good for the diabetic patient. It will quench their desire to eat sweet. (Consume in moderation).
The quantity you make will fall short of the demand from the family members. This is an eternal truth of the famous Rasgulla. (In 2018 the West Bengal Govt. decided to celebrate Rasgulla or Rosogulla day on 14th Nov every year.)
You may also like to know the famous Gujarati Sweet: How to Make Golpapdi – Sukhadi?