How to Make Soft and Spongy Rasagullas

Many of you would think, why an entire post on rasgullas? If you ask me, I can even write an article in the newspaper on how I got my rasgullas correct, finally 🙂 Rasgullas are considered the king of Indian sweets. Originated in West Bengal, they are the flag bearer of Bengali cuisine, esp. sweets. As many other sweets of Bengal, rasagullas are also made of chaina (paneer/cottage cheese) and they are soft, spongy, and just the right amount of sweet.

So, after this introduction, let’s jump right into the recipe and the never told tips and tricks that will take you from the hard, shrunk cheese balls to soft, and spongy sugar-syrup filled balls. Click here to see the recipe of Rasagullas.

I am sure the recipe itself would have given you some pointers. If not, then let’s see all the things that you need to take care of while making the rasagullas.

  1. Use full-cream cow’s milk – It’s not absolutely mandatory. But, if you can get hold of full cream cow’s milk, it will be much better than the tetrapack pasteurized milk. If you have access to only tetrapack milk, use the full cream version.
  • Do not dry the chaina by wringing your cheese cloth hard – Once you have curdled the milk, immediately, sieve it through the cheese cloth. Rinse your chaina with the cold water and let your cheese cloth hang for 10-12 minutes. Squeeze it gently but firmly and take the chaina out on a plate for kneading.
  • Knead the chaina until it has turned velvety and there are no grains – Initially, you will see that your chaina is grainy and crumbly. Start kneading it with your wrist bone and with your fingers till a soft dough is formed. There’s no need to over-knead it. Once you have got the texture right, start making the balls.

Now, let’s go through some crucial points we all miss while making the rasagullas. You need to:

  • Take lots of water to cook your rasagullas – Rasagullas are different from gulab jamuns. For 10 gulab jamuns, you will need 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to make the sugar syrup. For 10 rasagullas, you will need 1 cup sugar and 10 cups of water. My tips:
    • Make a separate sugar syrup in which you will store the rasagullas and keep it aside.
    • Take a large vessel and add 10 or more cups of water to 1 cup of sugar and set it to boil to cook rasagullas.
  • Choose the right vessel – This is the biggest mistake we all make while making the rasagullas. Based on the number of balls you have made, choose the correct vessel which will be able to take all the balls in single layer while giving enough space to each ball to play and jump around. In my earlier attempts, I took medium size pan and it did not give enough space to the balls to bloom. So, this time I used my big cooker and removed its rubber and whistle and used it to cook rasagullas.
    • Choose a big vessel with heavy bottom and heavy lid.
    • The vessel should be big enough where the balls can jump around in the hot boiling water and bloom to their full size.
    • The lid of the vessel should be heavy and should cover the vessel properly. We need to make sure that while the rasagullas are cooking in boiled water, the lid should remain tightly placed.
  • Maintain the hot water temperature – At any point, your rasagullas experience cold water or cold air, they are gone. Right from the moment you have made the balls till they are cooked, do not leave them in open air or in lower than the hot-boiling water.
    • Timing is important – Plan it in such a way that the water is at the boiling point when your balls are ready. Your balls should not be waiting in the air for the water to boil.
    • Each ball should be dropped in the hot boiling water. After dropping one ball, wait for 5-10 seconds before dropping the second ball and so on.
    • Throughout the cooking process, the water temperature should not go down. If you see that your water is getting less in volume and you have to add more water, add hot water. To avoid this situation, consider point number 4. From the beginning, take lots of water as you will need this water to be boiling at highest temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  • Keep your rasagullas covered while cooking – Once you have put all our rasagullas in the hot boiling water, put the lid on the vessel. Your rasagullas should not come in touch with cold air while cooking. Your rasagullas should be ready in 10-12 minutes. Take a timer and first put the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check the rasagullas quickly and again cover the lid and again cook for 5-8 minutes.
  • Keep the Ice water ready – As much it is important to maintain the hot water temperature while cooking the rasagullas, if you leave the rasgullas in hot water after they have cooked, they will shrink and harden. After 10-12 minutes, once you see your rasgullas fully bloomed and cooked, immediately transfer them one by one in to the ice-cold chilled water to stop the cooking process.
  • Keep one bowl of water handy – After 10-12 minutes, you can take out one rasagulla and dip it in a bowl of water. If the rasagulla sinks to the bottom, it has been cooked. If it is floating, it needs to cook more. Do this process very quickly so as not to spoil the rasagulla by leaving it in the air. And while you are testing one rasagulla, keep the remaining rasagullas covered, cooking in the hot boiling water.