Rasgulla: Paneer Balls in Sugar Syrup | Indian Dessert

After you curdle the milk, drain the whey, mash the fresh crumbly chhena (paneer) until you can form smooth balls, then boil them in sugar syrup  you know what that makes?

The popular dessert, Rasgulla.
If you thought making rasgulla at home was complicated, time-consuming, or a big deal - I am going to change the way you think.

Spusht | Indian Sweet Dish | Rasgulla | White, soft, and spongy
The main issues I have seen people have with making rasgulla are:
     a) rasgulla is discolored,
     b) rasgulla does not seem to have a smooth outer texture,
     c) rasgulla expands initially then shrinks,
     d) rasgulla is chewy and makes that ch-ch sound as you eat,
     e) rasgulla is not a round shape

You will find the reasons and my answers to these problems as you read further below.

While the rasgulla recipe shared here needs boiling the paneer balls in a pan, I have tried the pressure cooker method too.  However, my rasgulla usually gets discolored in a pressure cooker (either becoming slight yellowish or a little pinkish-brownish).  That is why I prefer boiling in the pan because I like to see a beautiful white perfect rasgulla.


Spusht | Rasgulla | Paneer Balls in Sugar Syrup

How to make Rasgulla at home
Yields: about 15 standard or 25 medium balls

You need:
For chhena
1 liter (2% or low fat milk) ~ about 4 cups
½ tsp citric acid

For sugar syrup
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
Medium, wide, deep pan with lid - stainless steel or nonstick, does not matter


Step 1: Make chhena at home as explained in the post.  If you add too much sour agent to curdle it, or if you leave it on heat longer after it curdles and the whey separates - those are partly the reasons why you might get a little sour-tasting or a chewy rasgulla in the end.  After you keep crumbly white chhena in the cheesecloth under a heavy weight for 2-3 hours until the remaining whey drains out, remove the chhena on a clean counter top.  Remember that the whey must be drained out completely, otherwise you will not be able to form the balls.

Step 2: Mash the chhena with the heel of your hand (the side of your palms just before the wrist) on the counter top.  If you have a very moist chhena, when you mash - the entire chhena will get stuck to the counter top (and making rasgulla is very difficult in this situation).  But if you have a nicely squeezed chhena, it should look like the picture below when you mash.  As you mash by dragging your palms, your palms will automatically get greased by the fats from the chhena, which aids you to mash and smoothen it better.  In case your chhena has become too dry, you could use a drop of the reserved whey (or plain water) and continue.  Make sure the chhena is absolutely smooth.
Q: How long should you mash the chhena (paneer) for?
A: For about ten minutes until you are able to form a very smooth ball with no cracks.

Spusht | How to make rasgulla at home | Easy rasgulla recipe

Step 3: Once you get a flawless ball of chhena (paneer), bring together the mashed and smooth paneer like a dough and divide into equal portions.  Some rasgullas do not appear to have a smooth outer appearance because they may not have been pressed and mashed well.  Roll each portion between your palms until you form a round ball.  You can make either 15 large rasgulla or 25 medium-sized rasgulla balls.  You can also choose to keep this soft paneer dough covered in a cling wrap in the refrigerator for a day or two until you are ready to make rasgulla.

Step 4: When your paneer balls are ready, heat the water and sugar in a pan over medium flame until the sugar melts, and it just about comes to a boil, and you see bubbles.
Q: Why should you use a medium, wide, deep pan to make rasgulla?
A: The paneer balls expand to double in size, so you need to give them enough space in a wide, deep pan to expand.  The medium-sized pan is for the said proportion in this recipe; you could use a small saucepan with lesser amount of water and sugar mixture for a smaller quantity of paneer balls too.

Drop the paneer balls in the pan, cover the pan with its lid, and put your timer on 12 minutes.
Q: How many paneer balls should you put in the pan at a time?
A: Only as many as you think will fit after expansion.  You have to give them breathing room.

Spusht | Rasgulla recipe using fresh chhena paneer

Step 5: Once your timer buzzes, it is time to check on your rasgulla.
Q: How to test if your rasgulla is ready?
A: Take a bowl of fresh water, drop one of your rasgulla balls in it.  If it floats, put it back in the pan covering the lid and letting the balls boil in the sugar syrup for a minute or two more.  If the rasgulla ball sinks in the fresh water, it is done.

If this is your first batch of rasgulla, transfer the boiled rasgulla gently into a bowl of fresh water – they should have enough space and not get crowded in the bowl.  Handle them gently because they are delicate when they are warm and fresh.  Put your second batch of paneer balls in the same sugar and water mixture for 12 minutes again.  You may not be able to use the same sugar-water mixture (this is the sugar syrup) for a third batch because the mixture starts to get more syrupy and dense, and may not result in good spongy rasgulla.

Q: Why should you keep rasgulla in fresh water?
A: Because if you keep the boiled, warm, spongy rasgulla in a bowl on top of one another, they will become flat and lose their round shape.  If they are immersed in water, they will retain their shape.  Once all your rasgulla is done, you can transfer all the rasgulla balls from fresh water to the original sugar syrup (after gently squeezing out the fresh water so they can then absorb the sweetness from the syrup) once the sugar syrup cools down completely (so that your rasgulla balls do not cook further in a hot sugar syrup).  I must say that I invented this rasgulla in floating water trick, because I haven't seen any post on internet that mentioned anything like this - all posts that I have seen have said to leave the rasgulla balls in sugar syrup.

That is it.  Place the rasgulla in a refrigerator if you like to serve them cold, or enjoy the rasgulla at room temperature if you like them so.  You can now enjoy fresh homemade rasgulla anytime, and need not wait to purchase a can of rasgulla from the store.

Spusht | Paneer Cheese Balls in Sugar Syrup | Rasgulla

If you ask me, I will suggest you to remember only the proportions for the sugar syrup, because curdling the milk to make chhena (paneer) is not a biggie.  No matter how much chhena you make, no matter how many balls you form, just remember the water-sugar ratio is 4:1.  For every 4 cups of water, add 1 cup of sugar.  Please note that my rasgulla recipe will give you rasgullas on the less sweeter side (I just like to control the sugar intake).  If you'd like yours sweeter, once you transfer the balls in plain water add ½ cup sugar to the still warm/hot sugar syrup and let it dissolve.  Then when you squeeze out the balls and leave in the sugar syrup they will absorb the sweetness.

If you make smaller quantity of chhena, halve the water-sugar quantity to a 2 cup water and a ½ cup sugar.  It is my guess that a rasgulla usually expands and shrinks, or becomes dense instead of spongy, because of a mismatched water and sugar ratio, or because the balls are added when the sugar syrup has boiled too long.  Water and sugar caramelize and become syrupy the longer they are boiled, and that is not what we want for our rasgulla.  For a gulab jamun, yes.  But not for rasgulla.

Spusht | Indian Dessert | Fresh Homemade Rasgulla

Enjoy.
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35 comments:

  1. Very nice and delicious rasgulla, you nailed everything in rasgulla making.

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  2. Hi,I tried them today.But they burst in the syrup while boiling.This is the second time this has happened.I am definitely going wrong somewhere.I converted them into some other sweet.but i am feeling sad and yet I dont want to give up.Help!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh Shubha, don't feel sad. I think it is the lack of kneading why they would break. Sometimes when we make the ball it looks fine with no visible cracks the way we make ladoo, let's say. But the essential thing in Rasgulla is to mash and knead the chhena very well with your palms. Try again and tell me the results :-)

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  3. Hi Nisha, I went by your recipe and the rasagullas turned out absolutely perfect! I wouldn't have attempted this if I hadn't found your recipe! Thanks :-)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to see this feedback, Subhi, thanks for trusting and trying!

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  4. i tried but my rasgulla became flat

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  5. nishaji i tried to make rasgulla no. of times, But, all the tiems, these turned to be flat in shape. please give the reasons for the same.

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    Replies
    1. Ramesh, I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out for you. I think when the whey is not completely drained from the chhena, there's a possibility of the balls becoming flat. Also, which kind of pan did you use - a deep one or not so deep? Please try again, following the steps exactly. Meanwhile, you can make Ras Malai from your flat rasgullas :)

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  6. Hey i tried ur rasgulla reciipe and made 12 rasgulla in 30 minutes.they turned out perfect.

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  7. Hi today I tried this recipe, but my balls didn't expand and inside the ball I could taste only raw paneer. Can you help me where it went wrong

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  8. How about Vitamin D milk? Can we use that instead of 2%?

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  9. Any way to utilize the paneer if they do not expand?

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  10. i tried rasgulla or the first time today .taste was good but all are flat in shape
    ..why ??

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  11. Hi nisha i tried making rasgulla from 2% milk,buy milk didnt got ne curdle i used lemon juice which v use evry day..still it didnt got curdle then i added citric acid n i saw some pannet coming out.need to know onethng when we add lemonjuice or vibegar shud i turn off heat???? Help me pls..

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  12. Hi nisha thank u..its panner i typed t instead of r...:) thanks i wil try again..:)

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  13. Dear nisha...ur recipie is amazing..rasgulla came perfect only thing there is ch ch sound :(
    What could be the reason

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  14. Nisha,
    Tried your recipe and rasgullas turned out perrrrrfect. Thanks for the wonderful, in-depth description. Must say - u r awesome !

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  15. What an amazing rasgullas!! Perrrfect
    Nisha <3

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  16. Hi i tried your recipe fluffyness and every thing has gone right but inner part of rasgula tastes like paneer .i tried the recipe twice ..Dont now where i am going wrong

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    Replies
    1. Oh I'm sorry to hear that. Sounds like your rasgulla needed more cooking time. Also depends on how big your rasgulla balls were and how deep a pan and water level they were cooking in (could be because of not being immersed enough to cook they may have remained raw from inside). Let me know if you try again.

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  17. 10 Rasagullas - ONE = 9 ;)
    The ONE that's missing had by then satiated that hungry stomach (of yours).. And, your recipe pics (by itself) have partly satiated your blog readers! :)

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  18. Hi nisha I tried making rasgulla but it really spoiled. I wasted 1 litre milk. Am told disappointed. Those paneer balls are really hard like rubber. I tried boiled those balls in sugar syrup for half an hour, but it dint worked out. Its not juicy or tasty. Its very raw. Help me wat I should do with the wasted paneer balls.

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    Replies
    1. And why would you boil them for 30 minutes when the instructions clearly say 12 minutes?
      There's nothing I can help with.

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  19. Hi Nisha,thanks a lot for wonderful recipe of rasgullas.They were perfect in texture and taste.Only one thing remained that they were a little flattish not round like from shop.can u please help on this.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for trying Sudha!
      Size of pan, the number of rasgullas in the pan, the space for them to expand, and the amount of water boiling in the pan - could be any of these factors..

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  20. hi i tried out recipe they were fluffy but flat and had ch ch texture

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  21. Hi, what should be the temperature of plain water in which rasgullas are transferred after boiling.

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    Replies
    1. Just regular room temperature. Don't stress too much about exact temperature :)
      Enjoy making rasgullas!

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  22. My chhena is too soft I cant kneaded can I add more maida for making balls?plz help me out

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    Replies
    1. I have never added maida or sooji or anything else to my chhena, so I cannot suggest those and no idea how the results will turn out. Try removing moisture from your chhena, leave it in a cloth under heavy weight for longer. Hope that helps..

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  23. I have tried this Radhika but it become flat and syrup has not gone inside

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  24. Hii.. i hav tried rasgulla.. initially it comes out very good wen i open lid thn gradually it shrinks n turn into flat shape like aloo tikki.. can u pls guide me.. i do for 1/2 liters

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  25. My rasgullas r rising three times in size then gradually they r shrinking & becoming flat .Please suggest the remedy.

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  26. I made paneer 24 hrs ago and refrigerated it. Can I use it to make rasgulla??

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