Rasgulla is a popular Indian sweet that is enjoyed in Trinidad, mostly during Diwali and for other Hindu celebrations. However, in different parts of the world, similar things are known by different names, and different things are known by similar names! I decided to make them both!
In India, the traditional Bengali sweet known as rasgulla is made using a ball of curdled milk (paneer) and cooked in a syrup (which it is also served with). In Trinidad, this sweet is commonly known as rasmalai. In India, rasmalai is again something different. It's similar to rasgulla but it is served in a cream syrup instead of a regular water-sugar syrup.
|Traditional Bengali Rasgulla|
- 1 Litre Whole (Full Cream) Milk
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Sugar
- Few pods of Cardamom
- First, make the paneer. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Just as it starts to boil, add the lemon juice, stir and turn off the heat. The curds will begin to separate immediately. Allow the curds to separate for 5-10 minutes. After this time, strain the curds into a colander or a sieve, lined with cheesecloth. Rinse the curds to remove the lime. Squeeze excess water from the paneer curds and allow to drain for about half hour to an hour.
- Secondly, after the paneer has drained, prepare the syrup. Bring water to a boil and add the sugar and cardamom. While this is boiling, make the rasgulla balls.
- Knead paneer for 5-10 minutes until it forms a smooth dough. Separate and shape into small balls (whatever size you like) as it will double in size as it cooks. After the balls are made, carefully add them to the syrup. Cover and cook for about 6-10 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Allow syrup to cool, and refrigerate (balls and syrup). The rasgulla is now ready to be served!
In Trinidad, what is known as rasgulla is a dough made of powdered milk and a bit of flour, fried and then added to the syrup. This is traditionally known as gulab jamun. What we know as gulab jamoon in Trinidad is actually something different, again.
I actually had never tried (eaten or made) rasgulla before this, so I had no idea what to expect. But, most recipes are quite similar, once you get the name right!