Rasogollar Payesh

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“Bengalis are too much fond of sweets, it’s their national weakness”

– Anonymous

Bangalir Khawadawa

After coming back to Kolkata, I bought this book on Bengali cuisine by Shankar; the book is in Bengali and titled “Bangalir Khawadawa” (aka, Food and Feasting of Bengalis). The book has a great deal of information of various dishes, sweets, chops, and restaurants in Kolkata. The book discusses culinary skills in Bengalis of yore in great detail. But the only thing that I missed in the book was a special section on rasgulla. Which is kind of disappointing since rasgulla (or rasogolla, rashogolla) is the most widely consumed sweet among Bengalis. Well, this post isn’t a book review (it would be a later post). Let’s talk about Rasogollar Payesh.

Rasogollar Payesh

Rasogolla in Bengal

Rasgulla was invented by the sweet makers (or moira in Bengali) of Puri, the famous temple town in Orissa. In the mid 19th century Oriya cooks were hired at the rich Bengali households and with them arrived the coveted recipe of rasogolla. In 1868, a Bong sweet maker, Nabin Chandra Das refined the sweet delicacy to have a better shelf life. That was the birth of sponge rasgulla.

All I am saying this is because I got very excited with the book, and also a couple of days back I prepared a derivate of this ecstatic rasogolla and named it rasgollar payesh or rasgulla pudding or you can even call it ras malai with a slight twist. This is such a simple recipe that you can even prepare when your guests are knocking at the door. I had bought a can of rasgulla and just thought of experimenting with those sweet cheesy balls. The preparation was an instant hit and those who had the dish couldn’t stop licking their fingers (well not literally. They used spoons you see. But you get the drift. (Bhavnaon ko Samjho).

Cooking time: 30mins

Makes 16 rasgulla

Ingredients:

Rasgulla (Rasogolla): 1kg can contains 16 (How to make Rasogolla – video)

Whole cream milk (Dudh): 1 ½ ltr

Rasgulla syrup (Rash / Raus): 1 cup, pour in more if you want it very sweet

Custard powder: 2 tablespoon

Raisin (Kismis / Kishmish): 20-25

Preparation:

  • Keep aside half cup of milk and pour in the rest of milk in a thick bottom pan and simmer till the volume reduces to three-fourth
  • Take the custard powder in a small bowl and gradually add the milk that was kept aside to make a smooth batter
  • Pour the custard mix into the simmering milk with constant stirring to avoid lump formation
  • Add one cup of the syrup from the can, I used little less than that as we don’t like too much sweet in desserts
  • Simmer again for about 5 min with constant stirring
  • Now, drop in the rasgullas one after another and take out of flame
  • Garnish with raisins
  • You can keep it in the freezer for sometime or serve it just like that

Rasogollar Payesh

Hot Tips – You can leave out the custard powder. In that case it’s better to simmer the milk for sometime more so that the volume reduces to half the original, and add ½ teaspoon of cardamon powder or one teaspoon of vanilla essence.

Further Readings – Wiki link Rasgulla, How to make Rasogolla – video

Sending this recipe to FIL: Milk hosted by Sanghi of Sanghi’s Food Delights and also to Barbara for supporting a nobel cuase with her event “LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow 2009“.

FIL Milk small

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Mishti Doi

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“De doi, de doi paate| ore beta haari haate||”

The above quote is from a poem I read long time back, but can’t exactly remember the poet now. It says, give me the sweet yogurt the one who carries the pot with him.

Mishti Doi

A few days back when I saw Dolon write about Mishti doi on her blog, the sweet greedy Bong awoke within me. Mishti doi reminds me, and probably all Bengalis an earthen pot filled with a brownish mass of sweet curd. Misti doi is an inseparable part of all festivals in Bengal- be that a tika (a dot on the forehead) for Bhai phota (festival to mark the well being of brother), or the charanamitro (offering made to God during worship), or just a dessert to end the meal for a feast.  While we were searching for links on Mishti doi, K found an interesting one. I never knew this; SJ prepared it in an oven. That is really a nice and quick way to prepare misti doi, I believe. The post even wrote about the mention of curds in Vedas as the “Food of God”, and probably that explains why it’s offered during all rituals.

I have tried out mishti dahi in Bangalore too, but here it’s sold in plastic containers. The smell of the wet earthen pot holding the misti doi gives the actual feel of this dessert. So, when I came back to Kolkata yesterday I just couldn’t wait to devour some misti doi. Earthen pots are easily available here, and mom had some handy in her kitchen, so that was not a problem at all. While the color of the yogurt helps all to remind them of this dessert, there are some sweet shops in Kolkata too where mishti dahi looks white similar to the set sour curd.

Mishti doi though a very popular dessert throughout Bengal, it is rarely prepared at home. This may probably because it’s readily available in the market (sweet shops in Bengal are more frequent than light posts on the streets) and also preparing it takes a long time almost over night and even more. So a time taking recipe, but still is worth all the labor. Here, it is all for you to grab.

Cooking time: 35min
Preparation time: 5min
Incubation: Overnight (10-11hr)
Makes half-litre of yogurt

Ingredients:

  • Full Cream Milk (Dudh): 1ltr
  • Sugar (Chini): 8 tablespoon
  • Yogurt (Dahi): 1 tablespoon
  • 1 Earthen pot (optional)

Preparation:

  • Pour the milk in a thick bottom vessel and start heating over low flame
  • As it starts boiling add 4 tablespoons of sugar and keep on simmering till the volume is reduced to little less than half
  • Take the remaining sugar with 2 tablespoons of water and heat till the sugar melts and attains a golden brown color
  • Gradually add the molten sugar over the milk and boil for another 15 minutes over low flame
  • Take out of flame and let it become lukewarm
  • Pour the milk over the earthen pot and add the yogurt
  • Keep the pot in a cool dry place, and let the yogurt set over night
  • Refrigerate the set dahi and serve as a dessert

Mishti Doi

Hot tips – Instead of using yogurt to set the dahi, freeze-dried bacteria can also be used for the same purpose.

Further readings – Bengali sweetsYogurt in ten steps, List of misti doi

Linda is celebrating the World Breast Feeding Week on her blog with the event Got Milk?. Mishti doi is on way to the event.

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