Cooking can be stress buster for bachelors. More so if you don’t cook so well but can lay your hands on a book with an easy but mouthwatering recipe. Well, I had Satarupa Banerjee’s The Book of Indian Sweets (affiliate link) for help.
Missed my swimming lesson yesterday and so was desperate to put the evening to good use. I received the book yesterday from Kwench, and not having cooked for a while I decided to start with what a Bong outside Bengal craves for – The Oh-so-Awesome Rosogolla.
The Giant Rasgulla
Satarupa’s book on Indian sweets starts off with the unputdownable (yeah Telegraph, I borrowed your subtitle, but I hope you would take it as flattery) Rasogolla. Since the book looked pretty handy, I thought of starting off sequentially. But then it would have been too Bong for comfort. The next one was Rajbhog and I chose it immediately. Satarupa calls it The Giant Rasogulla, with a little different texture. Followed instructions to the T and ended up with this:
You can search the internet for several videos, recipes and prep styles for Rajbhog so would include just the basic style (without the jazz).
What you need (Ingredients of Rajbhog)
Note: I prepared 12 giant balls (no pun intended :P) with these. So, if you want more/less, extrapolate the figures accordingly.
- 250 gm Paneer (softer the better. If you find Chhana, or Chhena, all the better)
- 60 gm Khowa (not many stores would give you this amount though)
- 1 tsp flour (maida), 1tsp semolina (suji), 1 cardamom (you just need the Elach, or Elaichi, seeds)
- 1 kg sugar (yes, you need that much Chini for the sugar syrup)
- 750 ml water (hopefully, you have one of those 1 litre mineral water bottles at your house, it would help in the measurement)
- Edible Yellow color (or, 1 gm saffron, or Kesar, if you have some extra dough. Mind you, not many stores would give you 1gm of this costly stuff, so be prepared to be set back by 150 odd rupees. Else, edible colors work just well. What do you think they give you in the Sweets shops anyways?)
- 1tsp rose water (if you already have all the other stuff at home, but not this one, don’t worry too much about it)
How to make Rajbhog (preparation steps of Rajbhog)
- Ensure that the Paneer doesn’t have too much water (yeah I know that sounds a little moronic), and knead the Paneer with your palm well until it becomes smooth.
- Then mix 1tsp (maida) and 1tsp semolina (suji) with the kneaded Paneer and knead again
- Make 12 smooth balls, and ensure that there isn’t any crack
- Tip 1 (For Beginners): at the start you may not know the optimum size of each ball, so don’t worry. Once you start making a few Golas, you would get a hang of how much Paneer to put in each Gola.
- Tip 2 (for all) : if you want the Rajbhogs to look yellow, while kneading the Paneer, mix some edible yellow color with it
Now, that we have Paneer Golas, we need to make some Khowa/Cardamom balls and put it inside the Paneer Golas. Lets get started.
- Mix Khowa and Cardamom (Elaichi) seeds and divide into 12 portions (I made 12 balls).
- Stuff one portion of the Khowa/Cardamom mix into each Paneer Gola, and roll the balls into your palm so that the Paneer covers all the Khowa
- Tip 3 (For Beginners): if you don’t, while boiling the Golas in sugar syrup, the Khowa would drain out. It happened to 2 of my Golas.
Okay, now we need to prepare sugar syrup and then boil the Golas in it. Lets do it.
- In 750 ml water, put ½ kg sugar and boil it. When the sugar seems dissolved, pour another ½ kg sugar and continue with the heat. A while later (say 5-7 minutes), you have Sugar syrup with you.
- Put your Golas one by one into the heated sugar syrup and continue with the boil. You’ll see that the Golas increase in size (I mean they will get puffed).
- Continue for another 7-8 minutes and you might see some crack appearing on the Rajbhog’s surface. Remove them from fire.
- Add (rather sprinkle) 1tsp rose water
- You’ll have let the Golas soak in sugar syrup for a few hours (say 3-4 hours) before you can have them.
Tada, your Rajbhog is ready.
Expert Eater Challenge
Try having one Rajbhog in one mouthful J. If you can, send us a photo, we’ll publish it here.