The popularity of Bengali sweets are world wide. Rosogolla (rasgulla), Sandesh, Misti doi are synonymous to Bengal. Bengalis have a sweet tooth, any party, any occassion is never considered complete without "Misti Mukh"( eating sweets).
Rosogollas can be of different varieties. e.g. Rajbhog, Komolabhog etc. To start off this blog, I prefer something sweet, so here comes the "Komolabhog".
Rosogolla is nothing but home-made cheese dumplings cooked in sugar syrup. Komolabhag, a simple variant of Rosogolla, is very similar to Rosogolla. Komolabhog is orange flavoured rosogolla. So you need to flavour the home made cottage chesse with orange extract and then cook it in boiling sugar syrup.
First step to make Komolabhog begins with curdling the milk to make the cottage cheese or what we call "Chana". For that you may use lime juice. As I was making komolabhog, to give that extra hint of orange I used orange juice along with lime juice to curdle the milk. One can also use vinegar or the chana whey(the liquid left after curdling the milk) to curdle the milk.
Use any heavy-bottom non stick pan and let the milk boil in medium flame.Take a ladle and stir in between. Ensure that the milk doesn't stick at the bottom of the pan. As the milk comes to boil, add the mixture of lime and orange juice. Stir well. You will notice that the milk gets curdled into white soilds and a greenish whey gets separated. Turn off the heat.
Now strain the curdled milk through a sieve lined with cheese cloth or a piece of muslin cloth. Press the "Chana" to take out the whey. right now the "chana" would be very hot. To prevent the "chana" from getting hard run the chana in cold water. Tie the chana in the muslin cloth and hang it for 20-30 min, so that the extra water drains out. But make sure you do not drain it for too long and the "chana" does not get too dry. It should be moist enough to knead it smoothly.
Now take the "chana" and mix a little flour, suji(cream of wheat), sugar, orange extract and yellow food color and knead it with your palm till smooth. For 1 cup chana you need to knead for approximately 5-6 min.
Excess kneading will make the cheese dumplimgs hard and your rosogolla or komolabhog will be hard. Make small round balls from the chana. From 1.5 litres of milk you can make approximately 15 such cheese balls.
As you are preparing the chana, make the sugar syrup in another vessel. Take a pot large enough for all the cheese dumplings to fit in. For making 15-16 komolabhog I used a 5 ltr pot, a pot with lid. Add some crushed cardamoms to the sugar syrup.
As the sugar syrup starts to boil, reduce the flame to simmer and add the chana balls. Cover and cook for 20-25 mins. Check in between.
Though mostly I eyeball during my cooking, but when making sweets one need to know the measurements at least for the first time.
For the chana:
- Milk: 1.5 lt
- Lime juice: 2 tsp
- Orange juice: ½ cup (this gives the extra flavour to komolabhog)
[You also need a strainer and cheese cloth or a piece of muslin.]
For the sugar syrup:
- Water: 4 cups
- Sugar (granulated): 2 cups
- Choto elach (cardamom): 3-4 (crushed)
- Flour: 1 tsp
- Suji (cream of wheat): 1 tsp
- Orange extract: ½ tsp
- Yellow food color: 6-8drops
- Powdered Sugar: 2tsp
How to proceed:
1. Boil the milk. As the milk boils add lime and orange juice. The milk will curdle.
2. Strain the chana.
3. Hang the chana in the muslin cloth for 20-30min.
4. Take a large pot with lid; put 4cups of water and 2cups of sugar along with crushed cardamom. Let it boil, as the syrup boils simmer the flame.
5. Mix flour, suji, powdered sugar, orange extract, yellow color with the chana; use your palm to knead the chana into smooth dough.
6. Make 15 equal size round balls from the chana.
7. Put the chana balls in the boiling hot sugar syrup. Cook in medium flame for 20-25mins with a lid on.
8. Check in between and turn the chana balls, if the chana balls tend to stick with each other then sprinkle some cold water.