Rasgulla is most definitely one of the best desserts I had in India - soft, delicate, spongy and incredibly flavorful!
It is said that Rasgulla was first made in Odisha, India, in a village where there was an excess of cow milk which was thrown away. When a priest saw that, he taught the people there the art of curdling - this is how Rasgulla was born. The recipe was carried to Bengal by the frequent Bengali visitors and this is how it became one of the most famous desserts in Bengal.
Start by bringing the milk to a boil. Once the milk starts boiling, add the lemon juice and mix until it starts curdling.
Once it curdles, turn off the heat and strain it. Place a mesh or a cloth on top of the strainer, because that will help you remove the excess water. We need to strain the cheese very well.
Pour some water over the cheese to get rid of the lemony taste.
Once that is done, squeeze the cheese hard so that you will remove the water. After that, leave the cheese to rest in the mesh for 30 min or 1 h.
After 30 min-1h remove the cheese from the mesh and start kneading it.
The cheese is crumbly at this point, but once you knead it for 5-10 minutes it will become very soft and nice. That is the secret for Rasagulla, especially if you don’t want any cracks. Another secret is to dip your hand in some water before forming the balls.
Portion the cheese mixture into 8 equal pieces and 8 smooth balls. Let them rest for a while.
In a pan, add the water, sugar, rose water and cardamom pods and bring everything to a boil
Then add the cheese balls to it (carefully), then boil them for 10-15 minutes. They should double in size.
Let them cool in room temperature and once they’re done, soak the cheese balls in the syrup and serve.