Rasgulla is one of the most popular Indian desserts. Sometimes this 3 ingredient, simple looking dessert can get really intimidating to make. In this particular post, let us dive into the mistakes that we need to avoid while making Rasgullas. Here I give you 9 reasons why Rasgullas fail and troubleshooting these mistakes.
I have tried my best to troubleshoot the complete Rasgulla making process for you. Please refer to the Rasgulla recipe for further insights. All these 9 reasons also apply to the Ras Malai recipe. Ras Malai and
Cracked or Dissolved Rasgulas?
For all the reasons why Rasgullas fail I have got you covered!
Troubleshoot 9 reasons why Rasgullas or Rasmalai fail
1. Hard Chena
While curdling if the milk curdles with a shock and further remains in the boiling water for some time, the Chena hardens. Hence the Rasgullas will turn out hard or rather rubbery.
So, it is must that Chena curdles gradually. It means that there should be at least 30 seconds of time lapse between the appearance of the first curdle and the complete separation of hay. Ideally, it should take good 1-2 minutes. So, if your milk has curdled with a shock, quickly put ice-cold water or ice cubes to bring down the temperature so that the Chena does not get hard.
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2. Too much water in the Chena: the key reason for failed Rasgullas
Out of the 9 reasons, this is the key reason for the failure of Rasgullas or Rasmalai. Squeezing out water from Chena is another crucial part of Rasgullas making. It can be done by hanging it overnight or a few hours.
Or one can simply remove water from Chena by turning and squeezing the Chena cloth with hands. Whatever method you choose, just ensure that there is no water left in the Chena. Squeeze with hands till the last drop of water drips out. When you take out Chena from the cloth it should feel brittle.
It is one of the main reasons why rasgullas fail. Chena balls will either dissolve in syrup or just will not come together to form smooth balls.
If you have doubts that there might be excess moisture in the Chena. I suggest kneading the Chena in two parts. Eyeball into two equal portions and knead one portion first. Add half teaspoon of flour if adding flour at all.
If it doesn’t come together even after good 5-7 minutes of kneading and it remains a sticky mess, there is definitely excess moisture in the Chena. There are no bright chances of recovering it.
But you can further squeeze the remaining half Chena to remove excess water and continue with the recipe.
3.Very dry Chena
Very dry Chena: Sometimes we get overwhelmed with the failures caused due to over moist Chena and we totally muscle it out. And we invite another problem!!
When we try to shape the balls from a very dry Chena they will form a lot of cracks and they are very likely to fall apart in the syrup bath.
There is a simple fix. Just add a drop or two of warm water while kneading. But the main challenge is to have the expertise to identify the problem. Though this will come with experience. Though I can give a small tip here. Look for the following signs:
- If Chena is taking too long to come together and is still grainy and brittle,
- It does not form a smooth dough or,
- Chena forms a dough that is breaking easily.
- It is just impossible to make crack free balls.
All these are the signs that indicate Chena is too dry or hard.
So, do not muscle out the Chena. There should be some moisture left in the Chena. It should not be totally dry.
4. The inappropriate ratio of sugar to water
The syrup bath that we prepare for making Rasgullas need to have ideal water to sugar ratio of 1:4. The sweetness at this ratio is perfect. Neither very sweet not very bland.
You can conveniently increase it up to 1: 5 or bring it down to 1: 3. But I suggest you stay somewhere in this limit.
I know people cooking it at higher or diluted concentrations, but in my opinion, the sweetness and the concentration of syrup are just perfect at 1:4. If we further dilute the concentration of syrup, the Rasgullas turn out a little bland.
Normally when we start with a 1:4.25 ratio, it eventually cooks our Rasgullas at 1: 4. Some water is easily evaporated while we heat the water till sugar is dissolved and it reaches a consistent boiling state. And a lot of water is evaporated in the further process. We must start at the right ratio so that the syrup does not get concentrated ever while cooking. So I recommend you start with ¼ cup more. Which means 1 cup sugar to 4 ¼ cups of water. Also, carefully measure the volume of water and sugar
5. Using less volume/ depth of syrup
Rasgullas need a good volume of syrup to puff up. The depth of the syrup should be at least 2 to 2.5 times the diameter of the Chena balls.
Decide the volume of sugar syrup depending on the size and depth of the pan. If the syrup is not deep enough, the Rasgullas will remain flat from the bottom. Rasgullas would turn out as semicircular disc-shaped.
6. Using the wrong type or size pan
The type of pan used for boiling the Chena balls makes a great difference. It is preferable to use a heavy bottom pan with a tight lid. In a thin pan, with an increase or decrease of flame, a sudden change in temperature occurs, which affects the puffing of Rasgullas.
The pan should be wide enough to give enough space for Rasgullas to move around and puff up. Rasgullas normally increases 2 to 2.5 times from their initial size.
So, to ensure the fail free Rasgullas, choose a pan with a tight-fitting lid. It is important to maintain the heat and pressure inside the pan. I like to use ones with glass lids so that I can keep an eye on my Rasgullas without having to open the lid.
So, take all that into account and choose the right pan. Alternately, boil them in two batches. Making in batches is also beneficial because then you don’t have any excess left-over syrup. But while doing so, take care not to remove them immediately from the hot syrup. Let the first batch cool down first, then remove from the pan. Also, replenish the syrup by adding some more water if needed.
The temperature while Boiling in sugar bath/ Sugar Syrup:
7. The temperature for Boiling in Sugar Syrup: Most important reason why Rasgullas fail
There should be a consistent boil in the syrup while making the Rasgullas. If Rasgullas are made at a very high temperature the Rasgullas will be rubbery. They will puff up very quickly and then, as the temperature drops, they will deflate. This is one of the major reasons to fail.
So, take care to maintain a consistent boil without altering the temperature much. If you feel that the syrup is boiling too much, reduce the flame to a level where a consistent boil could be maintained.
Also, do not open the lid for too long. As mentioned above, we have to maintain the temperature for uniform cooking. Just open the lid once in between and quickly flip the Rasgullas if needed.
Also, once the Rasgullas are done do not open the lid immediately. There are chances that Rasgullas can deflate and shrink as they come in contact with cold air. So, let the syrup cool down gradually before removing the Rasgullas into a bowl.
8.Type of milk/ type of sugar
The type of milk is also very important. Choose the whole milk of cow. Low-fat milk is not recommended for Rasgullas.
Also, the temperature for curdling will vary with the type of milk. Pasteurized or raw milk curdles at lower temperatures. So, turn off the flame and let the milk cool for a minute or 2 before adding the coagulant. Whereas homogenized milk needs higher temperatures for curdling.
So, after boiling do not turn off the flame. Reduce the flame and add coagulant. Turn off the flame when the milk starts to curdle. If the Chena is not white but turns out to be pale or yellow, it means that it was overcooked. Not ideal for Rasgullas!
Choose sugar that is white and clean. Yellowish sugar granules tend to have a lot of impurities which changes the color of Rasgullas. Always look for fine white sugar.
9. Sourness or smell in the Chena
We have reached the end of 9 reasons why Rasgullas fail. Sometimes Rasgullas turn out sour and smelly. This happens when the Chena is not washed well. Once you collect the Chena in a cloth, make sure to wash it well under running water to remove all the acidic flavor. Especially if you are using citric acid or vinegar, give Chena a generous wash under running cold water.
I hope taking care of the above 9 reasons why Rasgullas fail will yield perfect Rasgullas every time. If you Rasgulla lovers like this post do let me know in the comments section.
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