Monday, September 23, 2013

Texas Done!



Roshogolla served in syrup

I'm currently holidaying in Texas. I've flown across the pond because: 

(a) I really needed a break from work and 
(b) I haven't seen my younger aunt in four years, and I've never actually met my baby cousins!

Now that I'm here, I have to say Texas feels very strange. They don't seem to believe in pavements, and even the shops in my aunt's "small" town feel like European hypermarkets. 

Not that I'd let a little oddity distract me from food, however. Everyone in my family seems to have a certain specialty, a fact that I fully take advantage of. My youngest aunt does amazing roshogolla - a traditional Bangladeshi dessert based on curdled milk or chhana. Desserts like these are rarely made at home in Bangladesh because of the complexity of the recipes versus their easily availability in sweet shops. Luckily, my aunt does a relatively simplified version. It relies on double cream, which (unlike in Bangladesh) is readily available from supermarkets in the US or the UK. I enthusiastically took up her offer to teach me how to make these, and the results are what you see here.

Ingredients (for the roshogolla)

  • 1.00 l of whole milk
  • 125.00 ml of double cream
  • 436.00 ml of buttermilk
  • 1.50 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2.00 teaspoons of flour

Ingredients (for the syrup)
  • 4.00 cups of water
  • 2.50 cups of sugar

  • Heat the milk and double cream in a saucepan on medium high, bringing it to a gentle boil
  • Turn the heat low and add the buttermilk, stirring to mix
  • Take the mixture off the heat once it starts to curdle as in the picture below

Curdled milk/cream/buttermilk, aka chhana

  • Leave the mixture to strain in muslin or other finely meshed cloth to extract all the water. Do this for a minimum of 3 hours, but overnight works best
The mixture being a Bangladeshi
towel because we didn't have Muslin!

  • Once the mixture is strained, transfer to a bowl and add the sugar and flour
  • Knead thoroughly as if forming a dough, as in the picture below

The "dough",
ready to be turned into roshogolla

  • Divide this dough into little balls - this is what will form the actual sweets

On the left, newly formed roshogollas. This recipe should make just under two dozen
On the right, a close up. Make sure each ball has no cracks, otherwise the roshogolla will crack on cooking

  • In a different saucepan, add the 4 cups of water and 2.5 cups of sugar, heating to dissolve
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, bring to boil 
  • Add the balls of dough one by one, and bring back to boil and leave for 25 minutes

The beginning!

  • At the 25 minutes mark, add another cup of water and bring back to boil, and again leave for 15 minutes. The balls should have expanded quite a bit now by absorbing water

Boiling and growing!

  • At this 15 minute mark, add another cup of water and bring back to boil, leaving it on the stove for a final 15 minutes. The balls should have lost some of their girth now and are done
  • Serve hot or at room temperature as dessert at the end of a meal

And done!

Additional Information
The sweets should keep up to a week in the fridge. However, they will go stiff and lose their soft and spongy texture once refrigerated. Zap them in the microwave for 20 seconds to bring some of the softness back before serving. These can also be used for roshomalai - simply thicken full fat milk with sugar and cardamom to a desired consistency, then scoop the roshogolla out of the syrup and into the malai to soak. 

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