“RASAGOLA” originally known as “Khira Mohana” is a dish so close to the heart of every Odia and is a prized recipe from the Odia cuisine. It is a heavenly softball made of fresh cottage cheese aka CHHENA by curdling the cow milk and then boiled in sugar syrup. It tastes best when served fresh and warm. That pure sense of joy and euphoria when this delicate dessert touches your tongue is non-describable is best understood by experience only.
It is traditionally offered to Goddess Laxmi at Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha, India since time immemorial. Rasagola has been mentioned in “Dandi Ramayana” by renowned poet Balarama Das which is essentially an Odia adaptation of Valmiki Ramayana. And also, there is notable literary evidence of Rasagola being offered to beloved Lord Jagannath as Bhoga in Madala Panji ( which is basically the chronicles of rituals, historical events, daily lives related to Lord Jagannath and the Jagannath Temple at Puri, Odisha) which dates back to as early as the 12th century.
“Rasagola Dibasa” (Rasagola day) is celebrated on the day of “Niladri Bije” (the arrival of the god into the temple) according to the lunar calendar since 2015 to celebrate the Odia culinary pride of Rasagola and the Jagannath culture attached to it and the rich history behind it.
Its a proud shoutout to all Odias out there, locally, nationally and globally to please use the hashtag #RasagolaDibasa for all your social media posts celebrating your history and culinary pride.
P.S- This is a fresh and warm batch of Rasagolas from my little kitchen. Have a sweet day everyone!
Read below for a quick recipe.
1. 1 litre full fat/ whole milk
2. Juice from 1 large lemon mixed with 3 tbsp water
3. Water – 4 cups
4. Granulated sugar- 1 1/2 cup
5. Green cardamoms- 3-4 crushed a little
1. In a heavy bottomed pan- heat the milk till it bubbles from the sides and starts looking frothy.
2. Add the lemon juice + water mixture into the milk and stir it in and curdle the milk and switch off the flame and then strain it in a cheesecloth. There you have your effortless homemade fresh chhena/ cottage cheese.
3. Squeeze out extra water and moisture from the chhena by twisting the cheesecloth lightly and then hang it in a dry place for 15 minutes minimum and meanwhile start on the sugar syrup.
4. In a wide mouthed pressure cooker – add the 1 1/2 cup sugar + 4 cups water and let it boil till all the sugar dissolves and then add the crushed green cardamom.
5. This is the most important step- In a large clean plate- take out the chhena and mash it and knead it for 5-7 minutes till it starts looking like a silky smooth ball of dough. And then form little balls out of the kneaded chhena using your palms. (The size of the balls should not be very large because they are going to puff up in the sugar syrup and become little clouds of heaven!)
6. Carefully drop the chhena balls into the bubbling sugar syrup one by one and then cover the lid of the cooker and allow 1 whistle on high flame and then reduce the flame to low and let it cook with covered lif for another 5-6 mins and then allow the pressure cooker to cool down in a large pan filled with ice cold water.
7. Open the lid of the pressure cooker to be pleasantly surprised! It tastes ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE when its served fresh and warm.
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