Monday, May 2, 2011

Rosogollas/Gorging over split milk.

Milk, in India, comes in three forms.

One is the tetrapak form. Like in the civilized world. You have Whole Milk and Slim Milk in allegedly-hygienic-and-definitely-expensive sealed packs. It is a luxury, or a backup plan when regular milk is unavailable.

The age old format is the milkman bringing his Aluminium cans filled with fresh, unpasteurized milk. He may or may not have a couple of cows he keeps tending to, as he drops the canisters off at doorsteps. This sight has become practically extinct at Madras; they disappeared around the same time Sparrows did.

The form that is rampant are the Aavin polythene bags of milk. Homogenized/toned milk at Government subsidized rates. Delivered promptly from the co-op, right after the paper boy deftly flings your newspapers into a puddle of murky rainwater.

And in the Summers, inevitably, at least one to two litres of milk curdles each week. Unfit for a morning cup of chai. Usually thrown down the drain, curdy lumps and all. Or given to the stray cats, who inhale it all up with zero gratitude.

Not if I have a say over it (the throwing down the drain bit, the cats I like).

When life gives you split (as in curdled) milk, you do what? Make rosogollas, of course. So obvious.

Maybe you can't make that cute boy like you, maybe you're crap at making your boss see sense (your version of sense IS sense, sweets). You can, however, make rosogollas out of curdled milk, and that's a true and real feat.

And if Life does not give you curdled milk, make your own by pouring a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice/vinegar/yogurt to a litre of scalding hot milk. In less than two minutes, casein coagulates to give paneer/ricotta/chenna that are the base ingredient of rosogollas.

You don't need much else. Cardamom, sugar, and the ability to consume these yummy calorific concoctions
with no qualms. That's all.



1 litre milk, curdled.
2 tsps ground cardamom.
1 cup sugar.
3 3/4 cups water.
1 tsp rose water for the syrup (optional)
Saffron, for garnishing (optional).


1)Hand the curdled milk to drain in muslin/cheesecloth/ chiffon dupatta. You can use the whey in roti dough.

When you're sure it has been drained completely, take the paneer out and knead with the ground cardamom.

2)Pinch out twelve equal portions of the paneer.

Use your thumb and fingertips to massage the paneer into submission.

3)Shape into balls, and set them aside.

4)In a pressure cooker or a large pan, add the water and the sugar and stir. Bring it to a boil.

Drop in the paneer balls carefully. Fasten the lid of the pressure cooker(allowing a bit of steam to escape-keep the "weight" off), or cover the vessel . Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes in the pressure cooker(the first whistle should be blowing now) or 10-15 minutes for the pan with the lid.

5)Take it off the heat. Open the lid after the cooker has cooled down a bit. Spoon out the puffed-up rosogollas and syrup into a glass bowl.

Serve chilled, adorned with a couple of strands of saffron.

Source: BV's adaption of a few Youtube recipes.

You might have a few glitches in the beginning. The first time I made these (I'm serious about the milk curdling thing happening way too often!), they didn't puff up at all and I got little hard paneer balls (that still were delicious). My sister-in-law, the artist, took over and hand-crafted these little beauties with infinitesimal patience, and they turned out to be stunningly fabulous.

Make it. If you're in sweltering Madras right now, you know you've got motive/rhyme/reason to.

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