June 10, 2008

Fat-free Rasagulla


For Rasgulla:
4 cups  - Fat-free/Skim milk
2-3 tbsp - Lemon juice

For Syrup:
4 cups - Water
1.5 cups - Sugar
1/4 tsp - Rose essence (optional)

Boil the milk in a thick-bottomed non-stick pan, constantly stirring till it reaches boiling point.
Add the lemon juice and keep stirring till the curds and the whey get separate. Turn off heat immediately and keep stirring for a minute or so.
Drain paneer/curds in a strainer lined with a cheese cloth, or any regular thin white cloth will do. Rinse under running water until the paneer loses the lemon flavor. Wring the cloth tightly till excess liquid is drained out. Be careful not to squeeze it too dry.

Meanwhile boil the water and sugar in a pressure cooker.

Knead the paneer by hand on a clean surface till smooth and silky (about 5-10min). Stop when you notice your hands starting to get a little greasy.
Roll into 1/2inch smooth balls, (really small, and without cracks) and drop slowly into the sugar syrup as it reaches to a boil. Close the pressure cooker just with the lid (do not add the weight on the lid)
Cook for about 15 min and let cool (closed) for about 10 min. Add rose essence.
Transfer, cool and serve.
Makes about 20 rasgullas.

Wringing out too much water will break the rasgullas. It is advisable to leave some moisture on.
Kneading is very important, I have had instances where the rasgullas break open while in the cooker. Not a pretty sight!
Use a large pressure cooker, or reduce the ingredients accordingly if you dont have one that is big enough, as the rasgullas tend to swell up to double their size while cooking.
You could use vinegar instead of lemon juice, but the paneer turns out a little tougher. Lemon juice makes it softer, perfect for these heavenly guilt-free white clouds... yum.