Rajbhog : Recipe



Saffron flavoured rasgullas stuffed with dry fruits. Another popular variation of the rasgullas.

Cooking Time : 40 mins.
Preparation Time : 30 mins.
Makes 8 pieces.

For the rasgullas

(Chenna Recipe given below)
ingredients:

a few drops saffron food colour
1 teaspoon plain flour (maida) for dusting

To be mixed into a stuffing
1 tablespoon chenna
1 teaspoon chopped pistachios
1 teaspoon chopped almonds
1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 strands saffron
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

For the sugar syrup

5 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk

Other ingredients
2 tablespoons plain flour (maida)

For the raj bhogs

1. Knead together the chenna and saffron food colour and divide into 8 equal portions. Keep aside.
2. Divide the stuffing into 8 equal portions. Keep aside.
3. Flatten each portion of the chenna gently between the palms of your hands to make circles of 50 mm. (2") diameter.
4. Place one portion of the stuffing in each circle and bring the ends together to seal the edges on top.
5. Shape the stuffed raj bhogs into rounds by rolling them gently between the palms of your hands and taking care to see that there are no cracks on the surface.
6. Place the raj bhogs on the back of a flat plate (thali) which is lightly dusted with flour.

For the sugar syrup

1. Combine the sugar and milk with 3 cups of water in a large pan. approx. 200 mm. (8") in diameter and 150 mm. (6") in height and heat while stirring continuously till the sugar dissolves.
2. When the syrup comes to a boil, the impurities in the sugar will begin to float on the surface, forming a grey layer.
3. Heat over a medium flame to allow the grey layer to float. Do not stir at this point as the layer will break and it will not clarify the syrup.
4. After about 5 minutes, slowly drizzle 1 cup of water from the sides of the pan with the help of a ladle.
5. Water added at this stage will bring down the temperature of the sugar syrup and will not allow it to boil and break the grey layer.
6. Continue to simmer the syrup over a medium flame for about 10 minutes and then gently remove the grey layer using a slotted spoon.
7. Bring the syrup to the boil once again and then slowly drizzle another cup of water from the sides of the pan using a ladle. Remove all the remaining impurities from the syrup, again using a slotted spoon.
8. Increase the flame and boil vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes. Keep aside.

How to proceed

1. Mix 2 teaspoons of the plain flour with 3/4 cup of water to make a flour solution. Keep aside.
2. Heat the sugar syrup in a deep pan over a high flame and allow it to boil vigorously.
3. When it boils, sprinkle half the flour solution in the sugar syrup and then add the raj bhogs by upturning the plate on which they are kept. (Do not touch the raj bhogs at this point as they are fragile).
4. When the flour solution is added, a frothy layer is formed on the surface of the syrup.
5. It the frothy layer begins to subside, sprinkle the remaining half portion of the flour solution.
6. After this, keep on sprinkling water (minimum 1 cup) on the surface of the sugar syrup. Ensure that the syrup froths all the time while cooking the raj bhogs.
7. Cook for about 20 minutes, continuously sprinkling water to enable the froth to form.
8. Check if the raj bhogs are cooked. This is determined by touch. if the raj bhog springs back and retains it shape when pressed, it is cooked . Another way of checking is to drop a raj bhog in a pan of cold water.
9. If it sinks to the bottom, it is cooked.
10. Remove from the fire.
11. Transfer the raj bhogs to a bowl along with 2 ladles of sugar syrup and 1 cup of water.
12. Cool and chill for approx. 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Tips

Raj bhogs should always be cooked on a very high flame.
While cooking the raj bhogs, the sugar syrup must froth continuously.
The pan should be approximately 200 mm. (8") in diameter and 150 mm. (6") in height and the sugar syrup should fill about 1/3 of the pan.
When sprinkling water to the syrup when the raj bhogs are cooking, make sure sprinkle a little water at a time and not large quantities. (approx. a teaspoon at a time using your hands)

VARIATION : BADAM BHOG

Use 2 teaspoons of chopped almonds instead of pistachios and almonds for the above recipe.
When the badam bhogs are chilled, squeeze and drain the syrup from the badam bhogs and dip them in rabdi cream.
Lift each bhog out with a fork, tap out the excess rabdi cream and place in paper cups. Garnish with slivered almonds and varq. Serve chilled.

CHENNA

This is the basic ingredient used in most Bengali sweets.

Cooking Time : 10 mins.
Preparation Time : 5 mins.
Makes approx. 1cup.

Ingredients

1 litre cow's milk
1/2 teaspoon citric acid (nimbu ke phool)

Method

1. Dissolve the citric acid in 1/2 cup of water and keep aside.
2. Bring the milk to a boil in a pan, stirring continuously.
3. Remove from the fire and stir for 5 to 7 minutes till the milk is slightly cool.
4. Add the citric acid solution and stir the milk gently.
5. The milk mill curdle and the whey will separate. The whey has to be clear thus indicating the milk has completely curdled. Allow it to rest for 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Strain out all the whey using a clean damp muslin cloth.
7. Fold all the 4 sides of the muslin cloth and twirl it gently so that all the whey that is in the milk solids gets evenly drained out.
8. Gather the cloth from all 4 sides and squeeze the chenna lightly about 3 to 4 times so that most of the whey gets drained out.
9. Remove the chenna onto a clean plate and knead gently so that it is free of lumps and take care not to apply too much pressure while kneading the chenna.
10. It is advisable to use this almost immediately.
11. Use as required.

Tips

Points to remember :
Make sure that the milk is lukewarm while adding the citric acid mixture. Do not shock hot milk as it will affect the quality of the chenna.
Always use cow's milk for making chenna as it has a low fat content.
If you use buffalo's milk, let the milk rest after boiling it and then discard the skin that is formed.
Always use fresh chenna for making rasgullas.