Raj Bhog is a traditional Bengali dessert prepared from split milk fat. It is made for special occasions like the Bengali New Year or Pohela Boishakh and Durga Puja.
For the rasgullas
1 kg chenna
5 strands saffron
1 tsp plain refined all purpose flour or Maida for dusting
For the stuffing combine-
2 tbsp Chenna
2 tsp blanched almonds, finely chopped
5 saffron (kesar) strands
1/2 tsp green cardamom seeds or elaichi powdered
For the sugar syrup
4.5 cups granulated sugar
2 tbspns all purpose flour or Maida
6 inch deep by 10 wide inch deep cooking vessel
Dust a plate with 1 tbsp flour. Reserve.Using a mortar pestle finely powder the 6 saffron strands. Add 2 tablespoons water and dissolve. Knead together 1 kg chenna and the saffron water and divide into 10 equal portions. You can make them bigger or smaller. Generally Rajbhog is larger than Rasgulla. Reserve on a plate. Cover with a clean cloth.
Divide the stuffing into 10 equal portions.
Wet the palms of your hand with clean drinking water.
Flatten each ball of chenna gently between the palms of your hands to make circles of about 2 inches.
Place one portion of the stuffing in each circle and bring the ends together to seal the edges on top.
Using your palms mold the stuffed Raj Bhogs into smooth balls.
Fill a serving bowl with one cup of ice cold water. Reserve.
For the sugar syrup
Combine the sugar and 4 cups of water in a large pan and deep pan atleast 6 inches in depth. Swill the pan about to mix the sugar and water before you put it over the fire.
Place pan on medium flame.
After about 3-4 minutes, slowly using a pastry brush drizzle water from the sides of the pan so it drips into the sugar.Do not dip the brush in the sugar water.
Water added at this stage will reduce the temperature of the sugar syrup and will not allow it to caramelize.
Continue to cook the syrup over a medium flame for about 10 minutes. Keep dripping water into the sides of the pan to ensure it doesnt' brown.
Increase the flame and boil vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes. Keep aside. It will be about 2-2-5 cups of liquid now.
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon flour into the sugar syrup. The mixture will froth.
Gently using a slotted spoon lower the rolled Chenna balls one by one into the hot liquid.
Keep the flame on high. Do not varys temperature when boiling the Raj Bhogs.
Continue dripping water into the mixture using a pastry brush to ensure the syrup doesn't brown.
Ensure that the syrup froths all the time while cooking the Raj Bhogs.
Cook for about 20 minutes.
To check if the Raj Bhog is cooked drop one into a pan of cold water. If it sinks it is ready. If it floats return it to the hot syrup and continue cooking. Switch off flame.
Working quickly with a slotted spoon remove the Raj Bhogs into the serving bowl that contain cold water.
Slowly drip a cup of cold water into the remaining sugar syrup using a pastry brush. If you do it too quickly the sugar water will seize and crystallize.
Using a sieve strain it over the Rajbhogs and discard any bits and pieces.
Cover and chill for approx. 6 hours before serving.