DP Daily Prompts: First!

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Tell us about your first day at something— your first day at school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

My first day trying to make our Bangladeshi dessert,Rasgulla( Ras –means syrup,gulla—means round).

when I read my description of the dessert, it sounded pretty stupid, one might think what kind of dessert is round syrup. Whoever named it did not think  perhaps some day it will appear in a country where there are not many who can speak the language, and would wonder what kind of dessert is round syrup?

Let me try to defend the name, these round desserts were made with milk, which is boiled and when it comes to a boil a few ounces of fresh lemon juice is poured to make cheese, which is shaped into a ball and cooked in syrup made of sugar and water. I don’t think anyone ever thought of translating this famous dessert of Bangladesh into English or if they did never paid attention how it sounds in English, it was made in Bengal and obviously for the inhabitants there.

But now it’s found in many countries where people speak different languages.

I can write pages about this but my intention is to write  about our experience making  this famous dessert the first time.

My husband bought a recipe book where he saw the recipe for cheese balls in syrup. We were excited wow we can make this at home whenever we crave for it. The author of the recipe either did not try it or heard from someone and decided to put it in his book, thinking how hard can it be it will work out.

My husband bought whole milk, sugar and three lemons, and we started making our Bengali dessert,we were  excited we’d be able to serve our friends with this awesome dessert.

It’s much like the milkmaid story.

I poured the  milk in  a sauce pan and placed the pan on the burner , I switched the temperature on high, we were anxious to get it done fast, this was Strike One  , the milk was cold and the high temperature burned the milk at the bottom, I changed the sauce pan and kept stirring the milk so it wouldn’t burn. When it came to a boil I put the juice of the lemon in the milk, within minutes the water and the cheese separated. I put a cheese cloth in a colander and drained the water.When the cheese was cool enough I put a tablespoon of flour and a tablespoon of butter and started kneading it, when it was soft and pliable I took the cheese and divided into twenty six small cheese balls.

Next step was to cook syrup with water and sugar, when the syrup started boiling I put enough cheese balls that would fit. Now there was a problem how long should I boil it and what temperature, the instruction was missing, Strike Two, in the end it said after five minutes take the pot off the stove.

I said,  “hurray”, we’ve  successfully made our Famous Bengali dessert. My husband was anxious to taste it, when it was cool enough my husband said, “Ranu, why is it so hard and it’s not sweet at all, what did you do wrong?”

“I don’t know I said I followed the recipe.”

Our dessert got “Strike Three“. we wasted so much sugar and milk and  time and burned a sauce pan, the result was we were unsuccessful.

After this incident we kept trying, until one day my American friend made the same dessert, it tasted just like the ones we buy in sweet shops. She gave me the recipe,I tried it and it was perfect each time!

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/dp-daily-prompts-first/

6 thoughts on “DP Daily Prompts: First!

  1. Dear Ranu,

    Thank you for this post. Sometimes recipes seem to work. And sometimes they don’t :-).

    All good wishes,


  2. Yes, it can be a disaster when the recipe does not work. Russ gulla is a big-time favorite even outside Bengal and it is very befitting that you should be in possession of at least one good and workable recipe of this universal favorite from Bengal 🙂 Thank you for sharing this post.

    • The person who wrote the recipe did not know how to write one, it takes a lot of thought and art to write a recipe, clearly he didn’t have the know how to write a recipe in steps. There are times when I’m asked to give a recipe for something I cooked which my guests liked, I had to think it through before I wrote on a piece of paper. The American girl I mentioned married my husband’s friend. She learned to make the dessert by watching her mother-in-law. I’m sure she took notes, her husband loved the dessert,she was determined to learn how to make it.

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