Sunday’s feature: From Ranu’s kitchen, famous Bangladeshi dessert, Ras gulla blogging 101

IMG_1032Today I’m posting our famous dessert recipe and a photograph taken by me. I’m not a seasoned photographer, therefore there will be flaws for which I apologize. I have not practiced enough to make it perfect, sorry.

Recipe for Rasgulla(cheese balls in syrup):


  1. Whole milk- 2 litres
  2. fresh lemon- 3 squeeze to get the juice , set it aside
  3. plain white flour- 2 tablespoons
  4. soft butter-2 tablespoon
  5. Method:
  6. pour the milk in a round pot with a lid(the lid will be useful later)do not cover, slowly bring the milk to a boil, when it comes to full boil, pour the juice of the three lemons, wait for a few minutes until the milk curdles and cheese is formed. Use cheesecloth to drain the water. When the water is drained completely, squeeze the cloth to make sure all of the water is drained and the cheese is lukewarm. Take the cheese  out of the cheese cloth and put it into a bowl large enough to be able to knead. Add butter and the tablespoons of flour. Mix it in the cheese and knead it. when the cheese is smooth and doesn’t crack, when you try to make into little balls, it is ready. It makes about eighteen balls.
  7. Syrup ingredients:
  8. Water- 6 measuring cups
  9. sugar- three measuring cups
  10. Use the same pot to make syrup, wash the pot thoroughly , pour the water and sugar and place it on the stove top, turn on the heat to medium, when the sugar dissolves turn up the heat to full boil, when the syrup is slightly sticky,put about nine cheese balls to avoid them from rubbing each other, otherwise the balls would break. Cover the boiling cheese balls in syrup at  high heat for five minutes. Turn the heat slightly, continue boiling for ten minutes this time, after fifteen minutes, turn down the heat to medium and leave the cheese balls for twenty minutes more in the syrup. The last  ten minutes turn the heat to simmer. While cooking you must make sure the syrup is not too thick, if it is have some plain boiled water and add it gently. Do not put too much.
  11. After forty five minutes take the cheese balls out gently. At this stage they are very soft, it’s a good idea to wait about five minutes, and then take them out one at a time and place them in a serving bowl, save the  the syrup for the next batch.
  12. Repeat the same method for the remaining cheese balls, when all eighteen are cooked put them in the same serving bowl and pour the remaining syrup over the cheese balls.
  13. Enjoy!
  14. …………………………….. 🙂

Blogging 101, Blog event: Tasty Thursday( Day Thirteen)

I am posting the photograph of my tasty dessert, Bangladeshi style:

Here is the recipe:


1.1 1/4 cups full cream milk powder

2. 1/2 cup self raising flour

3.3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

4. 125g  package  cream cheese

5. 1/3 cup milk, approximately extra milk

6. 375 g tub ghee(clarified butter)

7. oil for deep frying


1. 2 litres (8cups) water

2. 4 cups (1kg) sugar

3. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds (optional)

4. 1 tablespoon rosewater

1: puffs: combine milk powder , sifted flour, and soda in a bowl,rub in cheese until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2: knead mixture in bowl,gradually adding enough milk until mixture holds its own shape and slightly sticky to touch.

3. moisten hands with extra milk, roll level tablespoons of mixture into 30 sausage shapes.

4. Melt ghee(clarified butter) with enough oil to make depth of five cm in medium saucepan. Deep fry 8 puffs at a time for about five minutes or until golden brown and cooked through , stirring occasionally; drain on absorbent paper. Prick puffs well with toothpick, place into syrup, cover refrigerate.

Syrup: combine water and sugar in large saucepan, stir over heat , without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cardamom seeds(if you are using it), bring to boil, uncovered without stirring, for ten minutes( syrup should not change color) cool syrup slightly, strain into large bowl, add rose water, cool, serves 6.

Enjoy this  special dessert.

…………………………  🙂

Allow the gulab jamun to stand at room temperature while the syrup is absorbed.

Allow the gulab jamun to stand at room temperature while the syrup is absorbed.


The gulab jamun will plump up as syrup is absorbed.  Delicious warm or cold.  My daughter prefers them warm.  Store in refrigerator.

The gulab jamun will plump up as syrup is absorbed. Delicious warm or cold. My daughter prefers them warm. Store in refrigerator.

365 Writing Prompts: Red pill, blue pill

If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill –no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation–would you do it?

No I do not like the idea of substituting a pill for real food. There is a satisfaction of knowing, I know what ingredients I’m using to cook my food. Preparing food is not a chore for me I enjoy cooking , buying groceries, visiting a number of stores to get what I want. It is sheer pleasure for me.

As regards the pill I have my reservations, it was not that long ago a lot of people were excited with the idea of using a sugar substitute, now with research they’ve discovered it’s not that good after all,it’s a risk for cancer.

My belief is sugar is the real thing, if too much consumption of it can lead to diabetes or heart trouble, tooth decay, it’s better to give it up altogether rather than using a substitute.

I remember one of my classmates used a substitute for sugar in her tea, but had huge serving of dessert. I pointed out to her she wasn’t helping her body but exposing it too much sugar anyway and also by taking a sugar substitute she is taking a risk.

I do not believe in any pill to reduce my work. I’m in favor of real food.


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!


365 Writing prompts: Google and rescue operation

What was the last thing you searched for online? why were you looking for it?

The last thing I looked for was a recipe for cupcakes. I was thinking of what I’d offer to my blogger friends for trick or treat, the only idea that came to mind was, ‘Cupcakes,’ I’ve often baked cupcakes, but my reason for looking was I was interested to see if I could get a recipe which would wow the friends. I didn’t see anyone excited, there was no comment  from anyone except Robert, he is my most sincere follower, he appreciates everything I publish.

I could publish recipes of my exotic dishes, it was ,’Halloween,’  recipes that had sugar as the main ingredient would be welcome by my friends, sadly no one cared.



365 Writing Prompts: You the sandwich

If the restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it(Bonus points for writing a recipe!)

I think if a restaurant were to name after me it would be called Ranu’s Ras Malai. It is a dessert popular in Bengal. The ingredients are simple, you will need sugar, homogenized milk , half and half cream,lemon or white vinegar,butter and a tablespoon of flour.

Recipe for ‘Ras Malai’

1.Whole milk —2 litres

2. Sugar–2 cups

3. half and half cream–1 litre

4. fresh lemon juice or  white vinegar — 3/4 th cup

5. butter– 2 tablespoons

6.flour — 1 tablespoon


Heat the whole milk in a saucepan, do not turn the heat high, the milk will burn at the bottom, start with low heat until the milk comes to room temperature, raise the heat slightly high, avoiding it to burn at the bottom. When the milk comes to full boil, pour in the lemon juice or white vinegar, both will curdle the milk. When the water and milk solids separate, turn off the stove, take the saucepan off and carefully pour the milk solids in a cheese cloth. When the water is drained and the milk solids i.e the cheese is cool, squeeze out any excess water.

At this stage the cheese will be dry,mix it with one  tablespoon of flour and two tablespoons of soft butter. Knead the combined flour, cheese and butter, until it is soft and pliable. Start by taking a teaspoon in your hand and form into round or oval shape till you use all of the mixture.

Next step is cooking the shapes in boiling syrup of water and sugar mixture.

To make the syrup use the two cups of sugar and two and a half cups of water. In a sauce pan pour the sugar and the water, place it on the stove and let it boil for five minutes, then gently put the cheese shapes in the syrup while it is boiling, Do not put too many at once, the cheese shapes will increase in size, each needs room to expand, they must not rub against each other or they’ll break, boil for seven minutes and turn down the heat to medium low and keep it for 15 minutes,after fifteen minutes turn the stove temperature down to low to simmer for another 15 minutes.

While the cheese shapes are cooking, in a separate saucepan, pour the half and half cream, turn the burner on to low, when it comes to boiling point take out the cheese shapes from the syrup  gently  one at a time and put them in the cream.Give it enough time to soak in the cream, do not raise the heat.

When the dessert is cooked, pour it in an oval or round bowl. Slice a handful of pistachios and use it to garnish the finished product.

Ras means syrup

malai means cheese

Ras malai= cheese in syrup.





DP Daily Prompt:Picky Tongues

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You have to choose one flavor that your sense of taste will no longer be able to distinguish.Sweet,sour,bitter,salty, Umami,spicy( not a taste per se,but we’re generous ): which one do you choose to lose?

I know I cannot have sugar only for taste because of the damaging effect on the human body, salt is the same, excessive salt raises blood pressure,I haven’t heard anything negative about bitter, but bitter flavor alone is not going to do it for me.

Umami flavor sounds good to me. It is good for health, it is a protein which is made up of amino acids which are essential for life. I will pick umami flavor.

Prosciutto ham, cheese, tomatoes, white wine, bread and olive oilCheese and cured meats have umami in spades. Photograph: Axiom Photographic/Design Pics/Corbis

Umami has been variously translated from Japanese asyummy, deliciousness .

DP Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams( Are made of…

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Sweet dreams are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. I have day dreams, which gives me great pleasure if they turn out as I want them to be.

There was a time I dreamed about living in a country other than my own. The political situation,the constant worry of living in a place with fear, was diminishing my  patriotic spirit to a point where I was having nightmares, I was looking for an opportunity to get out and live somewhere I could live in peace.

The opportunity although some might call weird I grabbed it. Now what was grand about it, I married a man who lived in North America, who  had a decent job. That meant I won’t starve, there won’t be general strikes, procession by students, or someone robbing us.

It was a beautiful city, I met a lady soon after I came. She and I became good friends,each morning we went for long walks  to get fresh air and also much needed exercise.

I watched the first snowstorm which paralyzed the city. It was not as bad as frequent strikes and turmoil in my native land.

People were friendly, my husband’s boss was a delightful gentleman. When he heard I intended to learn driving he very gently told me not to practice on his street.

There were a lot of new places to see and enjoy. I relished living in a country other than my own.

A year later we moved to a different province,my husband got a job in a small town of ten thousand people. I was lucky I was hired to teach in a local elementary school.

It was not all rosy, a colleague of mine was jealous when she found out my salary was higher than hers. She was never nice to me. I carried out my duties the best way I knew. The kids were excited to have me as a teacher. I had long hair, I wore a sari to school, I was different. The other children had  Mrs Hill, Mrs. Fogarty, Mrs. Bluebell and so on.

I was Mrs. Nasheman, they had a bit of trouble pronouncing it , the unique name made them happy. If you ever teach kids you’ll find out how unique they themselves are.

My dream is fulfilled I am so happy!

Jan.10th 365 days Flavors

It is believed artificial flavors are safer than natural. Artificial flavors undergo a lot of testing before they are considered safe for consumption.

We use salt or sugar to enhance the taste of some natural foods. There are fruits such as oranges or grapefruit that sometimes are too sour for us,some of us either sprinkle some sugar or salt to make it more palatable. Does it make it better. I’d say they suit our taste buds.

Meat and fish are foods that we cook.  They can be boiled,baked,fried or barbecued. Certain kind of meat tastes better if we refrain from spicing it too much. Roast beef tastes better with least amount of spices and some or no salt. It retains its natural flavor. I like the natural flavor better.

Baked fish ,especially Cod is not that tasty. We improve its taste by adding spices, oil, and other flavorants to improve its flavor. We like food that are tasty, and we think of ways to make it palatable.

I was thinking of the vegetable Spinach,whenever I mentioned the name my little students would make a face. They disliked it . The problem is Spinach is terrible when it is just boiled.  If only we add one small section of a garlic clove, a bit of salt and fry it with a  tablespoon of  oil in a sauce pan it completely changes the taste and makes it flavorful. 10th-flavors