Prepare a sieve for straining by lining a large fine-mesh sieve with several layers of cheese cheesecloth or use man’s handkerchief or thin cotton cloth. Set over a large bowl.
Take milk in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil.
Turn off the heat and start adding lemon juice and keep stirring. As you stir, milk starts to curdle. If it does not curdle completely then add little more lemon juice and stir.
Once the milk solids and greenish whey are separated, Strain the mixture using a prepared strainer.
Immediately wash the chenna under running cold water to stop the further cooking process, plus remove the citrus taste from it.
Gather the cloth edges and light squeeze it till it is no more dripping. No need to hang or put the weight on it. Just squeezing will do the job. Check the chenna, It should be moist (not wet).
Kneading Chenna & Shaping Balls:
Take cheena ball to the plate or board. Now break and just notice the large granules of milk solids.
Now add all purpose flour and rose water. Start kneading the chenna, while kneading use the light pressure from your palm. Knead till it comes together like a dough.
Add sugar. Again start kneading till you get a smooth dough ball. Also, stop kneading as soon as your hand starts to get greasy. Now if you look inside the dough, you won’t see any granules of milk solids like you noticed earlier.
Divide it into 14 equal portions. Make smooth, crack-free balls and keep them covered with a clean kitchen towel to avoid drying.
Take sugar and water in a pan and bring it to a rolling boil on medium. The shape and size of the pan play an important role here. Make sure that rasgulla has enough space to expand and move around. Plus, it should be deep enough that it stays submerged into the syrup. So shallow and too wide pan doesn’t work here. I am using 8-inch diameter deep saucepan.
Add balls into rolling boil sugar syrup. Cover it with the lid and continue cooking for 20 minutes without disturbing and opening the lid. All the time the sugar syrup has to be boiling (not simmering). So keep the heat medium. (not high that it is boiling too rapidly)
Now you can see that rasgulla have increased more than double the size. Turn off the stove.
After turning off the stove, the syrup is still bubbling, so to cool it down and stop further cooking, add 1 cup of room temperature water.
Syrup stops bubbling and rasgulla sink to the bottom. That is perfectly normal.
How to check rasgulla is ready? Take one rasgulla using a spoon and drop it into the glass of water. If it sinks and goes to the bottom then it is cooked. If it floats on top, means it is still raw from inside. It needs more cooking.
Do not use store-bought fresh or frozen paneer. Make it at home. Paneer and cheena are two different.Do not reduce sugar and water quantity. It looks too much sugar. But we are not consuming all the syrup.The syrup should be boiling consistently all the time. So for that, the gas heat should be on medium. (not high).Cheena should have the right moisture in it.
If it has too much moisture then it may disintegrate in the syrup while cooking. Sometimes, it doubles in size but shrinks after cooking.
If it is dry then rasgulla become rubbery, chewy and dense. Sometimes they flatten like a disc after cooking.
The kneading process is very important.
Knead till smooth and no more milk granules.
Also, while kneading when you palm gets slightly greasy. Stop right there.
Over kneading makes them shrink after cooking.
Kneading time purely depends on the quantity you’re making, plus how much pressure you’re using while kneading, how speedy you are. So cannot give you the exact time, but follow the above-mentioned signs to determine chenna is kneaded well or not.
Storage: Store rasgulla (along with sugar syrup) in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.