The Indian State of Odisha is popular for its temples,the beautiful Eastern Ghats,waterfalls,the lovely beaches and the great array of tasty delights!A lot of influence from West Bengal is seen in the cuisine,especially the desserts.There was the universal argument on which state invented the famous Roshogulla!I would say let us credit both States equally as we respect the commitment and endeavours of those who cook rather than the invention itself.Odisha has almost all the sweets made from Chenna – the cheese got by curdling boiled milk and has used it in ways innumerable!
They fry pieces of Paneer (formed after setting Chenna into a block) and dunk in sugar syrup called Chenna Gaja,mix it with flour and semolina to make Chenna Jhilli,Chenna Jalebi,Chenna Poda which is a delicious cake of baked Chenna with caramelised sugar adhering to it,the very famous Nolen Gurer Roshogulla which are delicious and spongy Roshogullas dunked in Nolen Gur (date palm jaggery) syrup which cannot be stopped at one!
Khira Sagara is a dessert which consists of Mini Roshogullas prepared in syrup and then dunked in delicious and rich milk especially prepared for this.“Khir” means milk and “Sagara” the ocean itself so it means an ocean of milk.There is a mythological tale to this that when Lord Vishnu killed the demon Madhu,his consort Lakshmi served this divinely delicious preparation to both of them!And why not divine as it is so refreshing,melt in the mouth and calming the senses!
This recipe was featured in the 122nd FoodieMonday Bloghop where the theme was Odia Recipes!
Preparation Time : 1 hour
Dunking time : 6 hours or overnight
Makes : 12 – 14 Mini Rasgullas and 6 – 7 servings
For the Mini Rasgullas :
1/2 liter low fat milk
1/2 liter full cream milk
3 tbsp vinegar mixed in 1/4 cup warm water
1 cup sugar
For the rich milk :
1 later full cream milk
1/2 cup sugar
A few drops yellow colour (optional)
A few stands Saffron
2 tbsp chopped Pistachios
2 – 3 drops Kewra Essence (optional)
To make the Mini Rasgullas :
Boil the milk till it comes to a simmer.Add the water and vinegar solution and mix till the milk separates into cheese solids or paneer.Strain through a cheesecloth or strainer and put the residue in a bowl.Knead the paneer for 25 – 30 minutes till it becomes very smooth and can be rolled into small balls.Prepare 11 – 12 balls out of the mixture.
Put the sugar and 1 1/2 cups of water in a pressure cooker.A small size pressure cooker is ideal for the procedure.Let the syrup come to a simmering boil.Add the balls and close the lid.Let the cooker emit one whistle then lower the heat to the lowest point and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.Take off heat and let the cooker come to room temperature.
Open the cooker to find beautifully small Mini Rasgullas inside the cooker.Empty carefully in a bowl and keep aside.
Or use readymade mini Rasgullas also called “Rasbhari” in some places!
Make the Milk “Sagara” :
Boil milk in a pan on the lowest heat.We need to reduce it to half which is approximately 500 ml.Collect the skin that forms on the milk and drop it into the boiling milk.It would take 20 – 30 minutes for the milk to reduce to half the volume.
Add sugar and Saffron and mix well.Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and leave to come to room temperature.Now add the colour (if using) and Kewra Essence.Stir well.
Squeeze the Mini Rasgullas and gently drop them into the prepared,cooled milk.Swirl with a spoon and cover the pan again.Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight till the milk soaks into the Rasgullas to make them melt in the mouth!
Take out the required serving in a bowl and garnish with chopped Pistachios!Serve.
NOTE – People living in cold countries need not refrigerate the milk.You can stand the container of Khira Sagara overnight on the Kitchen Countertop!