A Sweet Ending for Doshumi

The Goddess Durga, painstakingly created by the bare hands of sculptors, stood tall for the last four days, witnessing the devotion, joy and frolic of its devotees.  She will finally make her way to the Ganges on this last day of Doshumi. The Goddess is meant to be made of mud from the Ganges and is to be immersed back into the holy river, thereby returned to where she came from. The tenth and final day of Durga Pujo comes with a mix of feelings, like all good things bring when it is time to bid farewell.

After the Durga idol has been immersed into the Ganges with much fanfare, folks take turns to exchange greetings with their peers and seek blessings from their elders. The last new piece of clothing that has been saved for the Durga Pujo festival will be worn by many while they make their way to visit each other’s house, engaging friends, relatives and loved ones. Accompanying them would always be a package of sweetmeat, either neatly packed from the store or delicately arranged in household containers. And every home is sure to be filled with a variety of traditional sweets ready for lavishing upon guests.

These last five days of Durga Pujo, I have lived vicariously through the experience of eating and blogging, all while being thousands of miles away from my birthplace and the festival that defines my identity. Each day I cooked the food that connected my memory of old times of festivals spent at home. There is nothing that can replace the real experience but being able to share my attempt to connect through  my passion on this space has been enormously uplifting.

The last five posts are:

ROSOMALAI – Sweet cooked ricotta like cheese soaked in saffron infused tickened milk and topped with pistachios

There are two parts to this recipe. First you need to make the ricotta cheese dumplings which are known as rosogolla and then you need to prepare the milk base that these dumplings need to be soaked in.

 Part I

ROSOGOLLA

YOU NEED:

  • 4 cups full fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or 2 tsp calcium lactate
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 ground cardamom

HERE’S HOW:

  • Bring milk to a rolling boil. At this point add the lemon juice or calcium lactate and stir. Milk will curdle as you keep stirring. When the milk is completely curdled(the whey will look slightly greenish) pour the chana (curdled milk or ricotta like cheese) into a strainer lined with a muslin cloth. If you have used Lemon juice you need to rinse the chana to remove the lemony scent and flavour in the chana.
  • Once the chana is washed tie up the muslin and squeeze the water out as much as possible and hang it for about 30 mins or so. You need a soft consistency not hard.
  • Kneed the chana for at least 7 to 10 mins. Getting a good rosogolla depends on this. The dough should feel smooth and almost silky. It shouldn’t stick to your hand neither should it be hard.
  • Divide the chana into equal portions and roll them into small balls for rosogolla. (I flattened them slightly for the rasamalai to give it a slightly different look) There should be no cracks. They become more than twice their size when boiled so keep in mind the size you want.
  • To make the syrup or rasa bring the water and sugar and cardamom to boil. The sugar should be completely dissolved.
  • Once the syrup starts boiling drop the chana ball gently into the syrup and cover.
  • Let the rosogollas boil for 15-20 mins in medium heat or till they are expanded and floating in the syrup.
  • Remove from heat and cool.
  • You can serve these hot or cold.

Part II 

ROSOMALAI

YOU NEED:

  • Whole Milk: 4 cups
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
  • Saffron: 2 pinch
  • Pistachios: 2 tbsp crushed

HERE’S HOW:

  • Bring milk to full boil then reduce heat to minimum setting and continue boiling the milk till almost half of it evaporates. while the milk boils you need to stir it every few minutes to ensure it doesn’t brown on the bottom. The consistency of the milk will be thick and with milk solids floating.
  • Add the sugar at this point and boil just once to melt the sugar and take off heat and let cool.
  • Take the rosogollas and squeeze very gently to take as much of the sugar syrup off as possible and set aside.
  • When the milk cools down slightly add the squeezed rosogollas to it and make sure they are entirely submerged in the milk.
  • Add the saffron by sprinkling on top.
  • Let soak for at least over night.
  • When ready to serve top with the pistachios.
  • Enjoy!

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