Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Tomorrow is Diwali.... we get to see an illuminated India and also at Indian homes worldwide.... My heart whispers.... "Let there be light"in your lives.... let it remain kindled all 365 days of the year. Each year during this time .... I can see a picture been circulated in social media on how India looks from space during Diwali / Deepavali. I do not know about its authenticity but I love watching it and never do get bored. Its been eight years now we miss this nationwide celebration but we live in a country which not only allots national holiday for Diwali but a month long Diwali Bazaar is held at two to three venues.... In specific Indian localities .... streets are decorated with lights..... earlier I have shared such pictures in different forums. In most of the condominiums with considerable amount of Indian population..... there is celebration and people are allowed to burn crackers in specific areas been allotted for the purpose. So we do not feel detached as such. I have preferred to stay away from the "cracker ban" issue that has caused a stir recently..... the three of us in the family are too very scared of crackers .... specially of the ones that make noise. My earliest memory of burning crackers during this period was at the maternal grandparents' place wearing jazzy, silk clothes and burning "tarabati, rongmashal, chorki"..... the sparkling, no noise ones. Does that sound very dangerous to you .... wearing silk / zaridar suits and playing with fire? Well .... this controversy's own child decided not to take sides on this matter ..... storing two to three gas cylinders in your balcony is equally dangerous .... my family does, friends too, even my empty home back in Kolkata has one spare in the balcony..... even after repeated warnings from my senior who handles the safety control issue of a couple of ships. I remember when I went on board ship, I used to cook for the 30-35 crew members on board as I wished so.... I was not supposed to by the rule book of this industry.... the master of the ship who happened to be my husband told both the chief and second cooks if this lady creates any mess I will throw her out of the ship and send report to the higher authorities against you. So you know what we wish is at most times backed by emotions..... which may not tally with what is right in all cases ..... let wiser people decide what is wrong and right if we are unable to. When my little brother spent hundreds to thousand rupees on "kalipotka, dodoma, rocket bomb".... the fiercest of the crackers .... I used to be too worried.

If it is Diwali for majority of the Indians, it is also Kali Pujo for the Bengalis.... we worship the Goddess of Power? with some "Shyama Sangeet" and "Pathar Mangsho"..... a special music genre as a tribute to the mother and rice, mutton, khichdi. How are we celebrating Diwali? Well tomorrow is Diwali, family is in holiday mood and I prefer home cooked food.... preparation is on for some mutton biryani and hilsa curry..... but when it comes to what I share on blog..... I have to think of what majority of my readers want or how they will be celebrating! Thursday is Kalipujo for us..... there will be a "chotto kore bhog".... I will cook and offer to my Gods and Goddesses..... evening is booked for the temple visit..... "doob de re mon kali boley"..... Each year the friends visit the nearest venue for Kali pujo .... done the Bengali way ..... its around midnight and I skip. This year we may go, the husband wishes to be with his friends......... Moreover, the person who sponsors this pooja hailing from "opar Bangla".... is an overly rich businessman yet outwardly down to earth human being who personally attends all the guests during both durga pooja and kali pooja .... I simply adore that humble tone in people though I was married to a "pot full of arrogance".... haha... I was hooked towards a genuinely honest person actually. What is a celebration without sweets? This time I felt this PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI is just perfect for the occasion..... all three of them should be happy .... Maa Lakshmi .... Ganesh .... Maha Kali... Rasmalai is a very much loved sweet among the Indians. I do try them at home though not on a regular basis. I happened to taste this particular PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI at a friend's place last month, instantly loved ..... yes this is the same shameless diabetic speaking whose sugar level goes beyond limit even after a test on fasting. What else? the son is not giving me any reason to smile and live .... two weeks of term break... he is either watching television or playing car games on his laptop..... repeating history? haha... better I do what I love.... cook and eat. My friend got frozen packets of these PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI from the Indian super market here. One bite into it and I instantly decided I have to prepare this Indian dessert of super white rasgullas / roshogolla dunked in a very light milk syrup which has been flavoured with freshly made pan / betel leaf juice. Betel Leaves have a deep connection .... the grandmother's "pan er dabor" was like "podi pishir barmi baksho"..... the later is a classic by Leela Majumder for the young.... as a child we all were curious to know what was there in Podi Aunt's intricately designed Burmese box... I had similar curiosity for my grandma's betel leaf box.... that generation had to have a "pan" post lunch and the kids were barred from it. I craved for one whenever I was there with them. Her "paner dabor" had fresh betel leaves, betel nuts [shupuri], khoyer [catechu?], chun [lime powder?] roasted fennel seeds[bhaja mouri] and few other spices. I love my teeth, else I would have own that treasure box by now. So, no wonder I will love to do the PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI and wish to share the recipe with you all on the occasion of Diwali. However, I do not know whether this dessert is done  this way or not. I have done it my way and did not follow any other recipe.

Milk : 1lt + 400ml
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Ice Cube : 1small cup
Sugar : 11/2 medium cup 
Semolina : 1tsp
Baking Powder : 2-3pinches [optional]
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Betel Leaf : 7-8
Water : As Required
Rose Water : 2-4drops
Garnish as you wish
The amount yields about 10-12 rasgullas / roshogolla

Let us prepare the Paneer / Chena / Indian Cottage Cheese first. Take 1lt. of milk in a deep bottomed vessel. Put for boil. As it comes to boil, add the lemon juice, stir. The milk will curdle, switch off gas and add the ice cubes.

Once cool, pass the entire mixture through a fine, white cloth and squeeze out as much water as you can.

Tie the cloth on your kitchen tap and leave like that for 45 minutes-1hour.

Take down, untie and place the paneer / chena / Indian cottage cheese on to a plate.

We will knead it now for about 15 minutes. We will add the semolina and baking powder now and knead further for 10 minutes.

We will prepare small balls from the dough. I do not have much expertise in rasgulla / roshogolla making, so they do not double in size while cooking but they taste like rasgulla ... hehe...

Simultaneously, we were preparing the sugar syrup with 11/2 medium cups of sugar and 2-3 big cups of water. Rasgulla syrup should never be allowed to be sticky. We will tear the green cardamoms a bit and add to the boiling syrup. Once it has boiled for about 7-8 minutes, we will gently add the cottage cheese balls.

We will cover cook it for about 15-18 minutes at medium heat and switch off gas. Meanwhile, wash the betel leaf, one by one thoroughly.

Tear from middle, discarding the stem. Prepare a juice in the blender adding little water. Strain and take in a bowl.

In a clean vessel, boil 400ml milk for 5 minutes. Add 1small cup of the sugar syrup from the vessel where the rasgullas are still swimming. You know I hate wastage.

After boiling it for another 7-8 minutes, we will gently add the rasgullas / roshogolla. Rasmalai's milk syrup is always light in texture and I like it that way. Let the rasgullas boil for 3-4 minutes before we switch off gas.

Let the entire thing cool down, add the betel leaf juice gently, rose water drops too. Gently stir. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving. Do not forget to garnish as you wish either. Your dessert for any season is ready.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Swati... I have not visited ur stream for long... shall do it...