Rasgulla is a syrupy sweet of Bengal and Orissa. It is mainly prepared by kneading chhena and a small amount of semilina. These are rolled into small balls, and then boiled in light syrup made of sugar. This is done until the sugar enters the balls. Read on to find out more interesting information about the history, origin and the background of rasgulla.
Interesting Information on Background of Rasgulla
It is believed that rasgulla was invented in Bengal where it was considered to be a traditional sweet. Nobin Das, who was a confectioner in Kolkata is considered as the father of rasgulla. He is famously known as "Rasagolla's Columbus". But by the time Nobin Das introduced rasgulla to Kolkata, it had already become a traditional sweet of Orissa, in the cities of Bhubaneswar and Puri.
The recipe or rasgulla then spread from Orissa to West Bengal. All this happened during the Renaissance when the Brahmin cooks who belonged to Orissa were employed by the Bengali families. It was from here that the various Orissa delicacies got incorporated into the Bengal kitchen.
During 1868, Nobin Das, who belonged to Kolkata, modified the recipe of the rasgulla as he wanted to extend the life of the sweet which was originally highly perishable. As a result of his modification, the rasgulla became a lot spongier than it originally was but it remained non-perishable for quite some time, which made it easier for Nobin Das to market it as a product. Subsequently, K.C. Das who was Nobin Das's son began to can the rasgulla which resulted in the widespread availability of the sweets.
Slowly, the popularity of the rasgulla spread to all over India. We can find rasgullas all over the country today; specially the canned ones. Not only India, rasgullas have become very popular in Pakistan and Bangladesh as well. It is really heartening to see even South Asian grocery stores in countries like the United Kingdom and America are now housing rasgullas. They are marketed not only by K.C. Das but by some famous sweet makers from Bikaner and Delhi as well.
Now, we also find various variants of this traditional sweet. In Orissa, the Pahala variant for example, is generally served very hot. On the other hand, in Bengal kheermohan refers to a bigger version of the rasgulla, whereas in Orissa, the words kheermohan and rasgulla are used for each other.
There are rasgullas made of jaggery which are available in Bengal, as well as Orissa during festivities. Rasgulla has become a very popular dessert in India. It has also served as the precursor to many other sweets like the rasmalai, raskadam, chamcham, pantua, malai chop and the kheersagar.