Rasabali is one of the chappan bhog (56 offerings) offered to Lord Jagannath at Puri daily. This sweet dish actually originated in Kendrapara district as an offering to the Baladevjew Temple of Icchapur.
It consists of fried discs of chhena (cottage cheese) dipped in sweetened condensed milk. It can be made quite easily but requires some extended cooking time, specially if you don’t have any condensed milk on hand.
- 1/2 ltr Condensed milk
- 1 ltr Whole milk if you don’t have condensed milk
- 250 g Paneer/Chhena
- 1 tsp Wheat flour
- 1 tsp Semolina flour (sooji/rawa)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
- A few strands of saffron
- Salt to taste
- Dash of baking powder
- Ghee for frying
- If you don’t have condensed milk on hand then use this step. Heat up the whole milk to a boil in a pan and reduce to simmer. Then continue to simmer while using a spatula to prevent milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stop when the milk has reduced to half its volume and can coat the bottom of a spoon. Now you have condensed milk. Set it aside to cool.
- Knead the chhena, wheat flour, semolina flour and baking powder together. Add 2 tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt to the dough and knead for 7-8 minutes till the dough feels smooth and does not break apart.
- Separate the dough into equal parts and roll into balls. Flatten the balls into discs, taking care not to create cracks. Let the dough discs rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat up ghee in a pan to a medium heat and fry the discs on both sides to golden brown and drain them on paper towels
- Dip saffron strands in a bit of hot milk and grind it with a mortar and pestle
- Heat up the condensed milk in a low flame. Add sugar bit by bit while stirring till the desired sweetness is achieved. Also add cardamom powder and the saffron.
- Finally, add the fried dough discs and keep on a low flame for 5 more minutes
- Let the rasabali soak in the condensed milk for 2 hours
Your rasabali is now ready. You can serve these with many garnishes like crushed pistachios, silver foil etc. Let this dish bring sweetness to your life.