Kesar Rasgulla

November 1, 2020mayurisjikoni
Blog post




What is Kesar Rasgulla?

Kesar Rasgulla is a saffron flavored traditional sweet dish that is famous in the Indian Subcontinent. Kesar means saffron in Hindi. And Rasgulla is a sweet dumpling made from cottage cheese, paneer or chenna. The balls are rolled and then allowed o cook in a sugar syrup. The sugar syrup is usually flavored with cardamom and sometimes other ingredients like rose essence, rose petals, saffron, mint, chilli, etc are added. This adds a different flavour to the rasgulla. As a matter of fact, one is rasgulla and plural is rasgullas. Translated into simple language ras is juice and gulla is a ball. So actually rasgulla means a juicy ball.


The first time ever I had the opportunity to taste rasgulla and ras malai was when I got married. My mother in law use to make really delicious spongy rasgullas. Whenever we had dinner parties, she’d sometimes make rasgullas. As it was always a huge quantity, I’d help her to knead the chenna or paneer(cottage cheese) and roll them into balls. So, I actually learnt how to make rasgulla and rasmalai from her. When she left for India, I sort of stopped making them at home. The reason being that we get lovely soft spongy rasmalai and rasgulla from the ISKCON temple.

Why did I decide to make Kesar Rasgulla?

You may think that if I’m able to buy the yummiest rasgulla from the temple why would I bother to make them at home? Well, the answer is the Covid Pandemic. Definitely, life has changed drastically for all of us. That includes the temple being closed too along with their restaurant and snack shop. Hubby, had a craving for rasgulla and kept on pestering me to make them. The actual plan was to make Chirote or Pandri Puri as I know it. However, Chirote plan was put on a hold and kesar rasgulla put into action.

A bit about the group:

Members of this group give their partners two secret ingredients according to the theme decided and prepare a dish. Once the dish is ready we add the photo only and other members try and guess the secret ingredients. Towards the end of the month the secret is revealed when we share the recipe link. This month’s theme Diwali Sweets and Savouries  was suggested by Poonam who blogs at Annapurna. I’ve known Poonam for quite a number of years now and I totally am amazed at the energy she has. There is not one festival that she will miss. She celebrates them all with her family by performing the relevant pooja, food offering to God and sometimes with fasting too. You have to check out her Chappan Blog for Lord Krishna that she prepared for the last day of Adhik Maas.

My Partner

This month my partner is Pavani who blogs at Pavani’s Kitchen. Coincidentally, we gave each other the same ingredients, cardamom and sugar. Worked well for both of us as Pavani has made Rasmalai. Actually, this Diwali I’m planning to make her healthier Cornflakes Chivda.

Ingredients Required for Kesar Rasgulla:

Milk – Cow’s milk, full fat is the best.

Sugar – I’ve used refined sugar.

Cardamom Powder – elachi, a coarse powder is best.

Saffron – kesar. Can omit saffron if you want plain rasgulla.

Lemon Juice or Vinegar – used to curdle the milk so that we can make the paneer or chenna.

Some Useful Tips to bear in mind when making Kesar Rasgulla:

  • Don’t use ready made paneer as its too dry to make rasgulla.
  • When you curdle the milk, don’t cook the ‘cheese’ or chenna/paneer. It will become tough.
  • Best to use full fat milk
  • Use a big wide pan so that when the chenna balls are boiling, there is enough space for them to move about.
  • Some recipes call for more sugar but I found 1 cup more than enough for our taste.
  • The amount of chenna or paneer you will get from milk will depend on different brands of milk. I find that in India using one litre is enough for nearly 12 -14 balls. In Kenya I have to use half litre more.
  • After the cooking or boiling time is over, keep the lid on the pan and allow the rasgulla to rest in the syrup for at least 2-3 hours so they remain spongy and soft.
  • Some add a little plain flour of fine semolina but I’ve never tried how they would turn out.

Dietary Tips:

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Best consumed in moderation of the sugar


Kesar Rasgulla is a traditional, sweet, spongy, juicy, delicious Indian Sweet made from paneer or cottage cheese balls in a sugar syrup.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert, Indian Sweet
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12 pieces


  • litres full fat milk
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 cup refined sugar
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ¼ tsp saffron
  • 4 cups water


Preparation of the Paneer/ Chenna:

  • Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat till it comes to a boil.
  • Take the pan off the heat.
  • Add 2-3 tbsp of lemon juice and mix gently. Allow the milk to rest for 2-3 minutes.
  • Put the pan back on medium heat. The milk will begin to curdle.
  • When you see the whey or the greenish liquid, take the pan off the heat.
  • Gently stir the mixture with a spoon or spatula. Curdled milk will gather up into lumps.
  • Drape a colander with a cheesecloth.
  • Pour the curdled milk mixture into the cheesecloth.
  • Wash the paneer or chenna under running cold water. This stops the paneer from cooking further and also removes the lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Gather the ends of the cloth and squeeze the chenna gently to remove excess water.
  • Place the chenna with the cheesecloth in the colander again. Cover the chenna with the cloth.
  • Put a small flat lid or plate on top of the bundle of covered chenna. Place a brick or something heavy over it. This helps to remove the excess water faster.
  • Leave for about 30 minutes.

Preparation of the Chenna/ Paneer Balls:

  • Remove the chenna from the cheesecloth into a big bowl or tray.
  • Knead the chenna using the heel of yoru palm till its soft smooth and it no longer sticky. This takes about 5-10 minutes.
  • Divide the chenna into 12 -14 parts.
  • Roll each part into a ball that is completely smooth without any cracks.

Preparation of Rasgulla:

  • Take a big wide pan with a lid.
  • Add water, sugar, cardamom and saffron.
  • Place the pan over medium heat and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  • Add the chenna balls gently to the boiling sugar water.
  • Allow the chenna balls to boil for 20 minutes.
  • Switch the heat off after 20 minutes. Don't be tempted to open the lid as the ragullas may deflate.
  • Allow the ragullas to cool down in the syrup without opening the lid for at 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • For chilled rasgulla, put in the fridge with the syrup for about 30- 60 minutes.
  • Serve Kesar Rasgulla with a little syrup drizzled over it.


  • Make sure the chenna mixture is smooth and not sticky after kneading it.
  • Don't use less water otherwise the syrup will become thick and the rasgulla will not cook properly.
  • If you don't have lemon or vinegar to curdle the milk use ¼ cup plain yogurt.
  • Make sure the rolled balls have no cracks.
Keyword rasgulla recipe

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A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • Priya Vj

    November 2, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    5 stars
    I am a big fan of rasgullas and rasmalai. Your recipe seems to be easy
    I have always been skeptical of curdling the milk and then kneading it right to form smooth balls. I will bookmark your recipe and try it leisurely.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 2, 2020 at 7:17 pm

      Priya I’ve always followed Tarla Dalal’s method of curdling the milk to make the paneer. And then if you follow the tips, making rasgulla is pretty simple. Also for guidance you can check Sujata’s blog as she has a variety of rasgulla recipes.

  • Poonam Bachhav

    November 3, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    5 stars
    We love rasgullas and I make them often. Never thought of adding saffron to the syrup though. I am loving the gorgeous color your Kesar Rasgulla has got. Would definitely give your version a try this Diwali. Thanks for the kind words about me.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 3, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam, my MIL would often make kesar rasgulla. Something different from what her friends would prepare.

  • Swati

    November 4, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    5 stars
    Kesar rasgullas look so soft and spongy with the hint of light kesariya tinge.. and beautifully shot.. very nicely explained post with all the tips and tricks .. will be so helpful for beginners or those struggling to to make perfect spongy rasgullas.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 4, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Thank you so much Swati.

  • The Girl Next Door

    November 5, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    5 stars
    The rasgullas look super spongy and juicy. Love how perfectly they have turned out. 🙂 The Kesar has imparted a beautiful pale yellow colour to them, which makes them super inviting!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 5, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      Thank you so much Priya.

  • preethicuisine

    November 13, 2020 at 7:39 am

    5 stars
    Kesar Rasgulla looks delectable. I love rasgulla . Your method seems so easy . I will try your version sometime soon. Will then experiment with flavors .These look so perfect.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi and please do try the simple recipe.

  • Renu

    November 15, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    5 stars
    one of my favourite sweet of all time. I love kesar rasgulla as it adds colour as well as slight flavour to the rasgulla. Clicks are very tempting.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 16, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      Thank you so much Renu. I too love the flavour that saffron adds to the rasgulla.

  • Anu Kollon

    November 16, 2020 at 1:50 am

    5 stars
    Rasgulla’s are one of my favorite sweets. These kesar one look so spongy and delectable. The yellow color from the saffron is even more inviting.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 16, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      Thank you so much Anu, I too love rasgulla.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    November 17, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    5 stars
    Wow Rasgulla’s looking very colorful,spongy and super delectable. I am big of rasgulla, your kesar rasgullas making me to have some soon. Can imagine the flavors of kesar and feeling the super spongy taste while eating.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 17, 2020 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you Aruna.

  • Pavani Gunikuntla

    November 17, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    5 stars
    Oh wow! The Rasgulla looks just perfect and absolutely delicious. You’ve nailed the recipe. Beautiful share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 17, 2020 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you so much Pavani. Learnt from the best, my mother in law.

  • Sasmita Sahoo

    November 19, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    I always love the traditional dishes. This is one of them. you have made so perfectly spongy and juicy kesariya rasgulla. Such a delectable share with that yellow color all over.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 20, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you so much Sasmita.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    November 20, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    5 stars
    Kesar Rasgulla looks soft, spongy and delicious. Beautiful recipe, so apt for any occasion.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 20, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you so much


    November 21, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    5 stars
    Rasgullas look so soft and spongy. Love the way how it has turned out and flavor of saffron makes it more exotic. One of my favorite sweet and now I am carving to have some.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 21, 2020 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks Narmadha, its my family’s favorite too.

  • Seema Sriram

    November 22, 2020 at 5:10 am

    5 stars
    certainly, the pandemic isolation had brought out the best in many of us. A lot more recipes we have tried than buying and now find it so easy to recreate the flavours with ease. I can surely understand why you crave for these lip-smacking rasgullas. The colour and the recipe both are fantastic.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 22, 2020 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you so much Seema. The pandemic has changed lives forever. This was a long pending recipe and the pandemic presented the opportunity.

  • Archana

    March 23, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    5 stars
    You know I am a huge fan of sweets unlike the rest of my family. I am drooling over these pictures and the recipe of Kesar Rasgulla. I must say I definitely will make these rasgullas sooner the better. Thanks a lot Mayuri homemade is definitely better than store brought,

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 23, 2021 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you Archana.

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