Kesar Rajbhog is the richer cousin of Rassogulla /Rasagulla/Rasabhari. Rajbhog mithai is also one of the most canned recipes. Rajbhog recipe is fairly simple to make. It is a good way of feeding milk to picky kids on some days. However, you need to guard the sugar intake with kids. Saffron or Kesar is a powerhouse of anti-oxidants & has cancer preventing properties. Thus it is better than feeding kids creamy cake. You can always squeeze a bit for the kids so that sugar syrup is removed. After all, the only way to enjoy sugar all life long is to actually eat less sugar.
Most Krishna temples serve this sweet in their 'Prasadam' during festivities. This chenna sweet is immensely popular. You can find many tins in the market place. Many companies like Haldiram's, Sugarless Bliss, Nanaji, Ghasitaram's, Vijay Dairy, Bikaji, Bhikaram Chandmal sell canned version. Nowadays even candies and cakes with Rajbhog flavor are available. You can make this day or two before the party at home. Making it with fresh ingredients is just another feather in your cap. You can also offer it as bhog during Dussehra and Navratri/Navratre.
What is the difference between rajbhog and rasgulla?
Both are made of chenna/paneer. However, rajbhog dessert has a warm hue of yellow saffron color and is slightly bigger. Small stuffing of dry fruit within paneer enhances the flavor. It is easy to make and you can make it a day earlier to any party. Kids and elders both love it. This sweet is delicate and spongy and gluten-free.
How to make rajbhog?
Crush the saffron strands in mortar and pestle with 2-3 tsp. of fresh paneer.
Add saffron mix to paneer
Knead into a smooth dough
Take small amount of paneer and stuff chopped pistachios in it.
Shape them into round smooth ball. Repeat for all of the paneer.
Cook all the paneer balls in sugar syrup for 15-20 minutes on high flame after covering it.
Refrigerate for 5-6 hours. Serve chilled. Optionally you may garnish with chopped pistachios before serving.
Read the Kesar Rajbhog recipe below:
Kesar Raj Bhog
For chenna/cheese balls:
- 2 litre full fat milk
- 2 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice
- 12-14 strands of saffron/kesar
For the stuffing:
- 1 tbsp pistachios sliced
- 1 tbsp almonds sliced
For sugar syrup
- 500 grams 2 cups sugar
- 1 ½ litre water
Steps to prepare paneer/cheese from milk
- Boil the milk and keep this aside for 5 minutes, so that it cools a little.
- Mix 2 tbsp. of lemon juice/vinegar with 2 tbsp. water and slowly add to the milk as it starts to coagulate.Add more lemon juice to the milk until the cheese and the water is clearly separated.
- Strain coagulated milk in a muslin cloth. Drain it in a utensil beneath the sieve. This will separate chenna or cottage cheese.
- Pour a cup of cold water on the cheese to remove any bitterness residue of lemon.
Steps for Rajbhog/cheese balls
- Crush the saffron strands in mortar and pestle with 2-3 tsp. of fresh paneer.
- Mix this with chenna so that you get a beautiful yellow color.Mash once again.This would take close to 30 mins or until you get a smooth dough.
- Keep a aside 2 tbsp of cheese/chenna ball separate and mix it with pistachios and almonds for the stuffing.
- Divide remaining cheese into small parts so that you can roll it into small 10-12 balls of same size.
- Add small part of stuffing to each chenna ball and roll it into a smooth ball.
For the sugar syrup:
- Add 6 cups of water to sugar and let it boil in a pot.
- Add 2 tbsp milk to the syrup to remove any impurity of sugar(if impurity exists)
- When the syrup is boiling, add the balls one by one(5-6 at a time) and cook it on high flame(covered)
- Transfer the contents to a serving bowl except the sugar syrup and cook the next batch
- Let it cool further in the refrigerator for a minimum of 5-6 hours.
You may skip Step 1-4 by using dairy paneer from the market.However texture might differ depending on the quality.Homemade paneer is always better as you know what you are using.
Easy paneer sweets rule the roost.