Winter, to any Kolkatan (me included!), is incomplete without Nolen Gur (date palm jaggery). So when winter arrived in Delhi, there was one thing that I started missing terribly. But then, it took me just one phone call to my family in Kolkata, and voila! The next day I had this huge parcel of Nolen Gur delivered at my doorstep. Now, with a solid wheel of nolen gur sitting in my refrigerator and there being two (three if I include my sweet-toothed, greedy dog!) Bengali Mishti enthusiasts in the house, I HAD to make something in a jiffy! And the fastest sweet I could make was Nolen Gurer Kacha Golla. Kacha Golla is a famous sweet from Bengal, made of uncooked cottage cheese and sugar/jaggery. If these balls are cooked in sugar syrup, they become the famous Roshogolla/Rasgulla. If you have all the ingredients ready at home, making Kacha Golla does not take more than 10 minutes. And once you have made and tasted it, you will not think before making this sweet again and again. Here’s how you can make it:
500 ml full cream milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup date palm jaggery (grated, mixed with 2 tablespoons hot milk)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon green cardamom powder
In a heavy bottomed pan, bring the milk to a boil and add lemon juice. Turn off the heat and mix well till the cheese separates from the whey. Strain through a muslin cloth and immediately rinse the cheese in running water to remove the lemony taste.
Squeeze out all the excess water from the cheese and mash well with your palms till the cottage cheese is smooth and free from lumps. Add in the jaggery, sugar and cardamom powder. Knead again till the sugar melts.
Shape the cheese into small balls and refrigerate for 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with rose petals or chopped pistachio and serve.
Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂
NOTE: If you cannot lay your hands on Nolen Gur, simply increase the quantity of sugar and add a few strands of saffron dissolved in milk for that special flavor!