Kesar or Saffron Roshogolla – Revisiting a classic

Kesar or Saffron RoshogollaKesar or Saffron Rosshogolla is a golden take on the classic Bengali sweet, rossogolla.

Late last year, my friend Susan Hubbard at the farm had given me a large gift pack of saffron. I had not been able to put it to good use until recently. I have used it a couple of times and they were every bit of perfect in these saffron roshogollas.

A couple of years ago, I shared a classic  recipe for these lovely delicate poached sweets .

These days I stay away from the pressure cooker and make these on the stove top. I find I have more control over the results and almost find the entire process very peaceful and therapeutic. I also find my roshogollas expand better doing this method.

Saffron Rosshogolla

It has taken a long time, but my children finally have learned the magic and beauty of both the rosshogolla and sandesh. Despite my compulsive and incurable sweet tooth, I have not been able to bring myself to savor commercially made Indian sweets. It just does not cut it for me. My repertoire for homemade Indian sweets is not huge but the ones I do make I do a decent job.

Kesar Rosshogolla

Fresh tasting clean ingredients, a minimalist approach to sugar, all adds up in bringing home a fresh tasting sweet well worth the effort and calories. This beauties are found in almost all occasions in Kolkata, brought home it earthenware pots called a bhaanr. Our version of this tradition is to enjoy them warm, soft and fresh. The tips to a perfect roshogolla is pretty straight forward –

Tips for the Perfect Roshogolla

Fresh Homemade paneer or channa drained for about 4 to 5 hours

The drained paneer is kneaded well with just a hint of semolina

The sugar syrup should be light in fact my versions using a 3 is to 1 ratio of water to sugar yields a very light syrup

The balls should be poached gently. We should use a pot with enough space to cook and expand properly and should cool for about 20 minutes before the pot is opened.

The pristine white ones are always good, but if you want to flavor them, saffron, cardamom and rosewater are good options. These heady saffron roshogollas rest in a light and beautifully seasoned saffron syrup.

Kesar or Saffron Roshogolla – Revisiting a classic

Prep Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 20 roshogollas

A saffron infused version of rosshogolla, kesar or saffron roshogolla.


  • 1/2 gallon milk
  • 2 limes or lemons
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon fine semolina
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon saffron


  1. Heat the milk in a wide bottomed pan and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. When the milk comes to a rolling boil, turn off the heat. Cut the lime or lemon in half and remove the seeds
  3. Squeeze in the lime or lemon juice one half at a time, stirring well, until the milk solids separate from the whey.
  4. Gather the freshly made paneer cheese/channa in a cheesecloth and set aside to drain for about 4 hours.
  5. Gather the drained channa and add the semolina and place in a food processor and pulse for about a minute until the channa forms a ball. Alternately knead well for about 6 to 7 minutes until you can feel the fat from the channa on your fingertips.
  6. Shape into 15 to 20 small balls. These will double in size when poached so it is important to make them fairly small. Cover with a moist cloth and let them rest while you process with the rest of the process.
  7. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a wide bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. The pot should have enough room to allow the roshogollas to expand and double.
  8. Once the water reaches a foamy boil, reduce the temperature and gently add the roshogolla balls and the saffron strands.
  9. Cover and cook on medium low heat (ie in a very gentle simmer) for about 20 minutes.
  10. Cool for about 20 minutes before serving. These are either served warm or chilled. It is a matter of preference.


Most of the time is passive time.

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