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Komola Bhog – Magic With Milk And Orange

What can be  better  than  sweet spongy  Rasgulla ? Sweet and  spongy Orange  Rasgula – of  course !!!  Komola Bhog is  the  orange  flavored  cousin of  the  popular Bengali sweet Rasgula.  Well  I was  recently chastised  for  calling  it a  Bengali sweet. It is not  just  popular in Bengal, many neighboring  regions lay claim to  its origin as  well . Now  whether I get  the  pedigree  right or not – Rasgulla or Roshogulla is a  beautiful   desert with  huge fan  following.

Komola Bhog The orange RasgullaThe  truth is  that even  with a  few Rasgulla fans in the  house,   I was  clueless  about   Komola Bhog   (or  Komolo bhog) not  so long  ago.  My relationship with milk based deserts is not  very cordial, on the other hand  I am a  sucker  for  citrus  flavors.  Just  so you  know,  I love  orange in frozen  treats, cakes  or  just  by themselves. Now you know  what  to get  me, if  you were  ever  wondering ;-).   Kidding  aside citrus  has  this  wonderful ability to brighten up any dish  instantly,  whether you  cook  with it  or   just garnish  with it.

So , as you can  imagine , the idea of Komola Bhog   piqued my interest. But  my excitement  soon turned into  disappointment  as I read the  recipes –  virtually all of  them relied  on  food  color  and  essence  for  flavor.   Colors  and  additives  are  things  that  I generally  stay away from.  Moreover  there are  always bags of  oranges or  lemons  in  my kitchen. So I made  these   with fresh oranges and  the  results  were  incredible.

All you really need  are  four  ingredients – milk , sugar, water,  and  oranges.  I add  a  little saffron  and cardamom  to enhance  the   flavors, but  these  are  like  the  icing on the  cake.   Saffron   imparts a  bit  of color  as well.    Now if  you absolutely must  have  the   deep orange  color , add a  drop of   color, but  definitely  hold  back on the  essence.

These are the  steps  to making  Komola bhog

  1. Curdle Milk
  2. Strain and  cool the  curds
  3. Knead  and  make  small balls
  4. Boil till  doubled.
  5. Cool  in   orange  flavored  syrup

Steps needed to make komolo bjog - the orange flavored rasgullaCurdling the  milk 
As in the  case of  making  fresh rasgulla, the  first  step is  to  separate the   milk solids.   Hot  milk is  curdled  using   an  acid – typically lemon juice or  vinegar.  Depending  on the  final  product  the   acidic  flavors  may have  to be   removed  by rinsing off.   In this  case we  use  the  orange  juice, and since  the  end  prodcuct  is  orange  flavored  there is  no need  to    rinse out  the   excess.

Heat  is  an important  part  of this curdling process.   It is  the  catalyst  helping  the  milk  curdle  almost  instantly.   Add  orange  juice to to boiling milk and stir  well.  You will notice  the  milk  curdling.  The  amount  of  orange  juice needed  varies  depending on the  acidity –  for 4  cups of  milk it  could  be  anywhere  from 1/2 C  to 1 C  juice.  Turn off the  heat   and  let  it  rest  for  5  minutes  to allow  the thick  curds  to form.

Separate the  curds 

Place a  strainer over a  bowl  and  cover  with  layers of  cheese  cloth or  a  muslin/ cotton  towel.   Pour  the  curdled milk over  it  and  let  the  whey strain out.  Gather  the  ends  of  the  towel and  squeeze out as  much of  the  whey as possible.

Let  the  curds  hang  dry  for  30 minutes.  The idea is  to let  the  gravity work its  magic . Often  times  these  are  hung  dry on the  kitchen  faucet.  It  is  not  very convenient  for  me   so  this is  how  I do it.  Place a  wooden  spoon across a deep pot or  bowl. Tie  the  cloth  containing  the  curds  on the  spoon   and  let  it  hand   dry .

Do not  let  the  curds  dry for  longer  than  45  minutes. If all the  moisture  is  removed  from the   curds  it  will  break   while  boiling. If  you can not  make  the  Komola Bhog   immediately , place  the  curds  in an  airtight  container for a  few  hours.

Form the  rasgulla

Once the whey is drained, knead  the  curds  well  adding  a  little  sooji (semolina) or flour, orange zest, powdered  saffron strands and a little  fine sugar. Knead until the  cheese is smooth,  for  about 15  minutes.  The  dough  should  be smooth  and  uniform light orange  color by now .  Divide into  equal sized pieces and  form into smooth balls.  Keep in mind  that  these swell up and  double in size.
Komola Bhog The orange RasgullaCook 

Heat sugar  and  water in a  pan. When it  boils  add   the  powdered cardamon.   Slowly  place  the  rasgulla balls in the  boiling  sugar  syrup.  Cover  and  let  it   boil  for  10 minutes.

Komolo Bhog  would  have  doubled in  size  by now.  Turn  these  gently once  and  let  simmer  for  another 10 to 20 minutes.  Turn off the  heat  and let  cool. When  cooled  remove Komola bhog  from the syrup to a  serving  container. Pour little  syrup over it  to keep it  moist. Heat the syrup syrup remaining in the pan   till it  thickens and  begins to coat  the  spoon. If you like your syrup very sweet this is the time to add more sugar.  Turn off  the  heat and mix   in 1 C  orange  juice.   Pour  this  over  the  Komola Bhog  in the  fridge.

Refrigerate  komola bhog  for a few  hours/overnight  before serving.

Few other Indian  sweets

Notes :

To me  the  trick to  getting  the  most  flavor  out  of  this  recipe  is the  orange  zest.   Zest  it  fine,  and  make  sure  that  none  of  the pith (the  white portion of  the   skin) gets in .

The  color  will  vary depending  on the   type  of  zest    used  as  well as  the amount  of  saffron.  Add a  pinch of  kesar  color  or  orange  food  coloring if needed.  Regardless of  the intensity of  color  the  sweet  will taste  delicious.

Komola bhog - Orange flavored rasgulla

Komola Bhog

By Syama
This is a  version of  Rasgulla  flavored  with orange.  Here a  mix  of    citrus  and  dairy flavors  complement  each other perfectly. 
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 6 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 4 C Milk
  • 2 Tsp Orange Zest
  • 2 C Orange Juice
  • 1 - 11/2 C Granulated Sugar
  • 4 C Water


  • 10 - 20 Strands Saffron
  • 2 Pods Green Cardamon
  • 1 Drop Orange Color


  • Boil the milk in a large pot. When it comes to a rolling boil slowly pour about 1/2 to 3/4 C of orange juice while stirring the milk. The milk will curdle. Once the curds form, turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes .
  • Strain using a cheese cloth or cotton towel. Tightly wrap the cloth over the curds and squeeze it dry. Let the cheese bundle hang and drain for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Powder the cardamom seeds. Crush the saffron strands fine. Finely zest the orange.
  • Mix 1 C sugar with 4 C water and heat over low fire.
  • Remove the curds from the cloth and knead with 1 Tbsp fine semolina, saffron and orange zest for 10 to 15 minutes until it forms a smooth dough. The dough should be of uniform golden color by now. Divide the dough into 8 to 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball.
  • By now the water should be boiling. Add the cardamom powder to the water. Gently place the cheese balls in the boiling sugar syrup. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Komola Bhog should have doubled in size by now. Turn them  gently and cook for another 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool for an hour.
  • Remove the Komola Bhog from the syrup to another container. Heat the remaining syrup till it begins to coat a spoon. This is the time to add more sugar , if you prefer. Cool and add 1 C orange juice and the  food  color (if  using)  to it. Mix  well.  Pour this orange syrup over the Komolo Bhog. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill completely before serving.

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

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A Few Tips 

  • Though  many recipes  ask for  full fat  milk, I have  had  most  success  with  low fat  milk  that is not  homogenized.
  • Do not let  the  cheese  curds  become  too dry . If you can not  knead  and  make  the  Rasgulla/Komola Bhog immediately  place   the  drained  cheese in an  airtight  container for a  few  hours.
  • Do not over  work  the  cheese.  Stop  kneading  as  the   cheese  becomes  very smooth and the  dough is  formed.  Once  you feel the fat  coating  your  palms  stop  kneading.
  • Keep  the  sugar  syrup  boiling   while  the  Rasgulla/Komola Bhog are cooking. Do not  reduce  the  heat  to  simmer.
  • Ensure  that  the  pot  used  to make  Komola  Bhog  is  large  enough to  hold   all the puffed  cheese  balls.
  • There  should  be  enough  sugar  syrup  to  cover  the  komolo Bhog.  If  that is  not  the  case, change  the  pan  or  add  more  hot  sugar  syrup.
  • There  should  not  be  any cracks  on the  surface  of  the  cheese  balls as  you place  them in the  sugar  syrup.
Komola Bhog The orange Rasgulla


Here are a  few  other   Orange  flavored  desserts to try 


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