Komola Bhog – Magic With Milk And Orange

Komola Bhog The Orange Rasgulla

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.

The  truth is  that even  with a  few Rasgulla fans in the  house,   I was  clueless  about   Komola 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.   Now if  you absolutely must  have  the   deep orange  color , add a  drop of   color, but  definitely  hold  back on the  essence.
Orange Zest

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 .

As in the  case of  making  fresh rasgulla, you start  with  boiling  the  milk and  curdling  it  using  an   acid ,  typically lemon juice or  vinegar.  In this  case we  use  the  orange  juice, the added  advantage is  that you do not  need  to   rinse  the  curds  under  water  to remove  the  unwanted flavors.    When the  milk  boils add  the  orange  juice  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

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.

Strain the whey

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.  But  this is  how  I do it.  Place a  wooden  spoon across a deep pot or  bowl  and  tie  the  cloth  containing  the  curds  on it  and  let  it  hand   dry .  Do not  let  the  curds  dry for  longer  than  45  minutes. If  you can not  make  the  Komola Bhog   immediately , place  the  cheese in an  airtight  container for a  few  hours.

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 in color by now .  Divide into  equal sized pieces and  form into smooth balls.  Keep in mind  that  these swell up and  double in size.

Heat sugar  and  water in a  pan  . When it  boils  add   cardamon powder.   Slowly  place  the  cheese balls in the  boiling  sugar  syrup.  Cover  and  let  it   boil  for  10 minutes. Boil  in  sugar  syrup. 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 remaining syrup syrup  till it  thickens and  begins to coat  the  spoon. If you like your syrup very sweet this is the time to add more sugar.  Cool and  mix   with  1 C  orange  juice.   Pour  this  over  the  Komola Bhog  in the  fridge. Return to fridge  and  chill for a few  hours/overnight  before serving.

Komola Bhog – Magic With Milk and Citrus

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 6 hours

Yield: Serves 4

Komola Bhog – Magic With  Milk and  Citrus


Milk - 4 C
Orange Zest - 2 Tsp
Orange Juice - 2 C
Sugar - 1 to 11/2 C
Water - 4 C
Saffron - 10 to 20 strands
Cardamon - 2 Pods


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 the 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 to it. Pour this orange syrup over the Komolo Bhog. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill completely before serving.


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 - Orange Rasgulla


Liked  this  recipe ?  Share here

You might like these citrus recipes as well !

Gojiberry Orange Cake

Goji Berry Orange Cake  –  The berries  from Himalayas  and  citrus is  a  treat for  the  taste buds

For a cooler  version  try this

Orange Faloodeh –  the Persion ice   with Orange  Juice . A  perfect  sweet  treat  to beat the  heat in summer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *