While I lived in Mumbai, the need to make Bengali sweets never quite entered my mind; one, because I wasn’t cooking that much back then, and two, because apart from the North Indian and Maharashtrian varieties of mithais, we also had Bengali sweet shops to fulfill our craving. And then there were the summer vacations to Kolkata, when we could satiate our craving with great indulgence and trips to Mumbai by Nani, who would pack sweets specially for us.
After we moved to Kolkata too, the ease of buying Bengali sweets never made me want to try making them at home. It is only recently, that dad has been urging me to try making some easy stuff at home….and so, he brought home some ‘chenna’ for me to practice with.
Now even though you can easily make chenna at home, we get it here so easily, that too full fat, that it’s quite a lesser hassle…but you may make your own if you wish.
This sweet is called ‘Kacha golla’, sometimes known as Pranhara by our Bangladeshi brethren. It gets its name thus because the chenna is raw or partially cooked. It’s extremely easy to make, and a low-sweet option, great for those with sugar problems to indulge in. Kacha golla though made with sugar, is also made with gur/jaggery in winters and is doubly delicious. I’ve heard of a couple of methods of making this, and this is the process our local sweet shop owner told me in great detail 😀
Nolen Gurer Kacha Golla
- Chenna – 250 gms
- Sugar – 1 tsp OR Condensed milk – 1 tsp (I used condensed milk)
- Nolen gur (melted date palm jaggery) – 2 tbsp
- Khoya/Mawa – 1 tbsp (optional)
- Milk powder – 2 tbsp and a little for dusting on top
- Ghee – 1/2 tsp
- Chopped pistachios for garnish
- Take the chenna, and in a large plate, start kneading it with the base of your palm until smooth.
- Mix the sugar (or condensed milk), and keeping half aside, heat a non-stick pan with ghee, and tip in the other half of the chenna-sugar mix.
- Add the melted gur, and khoya if using, or milk powder, and begin to quickly stir it with a spatula.
- Keep doing this for 7 to 8 minutes non stop.
- Switch off the heat and tip this back in with the other half of the chenna.
- The mixture will be slightly grainy and very soft.
- Let this cool slightly, and once you can touch it, start forming small balls with your palm (use ghee to grease hands if you find it sticking)
- Roll each kacha golla over crumbled mawa or milk powder, and garnish with pistachios.
- Serve immediately.
Note: These sweets stay for 2-3 days in the fridge, and only for 24 hours at room temp. Don’t cook the chenna more than 8 to 10 mins or it will be hard and rubbery. It’s supposed to be soft and pliable and breakable when poked 😛