Ruskadam : Soft cheese balls with surprise inside



With the festival season on we can never have too many dessert recipes. Would you agree? I know my blog is a bit dessert heavy, but really this is such a happy outcome!

Ruskadam or Roshkodombo, as we call it in Bengali is a unique dessert. It has a few layers to it, The tongue comes in contact with the grainy exterior, leading to a smooth cheese cover, which opens the door to the final surprise a sweet, juicy, fragrant, coloured, cheese ball.


Kolkata has sweet shops around every corner. Any happy event be it birthdays, marriages, a child’s first solid meal to graduation celebration, calls for elaborate sweet items. Visiting a friend after ages or even a wedding invitation may have an exquisite collection of sweets or Mishti.

The total absent of sweet shop in my small Prairie town made me more curious towards trying these recipes myself. Some are family recipes. There are some that I have perfected through information available online. This is one such recipe. I was very proud of the outcome. Give it a try friends. You will be so proud of yourself!



Whole milk                                4 litre

White vinegar                            4 tbsp

Sugar                                        3 cups

Icing sugar                                1 cup

Corn flour                                 2 Tbsps

Milk powder                            1/2 cup, more for dipping

Food colour                             few drops

Rose water                              1/2 tsp

Saffron                                    20 threads


Make the chhena ( Cheese ):

Take the milk in a heavy bottomed pan on high heat. Bring it to boil and put the gas off. Let it sit for 5 minutes. In a bowl mix the vinegar with same amount of water. Pour this mixture little by little to the milk , until the solids separate and the light green whey is visible. Drain this through a cheese cloth. wash the cheese with cold water then let it drain all the water out. You can either hang the cheese cloth with the cheese in it or cover it with thick kitchen towel.The cheese should be dry.

Collect the cheese on a flat surface and knead it with the palm of your hand, until it can be gathered in a smooth ball with no creases, about seven to eight minutes. Mix the corn flour and knead again for a couple minutes.

Divide the dough into two. Take half the cheese, add the food colour yellow or red and mix evenly, then form smooth balls, I had 24.

Making the syrup 1 :

Take one cup sugar and four cups water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Pour the  above balls a couple at a time., cover and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. The balls will enlarge in size, add hot water time to time to keep the volume same. Put the gas off, collect the balls, discard the syrup.

Making of syrup 2:

In another pan take the rest of the sugar  ( 2 cups ), and one cup of water. Bring it to boil  only till the sugar has melted.  Put the gas off. Add the rose water, saffron threads and the cheese balls. Keep in the fridge for about 8 hours, this causes the syrup to penetrate evenly in the balls, gives a great fragrance and colour. Strain the balls through a strainer so that all the syrup is drained off.

Making of the soft cover layer:

Take the second half of the dough and mix it with icing sugar and milk powder. The mixture should not be sticky. Adjust with more milk powder if needed. Make 24 small balls. Flatten the ball on the palm of your hand, seat one ball, wrap the cheese mixture all around.

Final layer :

In a bowl take another couple table spoon of milk powder. Run the balls on it to get a even coat of milk powder. This gives a grainy texture to the outer layer.

Give your self a pat on the back and enjoy.



Kumro Phul Bhaja : Squash blossom fritters



Did I tell you Zucchini plants and I do not get along. I mean when my neighbours, friends, co workers are growing zucchinis, almost the size of a baseball, my plants have officially declared war against my efforts. Make sure you water them properly, are they getting enough sunlight, cut the bottom leaves off, maybe you have all male flowers, try pollinating them yourselves…. came the friendly advice. I left no stone unturned, armed with knowledge from google, I set out on a sex determination mission, is the back of the flower plump or flat? ….

I also had planted a few Squash plants, the stickers on them showed amber coloured beauties. A picture of beautifully carved squashes on the front door step during Halloween flashed in my mind. I dutifully watered them, counted the blossoms in my fingers. Alas that is where they stopped too. Not one matured into a respectable size.


Accepting my defeat, I decided to consolidate my gains. If no veggies, I am going to use up the flowers. It is past mid August, the leaves will  change colour pretty soon.  I plucked the flowers and enjoyed these beautiful fritters with a hot cup of tea. With the thunderstorm  at the background, I felt like I won. What do you think friends?

Recipe; Made 11. 


Squash / Zucchini blossoms         11

Besan ( Chickpea flour )                 1/2 cup

Poppy seeds                                  1/2 tbsp

Turmeric powder                             1/4 tsp

Nigella seeds                                   1/4 tsp

Baking soda                                    a very small pinch

Chaat masala                                 1 tsp

Canola oil for frying

Salt to taste


Wash the flowers nicely. Cut off the sepals from outside and pistil from inside the flower. Lay them on kitchen towel to dry.

Make a batter with the above ingredients and a table spoon of oil. Mix water slowly and whisk to get rid of lumps. The consistency should be that of a cake batter or a tad runnier. Let it stand for about 20 minutes.

Take canola oil in a deep pan about an inch deep on high heat. Dip the flower in the batter, coat it evenly. Gently drop this in the hot oil, crank the heat down to medium now, look for a change in colour to light brown , flip it over so both sides are cooked,

Collect them on kitchen towel. Sprinkle the Chaat masala on top.  Enjoy them with a cup of piping hot tea.

Inside Scoop,

Chaat masala available in Indian grocery store or online.