One of my favorite Indian desserts is rasgulla, paneer (cheese curd) dumplings poached in sugar syrup. These treats are usually snow-white, but here I’m adding some color to them in honor of Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.
Place the milk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the white vinegar. Stir until the milk curdles, 3 to 4 minutes.
Line a colander with cheesecloth. Pour in the curdled milk. Rinse the curds under cold water.
Gather up the sides of the cheesecloth and twist firmly but gently to squeeze out excess liquid.
Knead the paneer (cheese curds) by hand until it is smooth and no longer grainy. Divide the paneer into 4 equal parts. Knead the turmeric and saffron into one part to color it yellow, adding yellow food coloring as needed. Knead enough beet juice into another part to color it pink, adding red food coloring as needed. Knead green food coloring into another part to color it green. Leave the final piece white.
Roll the paneer into small balls about the size of walnuts. Set aside.
In a large pot, combine the sugar, cardamom, rose water and 5 cups water. Stir and boil the water for 5 minutes. Drop the paneer balls one by one into the boiling sugar water. Cover the pot and boil until the rasgulla double in size, about 10 minutes.
Remove the rasgulla from the sugar syrup and immediately place into a bowl of ice and water until cooled, 2 to 3 minutes (this will prevent them from shrinking in size). Drain and serve the rasgulla garnished with rose petals, pistachios and coconut.