Rasgulla Macapuno is our fusion dessert inspired by Rasgulla, the popular Bengali sweet and Macapuno, the sweetened tender coconut flesh used in several Filipino desserts.

Rasgulla Macapuno - a fusion dessert with popular Bengali sweet Rasgulla and Macapuno, tender coconut meat used in many Filipino desserts

This recipe has been aired on Dubai One TV for a special Ramadan Episode.

I am back to Rasgullas once again. Being a Bengali doesn’t take you too far away from them. Rasgulla or Rôshogolla is a very famous Bengali Sweet and probably one of my favourite topics to explore and experiment. I have previously written an essay on it. Today’s recipe is very close to my heart as it involves my Lady M, our Filipina nanny without whom my endless photographic sessions on food experiments would never have materialised.

Rasgulla Macapuno - a fusion dessert with popular Bengali sweet Rasgulla and Macapuno, tender coconut meat used in many Filipino desserts

Lady M hails from Bikol, a region in Philippines which is known for it’s spicy fare. Naturally, Filipino food is cooked on a regular basis in our kitchen along with traditional Bengali and experiments with Bengali fusion food. When I eat a traditional Filipino dish, I talk about how we could use and adapt it to our Bengali palate. Similarly, when Lady M eats a Bengali dish she talks about how similar dishes exist in her cuisine or may be how a little addition here and there would make it quite easy to pass off as a Filipino dish.

Rasgulla, one of the most popular Bengali sweets


Rasgullas are most probably the most popular of all Bengali sweets. They are made from balls of chhana (an Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in a sugar syrup. We like our rasgullas from Chappan Bhog, Bikanerwala, Gangaur or Puranmal. The quality of the channa is vital in making of soft rasgullas, as I realised while making rasgullas at home.

Rasgulla, one of the most popular Bengali sweets


Hailing from Philippines, the macapuno is a variety of coconut which has more flesh than the regular coconut. They are extensively using in making Filipino sweets, fruit salads, ice-creams with macapuno flavours etc. Bottled or canned macapunos are easily available in regular supermarkets in Dubai (Choitram’s, Al Maya Lal’s, Spinneys etc). They are available in different colours – green, red etc. I like to buy the white macapuno to complement the sanctity of my white rasgullas.



Rasgulla Macapuno

  • Servings: 5-6 persons (maybe less if they happen to be sweet-toothed Bengalis!)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Category=Dessert; Cuisine=Bengali-Filipino Fusion 

Rasgulla Macapuno - a fusion dessert with popular Bengali sweet Rasgulla and Macapuno, tender coconut meat used in many Filipino desserts


15 pieces rasgullas (you can also get canned Rasgullas from popular brands like Haldiram’s but they tend to be harder. Canned rasgullas are readily available in most hypermarkets like Carréfour, Lulu and other supermarkets like Spinneys or Choitram’s in selected locations)
1 glass fresh coconut water
1 cup macapuno (if prepared at home) or 1 bottled macapuno
½ tsp saffron, soaked in milk
4 tsp pistachios, crushed
2 cups full cream milk


  •  Prepare the macapuno. Grate the soft kernel of a young coconut (shansh as it is called in Bengali) into thick strips. Mix it with white sugar and a small amount of water. Simmer in a pan for a while until it turns into a sweet syrup without dissolving the kernel strips completely.
  • Pour the rasgullas into a deep glass bowl
  • Add fresh coconut water, milk, macapuno and the soaked saffron
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled
  • Garnish with Pistachios just before serving



Rasgulla Macapuno - a fusion dessert with popular Bengali sweet Rasgulla and Macapuno, tender coconut meat used in many Filipino desserts

Rasgulla Macapuno - a fusion dessert with popular Bengali sweet Rasgulla and Filipino favourite Macapuno

I’m sure you will love this fusion dessert. Though the inspiration of fusing Macapuno with Rasgulla comes from a dessert I had tasted once at a friend’s place. She had used the soft flesh of tender coconut or the shansh in a kheer, an Indian dessert made up of condensing the milk with sugar. Please don’t throw the coconut shells away – why not serve the Rasgulla Macapuno in them? I tried making spoons too from these to scoop out the Rasgullas but wasn’t really successful in my creative endeavour this time. Inshallah, next time! If staying with a person from a different culture doesn’t inspire one, what else will? So for Lady M, a Filipina who’s turned into a Bengali, there is always a Bengali me who’s turned into a Filipina!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

Try some of my dessert recipes:
Home made Rasgullas
 Semaiya Kheer or Vermicelli Pudding
Firni or Ferni - The broken rice pudding
Moong Daaler Payesh or Yellow Lentil Pudding

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Disclaimer: This isn’t a sponsored post, nor are there any affiliated links for any of the brands that may have been mentioned in this blogpost. The subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own and all images are from my personal album. While you enjoy reading my posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts. 

60 Comments on “Rasgulla Macapuno – When a Filipina Turns into a Bong

  1. I am awestruck by this creation. To me, it feels like a Keralite fusion with the fresh coconut. Rasgulla is my fave Bengali dessert, especially the ones dunked in saffron milk. Now with coconut water, it’ll be hard picking favorites. Beautiful Photography too. 🙂

    • Thanks Sayana! In Kerala do they use the soft kernel too? In Bengal we use the coconut milk or just normal grated coconut as a garnishing or with a Chaunk in a few delicacies, but we never make it the way it is done in the Filipino Cuisine. Don’t pick on a favourite – just go for both:)

      • Ishita, as far as I know, our cuisine share a lot of similarities especially the uses of coconut and our love for fish. As for picking favorites, I couldn’t have said it better myself 😉

  2. yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Isn’t it? I think I even dream about Rasgullas – hence need to re-invent it now and then even if it is for myself:)

  3. hats off to u ishita for your wonderful recipes, fab photography and stupendous writing skills!! truly inspirational – keep going girl!

    • Thanks Payal for dropping by and for your lovely comment:)

      In order to keep going you probably see me running and gasping for breath every time you see me!

  4. That’s a wonderful fusion! I have to try this after I give birth (regulating my sweet intake) or maybe we can just meet up and make me taste one of them balls 🙂

    I also use macapuno to garnish my ube cake -http://www.mynappytales.com/2011/10/ube-macapuno-cake-for-fias-cake-a-thon/

    • Oh please take your time – I don’t want you to sue me for your increased sugar levels!

      Went through your Ube Cake – OMG! How beautiful it is and realised that it tasted heavenly from all the comments of those who had actually tasted it:)

  5. I love all the juicy bengali sweets..can have n number of rasgullas. This is a great fusion recipe..love your clicks.

    • Thanks Raji! I’ll send you an invite when I create a Rasgulla Lover’s Club (seriously plan to do someday)!

  6. OMG, the pics you have put up in the post, didn’t let me run through the text at all !!!
    I need the rosogollas, need them now 🙁

    you are one lucky bong, lol

    • LOL! Thanks a lot and please come back another day and go through the text – it’s not that bad (even though it doesn’t match the visuals)!

  7. I am not a fan of macapuno especially if TOO sweet (which most of the time they are). But I am amazed at your adventurous cooking! Love the fusion concept 🙂 Some say Filipino food is a bit close to Goan food. Perhaps because of the Spanish / Portugese influence.

    I haven’t tasted rasgullas yet. How do they taste like?

    • Didi – I’m sure we’ll be meeting sometimes and then I shall introduce to Rasgullas. I like to make the Macapuno at home – so that it’s not so sweet like the bottled ones:)

        • Will surely do – Right now parents are there – so working during the day, touring Dubai like a tourist after work and writing my posts like a mid-night journalist! In June – that’s a deal:)))

  8. Wow… ditto to the above. Amazing shots and so completely new to me. I’m going to have to study this a little closer!

  9. Wendy – thanks so much!
    Introducing each other to new things – isn’t that the real idea of blogging? I hadn’t heard of Turkey Kebabs being eaten with Glass Noodles before. You introduced that to me:)

  10. This sounds so refreshing! I threw a fusion party recently and whipped up rasmalais with kesar, cream and gelatine and poured them over mango slices and moistened gingerbread to set! This would have been so much simpler!

    • Moistened gingerbread to set? This is an entirely take on this. I might do something like this and will definitely acknowledge you – you are not into recipe writing – so I can safely do this. What do you think?

      • Anytime! I moistened the cake with the milk from the rasmalai. Then layered it with sliced mangoes and poured the smoothly blended chenna, cream and kesar with gelatine on top to set. (Strawberries and chocolate cake might be good substitutes as well)
        Wasn’t too bad even if I say so myself 🙂

  11. A mouthwatering post. 🙂 I simply love roshogollas! And the concept of fusion food goes well with the Bengali culture of accumulating a lot of knowledge and then mixing them to create something extraordinary. Bong extraordinare!

    • Thanks Ria – Roshogolla and Aloo – attracting most traffic in my site – have to really rethink on strategy – just write on these two perhaps? I would love to add ‘Bengali culture of accumulating a lot of knowledge and then mixing them to create something extraordinary’ to my post – that’s a lovely analysis:)

    • Thank you Prithvijit. Bangalir aloo bhaté mashed potato kore sell korchi – let me know whether I am successful! ‘Fatafati’ can turn into the Bengali version of FaceBook ‘Superlike’. ki bolo?

  12. So your LF and I share something in common — we both hail from the same region. I love macapuno and I can only get the bottled one here. I used it the other time on my cassava cake as the Asian shop ran out of the frozen young coconut strips. 😉

    • Are you from Bicol Malou? OMG we simply adore Bicol Express… I have served Bicol Express to each and every guest who has visited us:)

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  14. learnst something new today Ishita!! great article and the pics are enticing enough for me to almost try it out !! very well written.

    • Thanks! A local TV channel is going to show this for Ramadan. Essence of Dubai captured in the recipe – intermingling of nationalities and culture, thereby cuisine. Made real Rasgullas too! You are visiting after a long time – Congratulations on your finishing (hopefully!) your studies:)))

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  18. Ishita, don’t know which area to look for Bottled Macapuno. You know how supermarkets can be a maze when you’re looking for something new in ever changining aisles during Ramadan. Where should I be looking?

    • Ethnic section – bottled n can sections – specially canned fruits. Macapuno is available in green and also pink(!) But white is always pristine!

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