RASMALAI – A ROYAL DESSERT
Rasmalai, a dessert originating from the land of the Royal Bengal Tiger is worthy of being served to Royalty!
If you have ever had one, you would agree with me that this decadent melt-in-your-mouth dessert instills awe in you and gives you a feeling of “it must be complicated to make this”! Honestly, making this at home is a cake walk and will cost you a tiny fraction of the store-bought version.
5 easy steps to rich home-made desserts
This simple procedure results in cottage cheese (1st picture) but has excess water for a dessert. Once the excess is squeezed out, you get a firm but moldable form of cheese which is the base for many rich desserts.
The best in my opinion is of course the rasmalai. I tag it “No one can eat just one!” 🙂
For Paneer nuggets
- 5 cups milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups water
For flavoured milk
- 3 cups of milk
- 2 pinches of dried saffron flower
- 5 tbsp of sugar (varies as per taste)
- 1/4 tsp crushed green cardamom
- 2 tbsp almond powder (optional)
- 1/4 cup crumbled khoya/milk solids (optioal)
- 1/4 tablespoon and pistachios to garnish
- Mix lemon juice in half a cup of warm water and keep aside.
- Add 5 cups milk to a large bottomed pan over medium heat. Make sure you are stirring the milk cat regular intervals to make sure the milk does not stick to the bottom
- Add the lemon juice/water mixture to the boiling milk.
- The milk curdles in about a minute and most of the milk protein coagulates into lumps leaving very thin, slightly cloudy whey behind
- Drain out the liquid using a muslin cloth or any other thin cloth and wash the cheese-like mass with cold water to clear off any remnant sourness from the lemon
- What you have in the muslin cloth is nothing but cottage cheese!
- Squeeze out the excess water and the cloth hang for about 15-20 minutes.
- Check if the paneer is of the right consistency by rubbing a small quantity of paneer with your palms and kneading it into a ball. The ball has to be smooth and firm with no cracks in it.
- Knead the paneer like you you would knead dough on a dry surface (for atleast 3-5 minutes to make sure paneer is uniform in its texture) and roll into a smooth ball of dough
- Divide the paneer into 16 equal parts and roll them in smooth balls. Press them slightly to resemble a bulging nugget.
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large bottom pot (a deep pan will also work) and add 1 cup sugar to it. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the paneer balls, cover and cook for about 12 minutes (The nuggets will almost double in size)
- Meanwhile, in another pan, Boil milk over medium heat till the quantity reduces to about 2/3rd (Again, keep stirring)
- If you choose to add the almond powder and milk solids (both used for additional flavor ad thickness of milk), now would be the time to add them I, mix and boil for 2 more min.
- Take the pan off heat, allow it to cool down for 5-8 min minutes before opening it.
- Take the paneer nuggets out of the syrup and squeeze them lightly
- Add the sugar, cardamom and 1 pinch of saffron. Set aside.
- Once the 12 minutes of cooking the paneer nuggets are done, turn off the heat & allow the pan to cool down.
- Squeeze the nuggets lightly to remove excess sugar syrup.
- Arrange them on the serving dish and pour the flavoured milk on them. Let it cool down.
- Garnish with pistachios, rest of the saffron ad refrigerate.
- Rasmalai tastes best when served chilled.
Allow the nuggets to sufficient time (about 15-20 min) to cool down ad absorb the sugar syrup before squeezing out the excess. Do not press too hard or your rasmalai will be chewy and not the melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
Refrigerate at least for 4-6 hours for good absorption of the flavours in milk.