Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ras Malai

Yum
When one thinks of Bengali sweets, the first thing that comes to mind is the Rasgulla... the next is its creamier and richer relative, the Ras Malai. Whenever we enter a sweet shop, hubby dearest always drools over the ras malai. This was my biggest motivation to try and make it at home. I did fear initially that it is difficult to make, but I was simply fretting. I actually made it on a weekday evening when I was home early and in a good mood :)



Clockwise from top left: Curdled milk, Chenna, Kneaded dough, Flattened balls

Flattened balls in sugar syrup, After cooking




The below recipe makes around 13-14 pieces.

Ras Malai



Bengali dessert made with cottage cheese/ paneer and almond flavored milk

Recipe Type:  Dessert
Cuisine:          Indian / Bengali
Prep Time:     5 minutes
Cook time:     2 Hours
Yield:              13-14

Ingredients:

1.5L of Milk
3/4 cup + 1/3 cup Sugar
2.5 cups + 2 tsp Water
1 Tbsp Cornflour
2-3 Cardamom
8-10 Almonds
8-10 Pistachios
1/2 tsp Turmeric or a few strands of Saffron
1 Tbsp Lime juice

Method:

To make Ras malai, we first make chenna.
Bring 1L of milk to a rolling boil. Lower the flame and add 1 tbsp of lime juice to help curdle the milk.
One the milk curdles, allow the milk to boil at low flame until all the milk solids come together into a lump.
Strain the milk using a muslin cloth. Tie the muslin cloth loosely and apply a weight on it. Or you can hang the cloth for around 1 hour until all the water drips off.
If applying the weight, allow the weight to be on the chenna for around 5-8 mins.
Take a large pan, add 2.5 cups of water and 3/4 cup of sugar. Boil until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to boil for 5 mins. Switch off the heat until you are ready to cook the ras malai.
Place the chenna onto a clean surface or in a large bowl. Add 1 tbsp of cornflour and knead. If it feels too dry, add 1 tsp of water and continue to knead for 5-10 mins. You know you are done with the kneading when you can make balls out of the chenna which do not have any cracks. Kneading for too long will make them rubbery and chewy.
Make small balls of the chenna and flatten them using your hand. These are boiled in sugar syrup, so remember they double in size.
Turn on the heat on the sugar syrup. Let it stay at medium heat. Place the flattened balls gently in the sugar syrup. Do not overcrowd them. Cover and cook for 15 mins.
You will know that they are done, when you touch the balls and they spring back. Do not overcook them, they will become hard.
Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Once the balls are completely cooled, heat the remaining milk in a pan.
Boil the milk until it reduces to half.
Add the 1/3 cup of sugar and the turmeric/saffron strands. Boil until sugar dissolves.
Crush the cardamom into powder.
Add the cardomom powder to the milk and boil for another minute.
Remove from heat.
Add slivers of almonds and finely chopped pistachios.
Remove the balls from sugar syrup. With the help of 2 spoons, gently squeeze the balls to remove excess sugar syrup. Be very gentle. Place the ball into the sweetened milk.
Allow it to cool and then refrigerate it.
Serve chilled, garnished with more almonds and pistachios.




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