In our culture every good thing is starts with something sweet. Like during our school days when we used to have our final exams mom used to give us yogurt mixed with sugar before leaving the house. It’s a belief that when you are going for a journey, exams, interview or anything which is going to be special in your life you should have a bit of sweet and then leave. So starting reboot of my blog, with this sweet.
Ras Malai is a dumpling made from cottage cheese which is also known as paneer, soaked in sweetened, thickened milk flavoured with cardamom and saffron. Ras Malai is served chilled and let me tell you it taste even better if sits for a day or two in fridge.
Back home, I have never appreciated these sweets much but now I cannot have enough of it. Mainly because you do not get to eat this delicacies very often here and that too fresh. I looked for recipes on internet and decide to go with Manjula’s kitchen which has a great collection of recipe for indian cuisine. And as you can see the outcome was incredibly delicious. So, here is what I did:
For Ras Malai Patties:
- 4 cups whole Milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups water
- 5-6 Cardamom pods
For Ras or Syrup:
- 2 cups 2 % milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- pinch of Cardamom powder
- finely chopped pistachios to garnish
- 5-6 strands of saffron
For making Paneer:
- Mix lemon juice with 1/2 cup of hot water and keep it aside.
- Boil milk, stirring frequently and as the milk comes to boil, add lemon juice and stir the same gently.
- You will notice the cheese will start separating from the whey, at this point of time turn off the heat.
- Now drain the whey using a strainer lined with light cotton kitchen towel or muslin cloth. Also, rinse the curd/cheese under cold water in order to get rid of any sourness from the lemon juice.
- Wrap the cloth tightly and squeezed well as much as you can to get rid of excess water from the cheese/curd. You can also keep the tied cloth under heavy bottom casserole for some time.
- To check if enough water is out of paneer, you can take little amount of paneer in your hand and rub with your finger for 15-20 seconds and try making a smooth ball. If it does you are good to go.
- Once the curd/paneer is dry, knead the paneer for 4-5 minutes or until you can make smooth dry balls. You will notice that you hand will be little greasy at the end of it.
I know this sounds like at lot of work but believe me it’s easiest you can imagine.
Making patties and syrup:
- Divide the dough into 15 equals parts and roll it in between your hands into a smooth balls.
- Mix sugar and water in a pressure cooker and bring it to a boil. Add the paneer balls into the syrup and close the lid. Cook it for 7-8 minutes and turn off the heat. Let the cooler cool down and then open the lid.
- Meanwhile in a large sauce pan boil milk until it is reduced to its half, stirring frequently making sure that milk does burn from the bottom. Take 2 tablespoon of hot milk and soak saffron in it.
- Once the cooker is cool down, open the lid and take out the patties from the syrup, squeeze a bit and keep it aside.
- Once the milk is reduced, add soaked saffron milk, cardamom powder, sugar and the patties and cook for few minutes.
- Garnish with grated pistachios and serve chilled.