Bengali cooking is famous for sweets made from cottage cheese or homemade cheese also known as paneer. Every district in Bengal is famous for a special sweet recipe of its own. Sandesh, Rosogolla, Rasmalai, chanar payesh, chum-chum, mishti doi (sweetened curd) are few of the very popular recipes.
K C Das – well known sweetmeat shop famous for its Bengali sweets. As a child I loved eating those mouthwatering rosogollas and mishti doi in the mud pot (that’s how the K C Das packs). I used to collect those empty pots, clean and dry them up for some of my creative works :)!
Here I am going to give the recipe for Rasmalai which I served as a surprise dish during one of the parties and believe me it came out really well for the 1st try.
Rasmalai also pronounced, as Roshomalay in Bengali is a Bengali dish consisting of sugary, cream to yellow colored flattened balls of paneer soaked in creamy saffron flavored milk.
Ingredients for Rasmalai Patties
4 cups milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 1/2 cups water
Ingredients for Milk mixture
3 cups of milk
2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar (adjust to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom
Few strands of saffron
1 tablespoon sliced almonds and pistachios for garnishing
To make Paneer
1. Mix lemon juice in half a cup of hot water and keep aside.
2. Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently making sure milk do not burn on the bottom of the pan.
3. As the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice slowly and stir the milk gently. The curd will start separating from the whey, turn off the heat.
4. Once the milk fat has separated from the whey, drain the whey using a strainer line with cheesecloth or muslin cloth.
5. Wrap the curd in a muslin cloth, rinse under cold water, and squeeze well. This process takes out the sourness from the lemon.
6. To take out the excess water squeeze the cloth. Taking the right amount of water out of the paneer is the most important part of this recipe.
7. To check if enough water is out of the paneer, take a little piece of paneer on your palm and rub with your fingers. After rubbing the paneer for about 15-20 seconds, you should be able to make a firm but smooth ball.
8. If the paneer is too dry, add a few drops of water, using the water squeezed from the paneer.
9. Once the paneer is drained, place on a clean, dry surface and knead the paneer for 3-4 minutes until it almost rolls into smooth soft dough.
Soak few strands of saffron in 1/2cup of milk before starting the making of rasmalai so that it gives out good color.
Making the Rasmalai
- Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll them into smooth balls.
- Mix the sugar and water in a pressure cooker on medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Add the paneer balls and close the pressure cooker. After the pressure cooker starts steaming, turn the heat to medium and cook for about seven minutes. Make sure the cooker is large enough to accommodate the finished rasgullas, as they will expand to about double the volume while cooking in the syrup!
- Turn off the heat and wait for few minutes before opening the pressure cooker (wait until all the pressure is released). Take out the patties from the syrup and squeeze them lightly, and keep aside.
- Boil the milk in a frying pan on medium heat until the milk reduces to about 2 cups. Make sure to frequently stir the milk as it may burn easily at the bottom of the pan.
- Add the sugar and the Rasmalai patties in milk. Let it cook for few minutes.
- Add the cardamom and the saffron milk that was soaked before and mix in. Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios.
Serve the Rasmalai chilled. Yes it’s a bit weighty-dessert but once in a while treats are good ;)!!
This recipe has been submitted in Durga Puja Food festival which you can reach by clicking here.