Ras malai was selected for this month’s Indian cooking challenge by Srivalli. I haven’t tasted ras malai, and seen them only in pictures and other blogs. So I decide to give a try. It is one of east India’s famous dessert dishes. It is popular in West Bengal, Orissa etc along with neighboring Bangladesh. Ras malai usually consists of two parts: first one is cheese balls/paneer/cheena balls , the second part being the syrup/rabdi in which paneer/cheena balls are soaked.
Lavi’s recipe was chosen for making Ras malai, however, it is in large quantities. I wanted to make only 2-3 serving rather than 10-12 serving, further this recipe asks to heat the milk on first day and keeping it for 12 hour in refrigerator. I have no time to do that, with my little one. I needed to do everything in one day. So I used Simran’s recipe with slight modification of adding 1 teaspoon of corn starch instead of ½ teaspoon and reducing some sugar in Ras and garnish with them pistachios and saffron.
I made paneer and hung it in my kitchen sink, supposed to hang it for 1 hour, however I hung for 3 hours as my little one’s 12 month check up was on the afternoon and poor girl got some shots too so I was holding her until she took nap.
Even though the recipe feels long and tedious, actually it is quite simple and easy to follow as you start making them.
I didn’t use the pressure cooker to cook the paneer/cheena balls. As I was afraid of breaking them, I only cooked it in on stove stop. Cooked for 20 minutes instead of 15 minutes mentioned the recipe. They came out really good. I am going to making more often, as both my hubby and little one liked it very much. Here goes the recipe.
What you need
For making paneer/cheena balls
Lemon jucie/ vinegar: 1 no ( I used juice of one lime)/ ½ teaspoon of vinegar
Corn starch: 1 teaspoon
Water: 1 cup
For Sugar syrup
Sugar: ½ cup
For Ras/Rabdi/Milk syrup
Milk : 2 cup
Saffron: 5 nos
Sugar: 1 ½ tablespoon
Heavy whipping cream: 1 tablespoon
Cardmom: 2 no( crushed )
Pistachio: 1 tablespoon (crushed finely).
How I made
For making paneer
Boil 2 cup of milk in sauce pot with occasional stirring. Once it starts boiling add lime/lemon juice/vinegar and stir until it curdles.
In a strainer lined with cheese cloth pour the curdle cheese along with whey water. Collect the drained whey water using container. You can use this whey water to make chapathi dough or to cook don’t throw away, it is rich in nutrients. Wash the paneer with 1 cup of water so that sourness from lime juice will be removed.
Hung the cheese cloth along with paneer in kitchen sink for one hour or until entire whey water is removed. However, I hung for 3 hours.
Remove from the cheese cloth and add corn starch and knead them into a soft dough or until you won’t see any grains in them.
Divide the soft paneer dough into 6 equal sized rounds (I made 7 round balls with last one being small). Slightly flatten them in the center and keep aside.
For Making sugar syrup
In a sauce pot add 2 cups of water and ½ cup of sugar and let it boil, it takes about 10 minutes to boil. Continue for another 5 minutes of boiling.
Gradually drops the flattened paneer balls into the sugar syrup and continue to cook for another 20 minutes or until its doubles in size.
Then add ½ cup cold water and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Switch off the flame. Once it cooled remove the paneer balls along with some syrup and keep aside.
For Making Ras/ Milk Syrup
In a sauce pot preferably a nonstick one add 2 cup of milk and boil it in medium flame. Once it starts boiling reduce the fire and simmer it with occasional stirring until it reduces to half. It takes about 30 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, saffron and sugar and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or it becomes thick.
Once it is cooled add gently squeezed paneer/cheena balls into milk syrup and let it chill in refrigerator.
At the time of serving garnish them with chopped pistachios.
Preparation time: 1 hour 55 minutes ( In my case 3 hour 55minutes)
Yield: 7 no
Verdict: Really yummy
Will you make it again: Yes I will