A rich dessert fit for a king. A delicate dessert fit for the queen. A fun dessert fit for all the prince and princesses. A perfect dessert for me and I'm not royalty. Basically - this is a sweet for everyone and anyone.
My best friend's sister Rohini akka had also requested for a Rasmalai recipe on the blog's facebook page. Yakkoi...this is for you. ( But, I get to eat it, even though I wish I could share half the calories with you!)
To start with, take a wide pan and heat about 3/4 of a gallon of whole milk. Please don't use reduced fat milk here. It just does'nt work - just get that extra workout and go with the whole milk. We will be making paneer with this milk. This quantity makes about 25 big rasmalais. So, adjust your quantity accordingly.
Bring the milk to a complete rolling boil. Then, switch off the stove and add white vinegar to this little by little till you can see all the milk curdled and the whey separating out. Before you add vinegar, make sure you have a bowl of ice pieces next to you. You will add that as soon as the milk curdles.
This is what we should be looking for - a greenish kind of whey separating and little chunks of paneer floating around.
As soon as that happens, add a whole bowl of ice to the paneer. This will immediately stop the cooking process and will keep the paneer very very soft. You can touch if you don't believe me!
Move all the paneer to a thin muslin or cotton cloth over a colander.
Run cold water over this paneer cooling it down even further to keep the softness. After this, squeeze out all the water and hang the paneer for about 30 mins. Keep squeezing out the water as much as you can.
After 30-45 mins, the paneer is still soft but without any moisture. This is perfect consistency.
You will have to knead the paneer really well to give it a little bit of elasticity. You could do this by hand or if you have a food processor, that works best. Use the dough maker attachment and pulse it a few times until the paneer forms a ball. This provides a wonderful smooth texture to the paneer. Move to a bowl and kind of roll all together to form a nice smooth circle dough.
Take a little bit of the dough and using your palms, roll them into small balls and then flatten each ball.
There are my rasmalai balls ready to go.
Can you see the texture in here? Sorry about the shadows...I'm doing this in my kitchen under the lights - wish I had a cooking studio with super gloss white lights!
Now is a pressure cooker, add about 6 cups of water and 11/2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil. The water has to be boiling when you drop the rasmalais inside.
Cover and put the weight on top. Pressure cook the rasmalai until exactly one whistle. Then, switch off the stove and let it sit for 5 mins. Then, remove the weight ( run cold water over the cooker if the steam is still present inside).
Tada...look at these little babies! They have doubled in size. Which made me think maybe I should have made them a little smaller.
Move the rasmalais along with a little syrup to another bowl and let it cool down a little bit. Now, these are basically Rasgollas - just flat ones. So, the next time you want to make Rasgollas - you know how.
Next step would be to make the rabdi or the milk base for the rasmalai. You can start doing this simultaneously while making the paneer.
There are many ways to make this rabdi. One is you could just use half and half (milk and cream) and heat up a little bit as that is thick by itself and hence to me, more fattening! Or you could use evaporated milk and maybe a little bit of condensed milk mixed in - this is a richer version. Or you could do it from scratch with regular milk like mine below.
Take about half a gallon of milk in a wide non stick pan. Keep heating in medium heat. This should basically reduce to half the quantity.
For 4 cups of milk, add about 1 1/2 cups of sugar. If that's too sweet for you, add some more milk.
When the milk is half done, soak saffron in a little bit of hot milk and then mix with the rest of the milk.This gives a wonderful flavor and color to the ras!
You can see the milk thickening and the cream starting to form. Looks easy - but this is after almost 1 1/2 hrs of simmering and stirring! Keep stirring until you think that the milk has reduced well and it starts to thicken.
Now, pick up the rasmalais that are ready and gently using the back of a spoon, squeeze out the sugar water. This will flatten the paneer more but they will puff back up when you add them to the warm milk.
Move them to the warm milk. Let your milk still be on medium heat - give the rasmalais a couple of mins in hot milk - that helps the paneer soak up the ras! Once you add all the pieces, switch off the stove but let it sit there and cool down naturally. When they come to room temperature, move them to your favorite serving bowl and put them in the refrigerator. Chill well and serve cold!
Fry some chopped pistachios and almonds. I add about 1/2 tsp of sugar to this while roasting them - this caramalized the nuts and the nuts taste way better!
Add the nuts to the rasmalai. And voila - you're done!
Ladies and Gentleman, presenting you the King of Indian sweets - Rasmalai!! (Drum roll, please!)
Can you see how they puffed back up? It was 10:30 in the night - but I still ate 2 of these...the consistency was perfect - it was very very soft and it was a perfect cut when you slice with a spoon - no rubbery pull anywhere. It does take some time to make - but all worth it! Try it out and you will be very happy and will be eating them at 10:30 in the night too - just like me!
This one's for you!
Enjoy. Peace out!