Desserts/Sweets

Rasmalai

I am also sending this Bengali sweet to PJ http://seduceyourtastebuds.blogspot.com/2010/11/announcing-celebrate-sweets.html who is hosting this event  which was started by Nivedita from Nivedita’s kitchen http://niveditaskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/09/details-of-event-celebrate-sweets.html.

I have heard Ras malai originated from Orissa  (located in the east coast of India), but it is cooked very often in this south Indian’s house! The recipe is very simple but time consuming. Rasgulla and Rasmalai are my favorite desserts. These desserts brings back my childhood memories. My dad used to bring these sweets every year for my birthday and on the day when I used to get my results, especially from K.C.Das in Bengalooru (best Bengali sweets I have ever had).

Ingredients:

Whole milk or 2% reduced fat milk – 16 cups (8cups for paneer + 8 cups for making Ras)

Lemon- ¼ cup

Sugar-2½ cups for cooking paneer and ¾ cup for making Ras

Crushed Cardamom-½ tsp

Saffron – 8 to 10 strands

Cheese cloth/muslin cloth

Pistachios, almonds sliced- ½ tsp

Water-1.2 liters

*Sugar needs to be adjusted according to individuals taste.

Preparation:

To make Paneer:

Bring 8 cups of milk to boil.  Use a heavy bottom pan so as to avoid burning of the milk. Cook on medium heat.

Stir occasionally, once the milk comes to boil dilute ¼ cup of  lemon juice in little water and add slowly into the milk and stir the content.

Milk starts curdling. Turn off the heat when paneer gets separated from the whey and strain the whey from paneer using a cheese cloth or muslin cloth.

Run cold water under paneer for few minutes and remove excess of water by squeezing gently.

Tie the muslin cloth/ cheese cloth tightly so as to remove all the water content and hang it for an hour for the moisture to drain.

Make sure to remove as much as water as you can. To check if the paneer is ready, take a small piece and rub it with your palm, it should not stick to your palm and you should be able to make a smooth ball. This is the most critical step in making rasgullas or rasmalais. Remove the paneer from the cloth and knead softly, make it into round balls and flatten them slightly.

You can make approximately around 12 Rasmalais.

To cook the paneer:

Add 1.2L  of water into the pressure cooker and 2½ cups of sugar. Heat it until all sugar dissolves and allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes. Add the paneer and pressure cook for 9-10 minutes. Make sure there is enough space for the paneer to bloat. Once cooked, the paneer doubles in size. Remove them from sugar syrup and squeeze them gently. Remove as much water as you can. Keep them aside.

To make Rasmalai:

Heat 8 cups of milk in a thick bottomed pan. Keep the heat on medium and cook till the milk reduces to half. Keep stirring occasionally to make sure you do not burn the milk.  Add ¾ cup sugar and cook till sugar is dissolved. Add saffron strands and crushed cardamom into the milk. Now it’s time to add the cooked paneer. Mix them well making sure not to break any of the paneer. Turn off the heat and let it cool for some time. Refrigerate and serve it chilled! Before serving garnish it with some sliced pistachios and almonds …..

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Desserts/Sweets

Rasgulla

I am sending this Bengali sweet to PJ http://seduceyourtastebuds.blogspot.com/2010/11/announcing-celebrate-sweets.html who is hosting this event  which was started by Nivedita from Nivedita’s kitchen http://niveditaskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/09/details-of-event-celebrate-sweets.html

 

 

Ingredients:

Whole milk or 2% reduced fat milk -8cups

Lemon Juice– ¼ cup

Sugar-2½ cups

Cheese cloth/muslin cloth

Water-61/2 cups

*Sugar needs to be adjusted according to individuals taste.

To make Paneer:

Bring 8 cups of milk to boil.  Use a heavy bottom pan so as to avoid burning of the milk. Cook on medium heat.

Stir occasionally, once the milk comes to boil dilute ¼ cup of  lemon juice in little water and add slowly into the milk and stir the content.

Milk starts curdling. Turn off the heat when paneer gets separated from the whey and strain the whey from paneer using a cheese cloth or muslin cloth.

Run cold water under paneer for few minutes and remove excess of water by squeezing gently.

Tie the muslin cloth/ cheese cloth tightly so as to remove all the water content and hang it for an hour for the moisture to drain.

Make sure to remove as much as water as you can. To check if the paneer is ready, take a small piece and rub it with your palm, it should not stick to your palm and you should be able to make a smooth ball. This is the most critical step in making rasgullas or rasmalais. Remove the paneer from the cloth and knead softly, make it into round balls.

To make Rasgullas:

Add 61/2 cups  of water into the pressure cooker and 2½ cups of sugar. Heat it until all sugar dissolves and allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes. Add the paneer and pressure cook for 9-10 minutes.

Make sure there is enough space for the paneer to bloat. Once cooked, the paneer doubles in size.

Cool them down and refrigerate for few hours before serving.

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Desserts/Sweets

Godhi halwa (Wheat halwa)

My mother who is a specialist in sweets, makes amazing godhi halwa. When I was studying and staying in a hostel, I used to ask her to prepare this whenever I went home. It brings back sweet memories!

Ingredients:

Sugar-1 cup
Whole wheat grains (or broken wheat)- 1 cup
Water for soaking-3 cups
Ghee or clarified butter -½cup

Preparation:

Soak the whole wheat grains in the water overnight or 2-3 hours if using  broken wheat.

Grind the mixture using a blender for a couple of minutes and strain to separate out the liquid and the solid. Take the solid and mix it with 1 cup of water and strain again to collect more concentrated liquid.

Keep this liquid aside for half an hour.  Water separates and forms a layer on top which should be drained carefully without disturbing the thick liquid at the bottom. This step fastens the process of making the sweet.

Add sugar to the liquid and heat the mixture in a low flame. Keep stirring until it is a bit more than semi liquid or halwa consistency (approximately 15-20 minutes).

Note that the entire heating process should be done in a low flame. In between check to see if the sugar is in the right proportion. Also, add the clarified butter during the process. In fact, for this preparation the sugar and clarified butter can be added at any stage while it is cooking.

It is ready when it becomes as thick as dough. Pour it onto a greasy flat plate, and spread it evenly. Once it has cooled, it won’t be sticky and can be cut into pieces. Garnish with raisins, cashews or almonds if desired.

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