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).
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
*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 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 …..