Rasmalai is a very rich and classic Bengali sweet an elegantly cooked dish I must add. Here paneer dumplings are dunked in a creamy and sweet milk sauce which is flavored with cardamom, saffron and jewelled with nuts. Every bite remains juicy and spongy and is a definite treat to the taste buds. This one will adorn any of your special menu! Be it anniversaries or birthdays or any special days this dessert will uplift the mood and make you feel delighted and special in every way. It is such an Indian dessert that you should not miss trying at home. Its super easy to make using ready made paneer and any beginner can get it right. Just make sure to get some fresh paneer and start making these to indulge in the most exotic dessert of India. It will not take more than 20 minutes of your precious time. In the "from the scratch method" you will have to curdle milk, make paneer (or chenna) then you'd have to knead it well and then make rasgullas and proceed to make rasmalai, its quite a lengthy process just like it sounds. Also if you do not get your paneer right your rasgullas or rasmalai will be a failure, so here's a foolproof and a shortcut method to make your cooking more easy and fun. I made this recently to virtually treat a very special blogger friend Viji on her birthday and I'm glad she enjoyed the visual treat. Lets now see how to make this easy to prepare rasmalai recipe.
INGREDIENTSMakes 8 rasmalai pieces
Total Preparation time - 15 minutes
- Paneer - 100 grams (store bought paneer)
- Milk - 300 ml
- Water - 300 ml
- Sugar - 50 to 75 grams (plus 3 tablespoons for sweetening milk)
- Condensed milk - 1 tablespoon
- Cardamom pods - 5 + 4
- Saffron strands - 2 pinches
- Almonds - 8 to 10
- Pistachio - 8 to 10
- Place 300 ml of milk in a saucepan and add sugar, 5 cardamom pods (crushed well), saffron strands into it. Bring to a boil, then simmer on a low flame. Stir occasionally and wait until it reduces to half of its original volume. Now add condensed milk, half of the chopped nuts and simmer on low flame. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on the pan.
- Meanwhile, grate or chop paneer into smaller cubes and grind well. It will turn moist and soft then remove from blender and knead for a few seconds.
- Then pinch out small portions and make smooth balls approximately a lemon size. Then flatten them into thick discs and set aside.
- Now pour water (300 ml) into a pan/saucepan and add 4 cardamom pods (crushed well) and 50 to 75 grams of sugar. Then place on flame and boil well on a medium flame until the sugar dissolves.
- Then gently slide the flattened paneer into the syrup and cover the pan with a lid. Leave it undisturbed for a while, do not try to flip the pieces or stir with a spoon as the pieces will be too delicate and break initially. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, then check of the paneer has grown in size.
- Then gently flip the pieces. If your paneer has not got cooked properly it will break easily. So make sure that you do this after 5 to 6 minutes or after it has grown in size. You can check the pictures above the paneer pieces has almost doubled.
- Cover and cook for a few more minutes. When the rasagullas seem spongy remove from flame. Take a rasagulla and press with a spoon and if it springs back it means it is ready.
- Then switch off the flame and remove the rasagullas with a slotted spatula or spoon and well with another spoon to remove the sugar syrup from the rasagullas.
- Now drop these into the simmering milk and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a low flame.
- Remove from flame and garnish with nuts and serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.
TIP 1: A frugal tip is if you do not have saffron strands at hand, you can go for a pinch of turmeric powder instead. It will give a nice yellowish color and you will not regret that you haven't added saffron. Saffron does give a nice flavor but when you don't have any options it is better to go for this alternative. But please see that you don't overdo it as turmeric powder will give a different flavor, so just a pinch will do.
TIP 2: When using store bought paneer see that the paneer is fresh and does not smell sour.
TIP 3: Rasmalai stays quite well for four days when refrigerated. I haven't tried storing longer than that.