Ras malai – Cottage cheese dumplings in thick and sweetened saffron milk
Ras malai is a popular Indian dessert which is a specialty from Bengal.This sweet is often made on special occasion or festivals.Cottage cheese or Ricotta cheese dumplings are cooked in thin sugar syrup and then added in thick sweet and flavoured milk.It is best served chilled.
The trick of making good Ras malai is to make soft paneer and then mashing the paneer well to get soft and porous balls.You can grind the paneer either in mixer or can mash with your palms.
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How to Make Ras Malai
- 2 liter Fresh Milk
- 1 cup Sugar / Chini
- 1/2 tsp Saffron / Kesar
- 10 Pistachio / Pista
- 5 Almonds / Badam
- 1/3 tsp Cardamom Powder / Elaichi Powder
- 1.5 tsp Lemon Juice / Nimbu Ka Ras
- 1 tsp Semolina / Sooji
How To Make Paneer
- Boil 1 litre milk in a pan and keep stirring.
- When it start boiling switch off the flame and wait for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add 2 tsp of lemon juice (or 1 tsp of vinegar)and stir.
- Now the milk will start curdling.
- Strain the curdled milk through a muslin cloth.
- Pour some cold water over the milk to remove the traces of lemon juice and to cool it down.
- Tie the muslin bag and put some weight over it to remove the extra water from the milk solids (but don’t make it too dry,there should be some moisture in it).
- Keep it for 20 minutes and then open and remove the paneer from the muslin cloth.
How To Make Paneer Disc/ balls
- Take the paneer and breake into small pieces.
- Add it in the mixer jar and grind for a minute OR take it in a big plate and mash it with your palms for about 5 minutes.
- Now add 1 tsp semolina,1 tsp of castor sugar,pinch of cardamom powder.
- Mix and knead again for 3-4 minutes.
- Shape them into small flat discs and keep aside.
- In the pressure cooker add 3 glasses of water and 100 gms of sugar and cook.
- When it comes to a rolling boil add the prepared paneer discs and close the lid (with the whistle)
- Cook for 1 whistle then lower the flame and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Now switch off the flame and keep the cooker closed for 30 minutes.
- Then open the cooker and let it cool down completely.
Sweet Saffron Milk
- Boil 1 lit milk in a heavy bottom pan.
- Keep stirring it in between to avoid burning or sticking in the bottom.
- Soak saffon in 1 tsp of warm milk for 10 minutes and then crush to make paste.
- When milk get reduced and become almost half then add 3/4 cups of sugar (or according to your taste)
- Add 1/4 tsp cardamom powder and saffron.
- Mix and let it cool down to room temp.
How To Assemble
- Now take the paneer discs and press them very gently to remove some sugar syrup.
- Add the paneer discs into the saffron milk and let them soak in it for 2 hours.
- Garnish with chopped pistchio and almonds.
- Serve chilled.
- Knead the paneer very well to get soft and porous balls.
- Don’t use readymade paneer to make ras malai.
- When milk and paneer disc come to room temperature ,only then mix them together.
- Don’t boil or heat the milk after adding the paneer discs,otherwise they become hard.
- Instead of lemon juice You can also use whey, citric acid(tatri) dissolved in little water or slightly sour yogurt or vinegar to curdle the milk ,but do wash the paneer well to get rid of the smell and taste of the curdling agent.