Rasmalai is a a rich succulent sweet made from chenna ( cottage cheese balls) dunked in saffron milk. Since my childhood, I have seen my family rejoicing and feasting on this special sweet called rasmalai. From my childhood memories, there was this one big famous sweet shop near to my mom’s place where one the best rasmalais were sold. Unfortunately I never feasted much on sweets, not even on my present favourites (Moong Dal Halwa, and Mawa Malpua) as I was never a sweet tooth person. After I got engaged to my better half, I discovered, he was very much fond of it. Then one day this happened. I planned to make Rasmalais at home. Though I geared up mentally to put my hands on it, I needed a good fail proof recipe to make it and that time (10 years back) we had no internet connections at home. To my luck, one of my friend gifted me a series of cook books authored by a renowned chef and that had the recipe of rasmalai, sigh of relief!
Next early morning, hubby left for office, I was all set to make it to surprise him in the evening and started working on it. First attempt was done, tasted it, Yuck! it failed 🙁
Second attempt, again Yuck, failed! Even Third attempt went in vain. Stock of milk also got washed out from my pantry with every failed attempt. I made up my mind, come what may I have to do this. Called to groceries shop to deliver more milk at home in bulk and again started working on it. It was 7 pm evening and all my attempts to make rasmalais failed even after following the recipe from the book to the ’T’. I was totally clueless which part of the recipe was I not following. The 13 shots in a day to make rasmalai FAILED, yes 13 attempts 🙁 . Physically I was too tired but mentally I still had the energy to give it a last try in a day. This time I firmly decided not to follow the recipe from the book, instead do tweaking of the recipe using the basic intellect of cooking.
Yeah, started working again. Curdling, straining, kneading boiling and soaking… Phewwwww! ‘’Hmmmm, this looks little better, lets taste it, Voila! I have done it’’. Happy Dance!
“Oh Farrukh, wait for your hubby to taste once he is back from office.”
“Aaaah, he has come! let me serve him this rasmalai”. Fingers crossed!
One bite in, second bite in, third bite in…..Yes, This is the best Rasmalai I have ever had in my Life!, he said.
That day and today, I have always been receiving a pat on a back not only from my hubby but from all my family members friends and colleagues.
Now, it’s time to share my no fail recipe of this delicious Kesar Rasmalai with all you my dear readers. Let’s get started on how to make best kesari rasmalai at home….
3 litres (preferably cow’s milk), Milk
2 tablespoon vinegar
1cup+4 tablespoon, sugar
1 pinch, baking powder
1 teaspoon, all-purpose flour ( maida)
Few drops of rose essence
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
A generous pinch of Saffron
Slivered Pistachios for garnish
Few Ice cubes
In a pan, take one litre of milk and boil
Once it comes to boil, add cardamom powder, saffron strands, and simmer till reduced to half, stir in between
to avoid burning
Once milk is reduced, add4 tbsp sugar (if you more sweetness you can add more sugar) and few drops of rose essence, simmer till sugar dissolves well
Take it off the heat
In a heavy bottom pan, heat remaining 2 litres milk on a medium flame. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
Once milk starts boiling, reduce the heat to low.
Gradually add vinegar and stir, milk will start curdling.
Once milk is curdled, take it off the heat and immediately add ice cubes
Leave it for 2 to 3 minutes.
Line the strainer with muslin or cheese cloth.
Strain the curdled milk and squeeze the cloth to drain excess water
Wash it under cold running water to remove the traces of vinegar
This is called chenna
Take this chenna on plate, knead for 2 minutes with the heels of your hand
Add baking powder and all-purpose flour and little few strands of crushed saffron. Knead well with heels of your hand till your palm feels oil and chenna mixture is very smooth and silky, this will take around 8 minutes
Divide chenna into 10-12 equal small balls and flatten it a bit
In a wide mouthed, kadhai, take 1 cup of sugar and 4cups of water, make light sugar syrup
Pour the few flattened 4-5 chenna ball in the boiling syrup, cover and cook for 7-8 minutes
Chenna balls will increase double in size
Flip each of them carefully, cover and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Keep in mind not to overload the pan with chenna balls while boiling. Do it in batches.
Once done, carefully take them out of the syrup, drain and add in prepared warm reduced milk
If water of the sugar syrup lessens, add more water to it and boil (take care that while boiling chenna balls, it should be fully dipped in sugar syrup while cooking)
Repeat this till all are done. Once done, take them out carefully and add chenna balls to thickened milk.
Garnish them with saffron strands and slivered pistachios
Leave them at a room temperature for 30 minutes
Refrigerate them, they are ready to serve
You can refrigerate and finish them within 2days