I am sorry for not posting for a very long time. I have been busy with dance practices for my son for the coming spring festival here and also with the pre-poned India trip coming up, I have become even more busy. Even tho I have been taking pictures of all the cooking that happens, I haven't found time to sit and type them up. :( Anyways coming to this month's ICC.......I am posting this a day late.....
Rasmalai was the item for this month for ICC. I called this a sweet dish because this unlike the other Indian sweets, isn't the dry kind, it is one of the wet sweets which means it has to be eaten with the 'rasa' or the sweet liquid in which it is served in.
The soft, spongy balls of cheese in sweetened milk makes this one of my favorite sweets. And when it is a favorite sweet, you tend to make it at home so that you can enjoy the taste again and again. For the same reason, I had made this long before from scratch, and it had come out good too.
But after I made it few times from scratch, I decided that buying the tin and making only the 'rasa' was the easier way out. But there is surely a big difference when made from scratch and the tin variety. So after a long time I was making it again but in a larger quantity.
The taste was good, but they were a little on the harder side..I mean that they weren't soft enough...I think thats because I kneaded the paneer too much......Other than that making it is very easy if you have some time on your hand.
With the paneer which is made, not only rasmalai but also it can be used for cham cham and rosogulla too....
The 2 liter milk yielded about 15-17 medium sized rasmalai.
Time to make: time for boiling milk, breaking milk doesn't take time, filtering out the liquid or whey water, hanging the paneer or cheese for an hour or 2, then about 1/2 hour for boiling the milk to make it thick which can be done side by side to making small rounds and boiling these rounds in the sugar syrup.
I used the same quantities given to us in ICC and also followed the same recipe, except that I didn't boil milk, refrigerate overnite, then again boil it and then break it.
Milk - 3 liters (2 liters for making paneer and 1 liter for making Rasa/Milk syrup.)
Vinegar- 3 tbsps (lemon juice can also be used instead of)
Sugar- 16 tbsp (8 for Sugar Syrup and 8 for Rasa/Milk Syrup)
Saffron- 8-10 strands
Pista-1/4 cup chopped
Almonds- chopped or slivered kind about 1/4 cup (optional)
Maida flour- 1 tsp
Cardamom-2 (crushed) or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- Boil 2 liters of milk till it comes to a rolling boil and bubbly all over. Lower the heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice and stir. You will see the milk curdling. Stir for 2 min and then use a thin cotton cloth or a muslin cloth to filter out the whey water. Squeeze out as much as water possible and hang the cheese or paneer for about 1-2 hours.
- After 1-2 hours, start boiling the other 1 liter of milk in a wide, heavy bottomed pan till it reduces to almost half . Add 8 tbsp of sugar and keep boiling on low heat. When it becomes thick add the Saffron strands, pista (pistachio) and badam (almonds).
- Side by side, start boiling 5 cups water with 8 tbsp of sugar till a rolling boil and lower heat.
- Remove the paneer of cheese from the cloth and knead for about 5 min till it comes together like a dough. Add 1 tsp maida or all purpose flour and knead it into the paneer dough.
- Make small golf size balls of the cheese/ paneer dough and flatten them lightly.
- Boil the balls in the sugar syrup for about 3-5 min till cooked.
- Slightly squeeze the balls and add them to the milk syrup or the rasa.
- Cool the rasmalai and chill before serving. Enjoy!!!
Tip: You can use condensed milk or Half and half for quicker thickened milk, but be sure to adjust the sugar accordingly. Kneading the dough for long or boiling them longer in sugar syrup will make them hard.