Ras.Malai forever

Damn, it’s been too long. Last month, we traveled to New Zealand, both North and South Island. Ticked off a few things off the bucket list like skydiving, watching the night sky, Hobbiton etc..no big deal! We ate too much in NZ, like we always do wherever we go. Like Saif in Dil Chahta Hai said..’Hum cake khane ke liye kahin bhi jaa sakte hain’ (quote from a Bollywood superhit movie)

Anyway..I wanted to thank my husband for taking me on this awesome adventure. The Husband doesn’t eat sweets. Well, except one… Rasmalai. This is an awesome Indian dessert that he cannot resist. Made out of milk, saffron and chopped nuts..Well, words fail me..I don’t think I can describe this any further after 2 large rum and cokes. So follow the recipe, make it because this is a definite crowd pleaser.

Stage 1 – Make the Malai/Chena
Ingredients you need for this:
Milk – 1 litre (approximately makes 10 malais)
2 lemons

Bring the milk to a boil and squeeze the juice of 2 lemons. The milk will start to curdle and that’s when you take it off the heat. Drain all the curdled milk in a muslin cloth and tie the cloth nice and tight. Drain the excess water and leave it aside for sometime.

Stage 2 Make the milk for the rasmalai
What you need:
500 ml Full fat milk
Small pinch of good quality saffron
5 tablespoons sugar
A handful of chopped pistachios and almonds

Take 500 mils of Milk (full fat) and bring it to boil. Add 5 tablespoons of sugar and a few strands of saffron. Let the milk bubble away for 10-15 minutes till the saffron shows its magic. Garnish it with chopped Pistachios and almonds. Let it come to room temperature and the chill it in the fridge.

Stage 3: This is THE most important stage of all. Remember the curdled milk we tied up in the muslin cloth. Let’s work on that for a few minutes. 15 minutes to be precise.

Before you untie the muslin, make sure you have drained out all the excess water. Take a nice big plate and spread out the chena (curdled milk). It will be all grainy and sandy at this stage.

Add a spoonful of cornflour. Now use your palm and slowly start kneading the chena for a full 15 minutes. Come on, put some muscle into this. It is a great workout! After 15 minutes, the chena will become soft like a dough.

You have to make sure this stage is achieved perfectly else your malai’s will not take shape and probably break.

Make small balls out of the dough first and then flatten them in your palm making sure it doesn’t break. Set aside.

Stage 4 – making the sugar syrup

Take 1 full cup of white sugar in a wide bottomed pan and add 4 cups of cold water. Bring it to a boil.

Once the sugar syrup starts boiling, slowly drop the flattened balls in and let them cook for 15-20 minutes. The chena balls will double up in size so make sure the pan is not crowded.

Turn off the gas and let the malai’s cool down in the sugar syrup. Once they are at room temprature, add the malai’s to the saffron milk mixture. Chill it for a couple of hours Or overnight (preferably) and serve.

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