Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rasmalai (Cottage Cheese Dumplings in Saffron Flavoured Milk)

Are you one of those people who start off to do something and end up doing something else? Well, when it comes to cooking I end up doing something very different from what I intended to :D (thats a huge grin). Well, since the past few weeks I've gotten obsessed with the 'home made' tag. I tried my hand at making butter, curds (yogurt), ghee (clarified butter) and paneer (cottage cheese) and was almost dying to write a post about how the freshly sourced 1 litre of milk fetched me so many by products. I was pretty pleased with myself and wondered why I didn't try all this years ago. I always thought making things at home was hard work and only grannies could do it - pickles, ghee, jams et al. But no! I was mistaken! I have a friend & ex-colleague who used to make home made ghee and send it across to me religiously every fortnight when my son was just weaned. The fragrance of home made ghee was just something else. It filled those moments with so much bliss and I would steal a teaspoon or so despite my rising weight. This friend of mine was the one who coaxed me to try many things at home so that my son could have a healthier way of life from his early years. Following her advice, I regularly make home made curds if nothing else. 


Paneer or Chenna as its called in most of North India is of Indian origin and is a kind of cheese. Paneer is widely used to make a variety of sweet & savoury dishes. It is a good source of protein for vegetarians and unlike other cheeses, is not aged. Paneer is most famously found in Palak Paneer (Spinach and Cottage Cheese) or Mutter Paneer (Peas and Cottage Cheese) and is typically famous in Northern parts of India than South India. 

Last week when I was trying to boil the milk I realised that it had already gone bad before it came to a boil and I had Paneer instead of butter and curd that day. I just followed the instructions ringing in my head and got some delicious Paneer which I refrigerated for a few days before I decided to try my hand at making a home made sweet dish which was healthy as well (err..well, not as unhealthy as other sweets at least). Since hubby dearest prefers Rasmalai to Rasgullas, Rasmalai it was. 

The recipe is by Titli Nihan - A darling ol' British lady who loves to cook Indian/Pakistani fare and has loads of recipes which ofcourse are tweaked to suit the Brit palate. I stumbled across her video on Youtube when I was searching for 'how to make ghee' and I totally loved her videos (so meticulously shot & edited by herself). I soon found myself spending hours going through her videos and my son totally loves her now. Titli is his best friend. He loves her narrations - they do sound a lot like fairy tales :-). I don't doubt that he will turn into a chef one day at the rate at which he watches her 'how to' videos :D


Rasmalai
(Printable Recipe)

Adapted from: Titli's Busy Kitchen. Watch the video here
Yield: 10-12 rasgullas/dumplings
Preparation time - 20mins

You Need:
For the rasgullas (dumplings)
  • 1 litre whole milk (I used full fat milk fresh from the local dairy) - this yields about 250gms of Paneer
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 750 ml water (3 cups)
  • 200 gms sugar (1 cup)
Note: Alternatively you can use 250gms of Paneer -use really fresh Paneer from a trusted source if you are not familiar with the quality of Paneer. Fresh Paneer is always creamy and melts in the mouth. Slightly older Paneer turns chewy & dryish - which is why many first time eaters hate it (not their fault!)

For the ras (sauce)
  • 500ml whole milk (increase it to 750ml if you want lots of ras)
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar (use 2 tbsp if you prefer it less sweet)
  • A few strands of Saffron
  • 3 pods cardamom - coarsely powdered
  • 5-6 almonds cut into slivers
  • 5-6 pistachios cut into slivers
Method:
To make the rasgullas/dumplings: 
1. In a pan bring the milk to a boil and stir in the lime juice for about a minute and remove the pan from the fire. This is the curdled milk - pour it into a cheese cloth/muslin cloth/bairas and give the cloth a squeeze allow to drain from a height for about 30mins till all the liquid has drained off and what remains is 'cottage cheese' or 'paneer'. 
2. Knead the paneer for about 10minutes or till it ceases to be crumbly. The texture should be smooth and will be a soft ball. You will know when your palm gets a bit oily.
3. Break the ball into 8-10 small lime size balls and then flatten them in the middle of your palm to make flat discs. Take care to see that the edges are not broken or else they will break when you boil them in the sugar water.
4. In a sufficiently wide bottomed pan place the 750ml of water and when it boils, add the sugar and dissolve it. Place the flat paneer discs gently and cook for about 8-10minutes. (Alternately you can use a pressure cooker to cook the discs - just take 1 whistle and then leave it for 5 minutes before opening the cooker - but ensure your cooker is large enough to accomodate all the discs else they will stick together and look triangular in shape) The discs will inflate to a slightly larger size and look transparent. Turn off the flame and allow to cool. These are Rasgullas (Paneer Balls in Sugar Syrup) 

To make the sauce:
1. Place the milk in a pan and when it comes to a boil add the sugar and simmer for about 15 minutes or till the quantity reduces to half. Stir in between to avoid the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
2. When the milk has thickened a bit and reduced in quantity, remove from the flame and add the coarsely powdered cardamom and saffron strands and stir. The saffron  will lend a beautiful pale yellow colour to the sauce.

To assemble:
1. Remove each dumpling from the sugar syrup and gently squeeze any excess syrup. Place them in a wide bowl
2. Pour the sauce over them and garnish with almond and pistachio slivers.
3. Refrigerate for at least 30minutes before serving.

16 comments:

  1. Wat an irresistible rasmalai, marvellous and inviting..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never tried this way...looks simply divine ...delicious clicks..
    Tasty Appetite

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much Priya & Jay :) Yes, it was irresistible and a great idea for a home made sweet dish :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yummyyyyy!!! I love love love rasmalai... have been meaning to make my own paneer for a while now, and you've just inspired me Shireen...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Im drooling looking at these yummy & soft rasmalais!! Yes...making homemade ghee & butter is pretty easy..Mom makes them often at home & it just can`t be compared to the store bought ones...I did try panner too but i never get the right texture to use in rasmali & so alwauz end up making parathas from it!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Mich :) making Paneer at home is totally worth it - the creamy texture is unbeatable...frozen Paneer cubes taste like thermocol!

    And yes Prathima, u must try making paneer at home, just make sure u get full fat milk so you get the extra cream :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yummm...Was just craving for something sweet and here it is..Send me some soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow Shireen! This looks amazing! The recipe is very easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much Ambreen :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Perfect bowl for dessert there.. So inviting :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes Mehjabeen, Rasmalai is the perfect desert :) I simply love it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. how do i reuse the sugar syrup of the rasgullas.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @ Mohini Kamath: You can use it to soak gulab jamoons or add some extra sugar and put it back on the fire, add freshly grated coconut, ghee, powdered cashewnuts, elaichi powder and stir until the ghee leaves the sides and pour it into a greased steel plate to make coconut burfi

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi shireen, in the process of making ras malai, im not getting the flattened disc doubled in size. can u figure out why? Im boiling them in a cooker for a whistle n waited for 5 minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Nidhi, did you add sufficient water in the cooker? Ideally it should double in size...not sure why it hasn't. Sorry for the delay in replying...hope you are able to try them again

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rasmalai (Cottage Cheese Dumplings in Saffron Flavoured Milk)

Are you one of those people who start off to do something and end up doing something else? Well, when it comes to cooking I end up doing something very different from what I intended to :D (thats a huge grin). Well, since the past few weeks I've gotten obsessed with the 'home made' tag. I tried my hand at making butter, curds (yogurt), ghee (clarified butter) and paneer (cottage cheese) and was almost dying to write a post about how the freshly sourced 1 litre of milk fetched me so many by products. I was pretty pleased with myself and wondered why I didn't try all this years ago. I always thought making things at home was hard work and only grannies could do it - pickles, ghee, jams et al. But no! I was mistaken! I have a friend & ex-colleague who used to make home made ghee and send it across to me religiously every fortnight when my son was just weaned. The fragrance of home made ghee was just something else. It filled those moments with so much bliss and I would steal a teaspoon or so despite my rising weight. This friend of mine was the one who coaxed me to try many things at home so that my son could have a healthier way of life from his early years. Following her advice, I regularly make home made curds if nothing else. 


Paneer or Chenna as its called in most of North India is of Indian origin and is a kind of cheese. Paneer is widely used to make a variety of sweet & savoury dishes. It is a good source of protein for vegetarians and unlike other cheeses, is not aged. Paneer is most famously found in Palak Paneer (Spinach and Cottage Cheese) or Mutter Paneer (Peas and Cottage Cheese) and is typically famous in Northern parts of India than South India. 

Last week when I was trying to boil the milk I realised that it had already gone bad before it came to a boil and I had Paneer instead of butter and curd that day. I just followed the instructions ringing in my head and got some delicious Paneer which I refrigerated for a few days before I decided to try my hand at making a home made sweet dish which was healthy as well (err..well, not as unhealthy as other sweets at least). Since hubby dearest prefers Rasmalai to Rasgullas, Rasmalai it was. 

The recipe is by Titli Nihan - A darling ol' British lady who loves to cook Indian/Pakistani fare and has loads of recipes which ofcourse are tweaked to suit the Brit palate. I stumbled across her video on Youtube when I was searching for 'how to make ghee' and I totally loved her videos (so meticulously shot & edited by herself). I soon found myself spending hours going through her videos and my son totally loves her now. Titli is his best friend. He loves her narrations - they do sound a lot like fairy tales :-). I don't doubt that he will turn into a chef one day at the rate at which he watches her 'how to' videos :D


Rasmalai
(Printable Recipe)

Adapted from: Titli's Busy Kitchen. Watch the video here
Yield: 10-12 rasgullas/dumplings
Preparation time - 20mins

You Need:
For the rasgullas (dumplings)
  • 1 litre whole milk (I used full fat milk fresh from the local dairy) - this yields about 250gms of Paneer
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 750 ml water (3 cups)
  • 200 gms sugar (1 cup)
Note: Alternatively you can use 250gms of Paneer -use really fresh Paneer from a trusted source if you are not familiar with the quality of Paneer. Fresh Paneer is always creamy and melts in the mouth. Slightly older Paneer turns chewy & dryish - which is why many first time eaters hate it (not their fault!)

For the ras (sauce)
  • 500ml whole milk (increase it to 750ml if you want lots of ras)
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar (use 2 tbsp if you prefer it less sweet)
  • A few strands of Saffron
  • 3 pods cardamom - coarsely powdered
  • 5-6 almonds cut into slivers
  • 5-6 pistachios cut into slivers
Method:
To make the rasgullas/dumplings: 
1. In a pan bring the milk to a boil and stir in the lime juice for about a minute and remove the pan from the fire. This is the curdled milk - pour it into a cheese cloth/muslin cloth/bairas and give the cloth a squeeze allow to drain from a height for about 30mins till all the liquid has drained off and what remains is 'cottage cheese' or 'paneer'. 
2. Knead the paneer for about 10minutes or till it ceases to be crumbly. The texture should be smooth and will be a soft ball. You will know when your palm gets a bit oily.
3. Break the ball into 8-10 small lime size balls and then flatten them in the middle of your palm to make flat discs. Take care to see that the edges are not broken or else they will break when you boil them in the sugar water.
4. In a sufficiently wide bottomed pan place the 750ml of water and when it boils, add the sugar and dissolve it. Place the flat paneer discs gently and cook for about 8-10minutes. (Alternately you can use a pressure cooker to cook the discs - just take 1 whistle and then leave it for 5 minutes before opening the cooker - but ensure your cooker is large enough to accomodate all the discs else they will stick together and look triangular in shape) The discs will inflate to a slightly larger size and look transparent. Turn off the flame and allow to cool. These are Rasgullas (Paneer Balls in Sugar Syrup) 

To make the sauce:
1. Place the milk in a pan and when it comes to a boil add the sugar and simmer for about 15 minutes or till the quantity reduces to half. Stir in between to avoid the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
2. When the milk has thickened a bit and reduced in quantity, remove from the flame and add the coarsely powdered cardamom and saffron strands and stir. The saffron  will lend a beautiful pale yellow colour to the sauce.

To assemble:
1. Remove each dumpling from the sugar syrup and gently squeeze any excess syrup. Place them in a wide bowl
2. Pour the sauce over them and garnish with almond and pistachio slivers.
3. Refrigerate for at least 30minutes before serving.

16 comments:

  1. Wat an irresistible rasmalai, marvellous and inviting..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never tried this way...looks simply divine ...delicious clicks..
    Tasty Appetite

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much Priya & Jay :) Yes, it was irresistible and a great idea for a home made sweet dish :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yummyyyyy!!! I love love love rasmalai... have been meaning to make my own paneer for a while now, and you've just inspired me Shireen...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Im drooling looking at these yummy & soft rasmalais!! Yes...making homemade ghee & butter is pretty easy..Mom makes them often at home & it just can`t be compared to the store bought ones...I did try panner too but i never get the right texture to use in rasmali & so alwauz end up making parathas from it!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Mich :) making Paneer at home is totally worth it - the creamy texture is unbeatable...frozen Paneer cubes taste like thermocol!

    And yes Prathima, u must try making paneer at home, just make sure u get full fat milk so you get the extra cream :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yummm...Was just craving for something sweet and here it is..Send me some soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow Shireen! This looks amazing! The recipe is very easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much Ambreen :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Perfect bowl for dessert there.. So inviting :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes Mehjabeen, Rasmalai is the perfect desert :) I simply love it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. how do i reuse the sugar syrup of the rasgullas.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @ Mohini Kamath: You can use it to soak gulab jamoons or add some extra sugar and put it back on the fire, add freshly grated coconut, ghee, powdered cashewnuts, elaichi powder and stir until the ghee leaves the sides and pour it into a greased steel plate to make coconut burfi

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi shireen, in the process of making ras malai, im not getting the flattened disc doubled in size. can u figure out why? Im boiling them in a cooker for a whistle n waited for 5 minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Nidhi, did you add sufficient water in the cooker? Ideally it should double in size...not sure why it hasn't. Sorry for the delay in replying...hope you are able to try them again

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)