I learnt the recipe for Rasmalai (rasogollar payesh in Bengali) from my Dimma (maternal grandmother). This preparation needs a lot of patience because you have to continuously stir it in medium heat; Dimma had that patience in abundance. As people say in India ‘nani ke nuskhe’, I call this recipe my Dimma’s Rasmalai. But the result is sweeter. Hope you enjoy it.
- Fresh Milk: 1.5 litres
- Vinegar: 3 tbsp
- Water: 1/4 cup
- Fresh cream: 1/8 cup
- Sugar: 1 cup
- Green Cardamom: 4 pods
- Water (for syrup): 6 cups
- Fresh Milk: 2 litres
- Green cardamom: 2 pods
- Sugar: 1/2 cup
- Saffron: a pinch
- Pistachios: for garnish
- To make the chhena (fresh, unripened cheese), heat together the milk and 1/8 cup fresh cream in a large pan. When the milk comes to a boil, add the vinegar and water mixture and stir gently to curdle the milk leaving the whey behind. Immediately, transfer the chhena to a muslin cloth set over a strainer and drain the liquid. Rinse immediately with tap water to cool down the chhenna and let it hang for an hour for all the liquid to drain out.
- When the chhena has drained for an hour, place the cloth on a plate and rub the chhena inside the cloth with your hands to make it very smooth. This is a very important step to getting the rasgullas to turn out soft. This step can also be carried out in a food processor. Once the mixture is smooth, shape it into walnut sized balls.
- Make sugar syrup with 6 cups water, 1 cup sugar and cardamom pods. Cover and let it boil, when the syrup has boiled for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 5-6 balls of chhena or discs at a time, cover and let it boil for about 6 to 10 minutes. The rasgullas will puff up to nearly double the size. Remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl of cool water to stop them cooking any further.
- Once the rasgullas have cooled, gently squeeze them to remove the water and place in a separate bowl.
- Boil the milk along with cardamom until it reduces to ½ the consistency.
- Keep the flame in medium low and keep stirring from time to time to prevent the milk from getting burnt.
- Add sugar and mix until it dissolves.
- Add saffron soaked in a tbsp of milk.
When all the rasgullas are done, place them in a flat, shallow bowl and pour the rabri over them and let them rest in a refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Sprinkle the pistachios. The rasgullas will absorb the rabri and will become even softer.