Monday 23 May 2022
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Rasmalai

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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.

Ingredients

For Rasgullas

  • 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

For Rabri

  • Fresh Milk: 2 litres
  • Green cardamom: 2 pods
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Saffron: a pinch
  • Pistachios: for garnish
Chhena
Chhena

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Once the rasgullas have cooled, gently squeeze them to remove the water and place in a separate bowl.

For Rabri

  1. Boil the milk along with cardamom until it reduces to ½ the consistency.
  2. Keep the flame in medium low and keep stirring from time to time to prevent the milk from getting burnt.
  3. Add sugar and mix until it dissolves.
  4. 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.

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Baishali Ghosh
Baishali Ghosh
Commentator and food blogger

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