Friday, February 24, 2012

Kesar/Saffron Scented Rasmalai

Celebrations!!I love all kinds of it, be it festive or birthdays or anniversaries. I love making everything special, although S is not very keen on partying or making a show. Its his Birthday tomorrow and I am so hyper about all the things I have planned. When I asked what he would prefer as a sweet treat he sheepishly said "RasMalai". He has a sweet tooth and has a thing for good home-made Indian desserts. I am also making good old Carrot Cake that I bake every year. Carrot Cake happens to be his only favorite and every year I try to make it different and he likes it more than the yester-year.
Rasmalai is a very popular milk-based Indian dessert served in weddings & get-togethers. This sweet has two components: one a very rich milk cream scented with cardamom & saffron and gnocchi like flattened balls made out of milk cheese similar to ricotta. I reckon you could use ricotta hung in a cheese cloth for 3 hrs instead of making paneer from scratch. I have used ricotta instead of paneer here before and it worked well. You could use store bought Rasgullas and just make the milk cream at home for a quick recipe. Hopefully I will be able to post the carrot cake pics+recipe, that is if get a chance to click!!!

Kesar/Saffron Scented Rasmalai
For the Malai/milk-cream
3 cups whole milk 
1 can evaporated milk
1tsp saffron
2-3 crushed cardamom pods
1/2 cup sugar or as per taste
a pinch of powdered cardamom
handful of finely chopped pistachios
Bring both the milk to a boil until reduced to half, along with cardamom & saffron. Keep stirring occasionally and add the sugar. Fish out the pods and add some powdered cardamom & pistachios. Leave to cool & refrigerate until needed.
For the Rasgullas
4-5 cups whole milk
1-2 lemons, Juiced 
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups water
Boil the milk in a wide pan and add the lemon juice. Once it sepates, collect the cheese curd to a sieve or cotton cloth and drain well. I left it for 2 hours. Now pulse the drained cheese in a processor until smooth. Meanwhile boil the water in a pressure cooker or a wide mouthed pan and dissolve the sugar. Shape the processed cheese into flattened balls and drop into the boiling sugar water slowly and let it simmer for 5-10 min or until double in size.
L addle out the rasgullas and let it cool. Squeeze excess liquid off them and place onto a serving dish and pour over the malai/milk cream. Serve chilled, decorated with silver leaves and more pistachios.


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