- Food and Cooking
Rasmalai: The Indian Cheesecake
Rasmalai (Ras - flavored liquid, malai - paneer) is one of the many famous delicacies from the region of India called Bengal. Bengali sweets are popular for their taste and texture and are an important part of the Bengal culture. Bengalis are best known for their milk sweets. I had Rasmalai once at my place of work. I was introduced to it by my colleague and I have been hooked to it since then. It is a perfect dessert for any type of meal. It can be easily prepared at home too. The ingredients are readily available and it does not take much cooking time. However it takes time for preparation. It is better if you plan ahead if you decide to serve this sweet dish. It is a relative of another well known sweet called Rasgula since they share similar steps of preparation. But rasmalai is more soft and has added flavors than Rasgula. You can also use the instant paneer but the recipe tastes best when home made paneer is used.
How to make paneer at home:
Paneer is the Indian cottage cheese.It is the base of many North Indian recipes. It is rich in proteins and is very nutritious. The necessary ingredients for preparing paneer are milk and lemon.
- Boil 1 litre of milk.
- Add two tablespoons of lemon juice to it and switch off the flame.
- The milk will start to curdle.
- Keep stirring continuously till the curdling process is complete.
- Allow it to cool.Then strain it using a muslin cloth.
- You have to hang this cloth in a way that all the excess milk is filtered. Squeeze the cloth to filter it well.
- Allow it to rest for half an hour.
- Now keep the cloth along with the curd on a flat surface and place a heavy object on it. This has to set for four hours.
- The paneer at this stage will look like a dough. You can cut it into any shape and store it.
- Homemade paneer has to be stored in an air tight container. It will last for a week when refrigerated.
- Home made paneer - 100 gm
- Cardamom powder- 2 tsp
- Sugar - 2 tablespoon
- Semolina - 2 tablespoon
- Water - 1 litre
- Corn flour - 1 tablespoon
- Milk - 1 litre
- Pistachio - 3 tsp
- Saffron - 10 strands
- Almonds - 3 (thinly sliced)
- Knead the paneer thoroughly.
- Add the sugar,cardamom powder and semolina to the paneer and knead again.
- Break the paneer into small balls and flatten it like discs using your palms.
- Put it on a plate scattered with corn flour.
- Heat water and add two tablespoons of sugar and bring it to a boil. The liquid will turn syrupy.
- Reduce the flame and add the paneer discs to the water.
- Keep it covered and cook for fifteen minutes.
- The paneer would become larger in size after cooking.
- Switch off the flame and leave it in the syrup for another one hour.
- At this stage the sweet is called the malai.
- Meanwhile prepare the saffron flavored milk through the following steps
- Bring 1 litre of milk to a boil till it reduces to half its quantity. Keep stirring it to boil uniformly.
- Add sugar to this condensed milk.
- When it dissolves add the cardamom powder, pistachios, almonds and saffron strands to the mixture.
- Mix well. Saffron milk is ready.
- Take the malai from the sugar syrup.
- Squeeze out the excess syrup by pressing it softly between two ladles.
- Now dip the malai in the saffron milk.
- Refrigerate it and serve chilled.