Jun 10, 2013

RAS MALAI | FROM THE SCRATCH

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It was almost going to die.. yes.. but i killed it! :) wondering what?? well.. the can of milk in my refrigerator was 3 days away from getting curdled, but then I was apprehensive about using it as it had curdled a couple of times when i tried boiling n using it earlier. So I also had lemons in abundance in case it didn't curdle completely. Initially I had planned to make paneer out of it, but then since I almost had a gallon of milk I thought I should save some for making Ras Malai, which I had been planning to make since ages.

My friend also helped me with curdling the milk as it was my first time. To my surprise I was totally impressed with the outcome :) They were incredibly soft, sweet and tasted better than K C Das's :P (not boasting!!!) but yeah, they tasted great.

Usually, rasgullas are used to make ras malai's to save time, but I decided to give it a try and made it from the scratch. You'd definitely don't wanna miss a chance to try it.

My sincere apologies for being forgetful to click pics of the milk curdling and how I made paneer out of it. I was all too excited about the process. So hope you can follow the one step I missed by referring to the modern Saraswathi 'GOOGLE' :)




Serves- 20 rasmalai
shelf life-4- 5 days -refrigerated

Ingredients


To make paneer

Whole Milk 1 litre
Lemon 4
Water, to pressure cook the paneer balls 1 ½ cups
Sugar ½ cup

To make kheer for Rasmalai
Whole milk 2 ½ cups
Almonds, pistachios ¼ cup
Sugar 2 ½ cups
Badam Powder 2 tbsp
Kesar/ Saffron A pinch

Directions

1. Take a thick bottomed vessel. Bring milk to a boil. Once you start seeing the bubbles, squeeze the lemons, now the milk will start to curdle. Turn the flame to medium and stir until all the curdled solids come up and there's only the whey left in the bottom.
Take a cheesecloth/ cotton cloth ( you can use a white dhoti cloth that's thin) and hold a strainer beneath it. Pour the  entire thing into the cloth carefully and let all the water strain. Squeeze the cloth containing the cottage cheese so as to remove excess water. Let it cool a bit.

2. Neatly smash the paneer at least 10-15 times till it becomes soft and knead well. Meanwhile add sugar and water in a pressure cooker and allow it to heat for 10 minutes on medium low flame. Now make small lemon sized balls out of the paneer and arrange them on a tray.


3. Drop the balls one by one in the sugar syrup, close the lid and turn off when the cooker starts sizzling ( even before a whistle, do this on medium flame). This takes around 10 mins. Allow it to cool. 



4. In another saucepan add milk, saffron, sugar, badam powder, almonds, pistachios and cashews and heat it in medium flame until the milk reduces to half and attains a thick consistency and allow it to cool down.



5. Just squeeze the soaked balls ( rasgullas) slightly without completely draining the sugar essence in them and add it to the milk and refrigerate them for an hour or two. Season it with a few more saffron strands for an enhanced flavor. Enjoy the soft and fluffy chilled Ras Malai :)




Note
  • Follow the heating and cooling down steps accurately, this is very important for the rasmalai to maintain it's consistency. 
  • Knead the paneer at least 10-15 times, just put a small portion on your palm and smash it gently, this helps soften it. This is a very important step to make the balls, even a small crack can lead to fragmented rasmalai.
  • even the pressure cooking part has to be followed accurately. Turn off even before the whistle blows. It is only done to soak up and enlarge the rasgullas. 
  • Another method to make easy ras malai is to just bring the readymade rasgullas and soak them up in the kheer.
  • If you just add a little more sugar to sugar syrup in the pressure cooker, you would end up making Rasgullas :) yes it's as simple as that :)