Ras malai is a very popular Indian and Bengali dessert that consists of cottage cheese soaked in thickened and sweetened milk and flavored with cardamom. The dessert can be garnished with saffron, dried fruits and nuts like Pistachios or almonds and best served chilled. In this gourmet cooking recipe, fresh cheese is made with full cream milk curdled with lemon juice and then formed into balls. The cheese balls are soaked in a sweetened milk preparation and the whole is garnished with the fruits and nuts.
Ras malai is often prepared and served during Indian weddings and other special occasions like birthdays and national festivities. This rich and delicious treat can be easily made at home and makes a wonderful treat after a spicy Indian course or meal. In India, fresh homemade cheese prepared simply with milk and an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or vinegar is called paneer, also known as “chana” or “cheena” in India.
Similar to the Indian dessert rasgullas, rasmalai consists of paneer balls but instead of soaking the cheese in a sugar syrup, it is soaked in a sweet flavored milk. This is a simple enough dessert dish that does not require advanced cooking skills to attempt. It is refreshing and delicious and is loved by adults and children alike. Ras Malai is also available in canned or packaged form, premade and ready to eat but it is still best to make it at home. Freshly made cottage cheese is especially lovely tasting when it is homemade.
Ras malai, also spelled and called “rosh malai,” originates from Eastern India, particularly in Orissa or West Bengal, but is a popular treat all throughout the Indian subcontinent and South Asia. The term ras malai comes from two Hindi words “ras,” meaning juice or juicy, and “malai,” which means cream.
500ml of full cream milk for cheena
1 lemon, squeeze out the juice
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
3 cup full cream milk for Ras
1 cup sugar for ras
3 cups of water
To garnish:finely chopped: saffron, cardamom, Pistachios, almonds and additional dry fruits of your choice.Preparation Instructions1. For cheena preparation, boil 500ml milk and curdle it by adding lemon juice. Keep stirring continuously.
2. Drain this curdled milk through a thin muslin cloth and squeeze the cheena. Wash it under running tap water.
3. Drain out the excess water from cheena and make 10-15 small round balls with the help of your palms. Set aside.
4. For ras preparation, boil 3 cups of full cream milk with 1 cup of sugar. Reduce it to ¾ and set aside for cooling.
5. Once the ras comes down to room temperature add the cheena balls one by one to the ras preparation.
6. Garnish it with finely chopped: saffron, cardamom, Pistachios, almonds and additional dried fruits of your choice. Refrigerate it for about 2-3 hours and serve chilled in a pudding dishes.