Its festival time and what better than learning to make one of the most popular dessert items in South Asia – Ras Malai. Ras Malai is made from ricotta cheese (cottage cheese) or paneer. It is usually served chilled and the garnishing is done using dried fruit pieces. You can buy ricotta cheese from the store or can make paneer at home too. Everything is so easy about this oh-so-sweet dish. Here’s how:
Active cooking time – Thirty Minutes
Total Cooking Time – Forty-five Minutes (Approximately)
Ingredients for Ras Malai:
Paneer (which is made from one liter of milk) or Ricotta cheese (15 oz), Milk (one liter) or one pint of half and half milk, one and a half cup of sugar, cardamom powder (one teaspoon), water (four cups), blanched almonds (half a cup), crushed pistachios (two tablespoons) and a pinch of saffron strands.
To Make Paneer:
In case you want to make paneer at home, then boil one liter of milk and add few drops of lemon juice, the previous night.This will make the curd and the whey to separate. Using a muslin cloth drain the solution.Dip the resulting thick mixture in cold water for few hours. Homemade paneer is ready for use.
Prepare Ras Malai:
In a pan add the water and the sugar and boil it. The sugar should be completely dissolved. Remove from heat and keep aside.In a flat surface knead the paneer until it is very smooth to the touch.
Make small balls from the kneaded paneer and flatten them slightly. When flattened, the paneer or the ricotta cheese should have the diameter of a muffin.Complete making the paneer balls and set aside.Take out the pan containing the sugar syrup and reheat it under low fire.
Put the paneer balls into the sugar syrup. The balls should be completely immersed in the syrup. Cook for ten minutes and then drain.Alternatively you can knead the paneer with half a cup of sugar and make the paneer balls. Then you can bake the paneer balls at 350 degrees F for thirty minutes.
Whatever method you choose, perform the toothpick test to check for their doneness.In another pan add the milk and remaining half a cup of sugar.Boil this mixture till it is reduced and becomes thick.
Remove from heat and add the cardamom powder. Then add the saffron strands. Mix well.Gently add the sweet and cooked paneer balls to this milk solution.The Ras Malai is ready but chill it first.When it is time to serve, remove from the refrigerator and put the almonds and pistachios.