Rasmalai is an Indian dessert made of cheese balls. Paneer is an Indian cheese that looks and tastes like cottage cheese except it is a little drier. Paneer is used in making dessert and savory dishes like Palak Paneer.
What is Rasmalai?
Rasmalai is a Bengali dessert made of cheese balls smothered in silky and delicious milk sauce. The word “Ras” means juice and the word “malai” means cream. This dessert is served in festivals and special occasions, but in my house, it is made whenever craved for.
How to make Rasmalai?
To make Rasmalai you must prepare the cheese (paneer), a simple syrup, and milk sauce.
Making the milk sauce usually takes a long time, and that is by cooking the milk until it reduces, but in this recipe, we won’t spend that much time preparing it, instead I have used cornflour to thicken the sauce, and the result is an amazing milk sauce in just a few minutes.
Making Rasmalai is like making Rasgullas
Well, the first step is to make Rasgullas which is another delicious Bengali dessert, but the difference is, when making Rasgullas you prepare a thick syrup and add the cheese balls to it, but when making Rasmalai you prepare the milk sauce instead.
How to prevent Rasmalai from breaking?
Making the cheese is easy, but the tricky part is when adding the cheese balls in the syrup to cook. To prevent the balls from breaking, the paneer (cheese) shouldn’t be too dry, if you feel that the cheese is to crumbly add a teaspoon of water and knead.
Kneading the cheese is important step, after kneading the cheese shouldn’t be sticky and should form a smooth dough.
When forming the balls, make sure there are no cracks in the balls. Add the balls to the syrup when the syrup is boiling and avoid flipping the cheese a lot while it's cooking.
Another Indian Dessert you will love:
Rasmalai Indian Dessert Recipe
TO MAKE THE PANEER (cheese)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon water
- *Cheesecloth to drain the cheese
- *2 cups chilled water to wash the vinegar off the cheese
TO MAKE THE RASMALAI BALLS
- All the paneer previously prepared
- ¼ teaspoon corn flour
TO MAKE THE SIMPLE SYRUP
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 cups of water
- *One cup chilled water or ice to be used to cool the cheese balls. Not to be added to the syrup.
THE MILK SAUCE
- 1 ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon corn flour
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
- ¼ cup hot water
- 2 tablespoon almond slices
- 2 tablespoon pistachio slices
MAKING THE PANEER
- Mix the white vinegar with the water and keep aside.
- In a saucepan, add the milk and let it come to a boil. Make sure to stir the milk occasionally to prevent it from burning.
- Turn off the heat and after one minute, gradually add the white vinegar and water mix while gently stirring. The milk will curdle. Leave the curdled milk in the pan for two minutes.
- In a strainer add the cheesecloth and then pour the curdled cheese along with the whey in it.
- Pour the chilled water gradually on the cheese while it is still in the cheesecloth and stir the cheese with your hands or spoon to remove the flavor of the vinegar.
- Gather the cheesecloth from all corners and squeeze the cheese to get rid of as much liquid as possible.
- Hang the cheesecloth over a sink tap for 30 minutes to allow more liquid to come out of the cheese.
MAKING THE RASMALAI BALLS
- Now that the cheese is dry knead it with the palm of your hand for 5 to 10 minutes until you get a smooth dough.
- Add the corn flour and knead for another 5 minutes.
- Form 5 to 6 equal balls. Make sure there are no cracks in the balls, or it will break when you add it to the boiling syrup.
MAKING THE SYRUP
- The balls will puff up and double in size, so make sure to use a pan that has enough room.
- In a pan, add the water and the sugar and allow it to come to a boil. Make sure the sugar has completely dissolved.
- While the syrup is boiling add the rasmalai balls. Keep the heat on high and cook the balls for 13 to 15 minutes. You can flip the balls every few minutes and keep in mind that it will double and might triple in size.
- In a different bowl, add the chilled water and few ladles from the syrup, add the balls, cover and keep aside to come to room temperature which may take up to 20 to 30 minutes.
MAKING THE MILK SAUCE
- In a small cup, add the saffron threads, the cardamom powder, and the hot water. Keep aside for 5 minutes.
- In a saucepan, add the milk and the sugar, stir on medium heat until the milk boils. Reduce heat.
- Add corn flour to the water and saffron mix. Stir well and then add to the milk.
- On low heat cook the milk while stirring for three minutes.
- Add the almond and the pistachio to the milk and let it simmer for one minute.
- Turn off the heat and keep aside.
- Remove the balls from the syrup, press lightly to remove some of the syrup and then add the balls to the warm milk sauce.
- Keep the balls in the milk sauce and cover. Refrigerate to allow the balls to soak the milk sauce.
- Serve this dessert chilled.