Sunday, May 04, 2008

Kesar Rasmalai (Bollywood Cooking)

Blogging has changed my outlook towards cooking. Cooking for me is no more just something that I do to fill our stomachs but it has acquired a completely different facet. I go to extreme lengths now to make the food look as good as it tastes. And when there is a blog event that challenges me to bring out the best in me I am definitely game. That's exactly what Meeta's Monthly Mingle has done. The theme she has presented us (or rather challenged us with) this month is Bollywood Cooking. It's a fabulous theme with a wide variety of dishes to explore. Glamorous as Bollywood is , I thought my dish had to be equally glamorous . And my Kesar Rasmalai is just that. It's elegant, sophisticated, and has just the right balance sweetness and creaminess. I also wanted to try out something from a different culture than mine.

The other reason why I chose to make a Bengali sweet like Rasmalai is to celebrate all the beautiful Bengali actresses in Bollywood. Right from the beautiful Suchitra Sen and talented Aparna Sen, Jaya Bhaduri and Sharmila Tagore to current heartthrobs like Rani and Bipasha, Sushmita and Konkana the Bengali babes have ruled the silver screen in every decade. So here's to you girls!

Coming back to the recipe now, I an really surprised myself as to how well it came out. It is not difficult at all just a bit time consuming. My suggestion to all those who try it out is to make it at leisure when you have plenty of time on hand. Preferably when hubby and kids are out of the way.

Ingredients :
For the malai (or paneer balls):

1 lt cow milk,

1/4 cup lemon juice or ordinary vinegar,

6 cups water to cook the balls,

1 cup sugar,

1 tspn cardamom powder,

1 tray of ice cubes to be kept handy.

Ingredients for the flavoured milk:

1 can 400 gms evaporated milk,

750 ml whole milk,

15 tspns sugar,

1 tspn saffron soaked in a little warm milk,

1 tspn cardamom powder

Method for Malai balls:

1. Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan.

2. Add to it the lemon juice when the milk begins to rise. This will instantly curdle the milk. As soon as the milk curdles switch off the gas and pour in the ice cubes to stop the cooking at once. Place a lid on the pan for a few minutes.

3. Remove the lid and strain the curdled milk through a clean muslin which is placed in a colander. Wash the paneer under running water to remove all the traces of the lemon juice.

4. Tie the ends of the muslin and hang the paneer for at least 1/2 hour so that all the water in it is completely drained out.

5. Meanwhile mix the evaporated milk and the whole milk and put on the heat to boil in a non-stick pan . Once it comes to a boil lower the heat to minimum and continue stirring the milk until it thicken just a little. This will take about 1/2 an hour. Continuous stirring is important or the milk might stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

6.Once the milk thickens switch off the gas ,stir in the sugar , saffron and cardamom powder. Keep aside and let it cool a bit.

7. Before removing the paneer from the muslin give it a gentle knead through the muslin so that it comes out smooth in texture.

8. Now roll out small balls and flatten them slightly with your palm. Just like to see in the pic below. 1 litre of milk will make about 15 . Balls should not be too big as they do swell after they are cooked in the sugar and water syrup. 9. Boil the 6 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar in a large pan till sugar dissolves. The syrup should be kept boiling on a high flame when you drop the paneer balls in it. This is very important. If the lower the heat the balls will simply break in the water and disintegrate. Place a lid over the pan and let the paneer balls cook for 6 to 7 minutes on high flame.
10. They rise to the top and get fine cracks on the surface when they are completely cooked. To remove them first take a few ladles of the hot syrup in a bowl and then place the cooked balls from the pan into this bowl. They stay intact and firm when they are kept in liquid. Let them cool down a bit .

11. When you add the paneer balls to the flavoured sweet milk remember that the balls and the milk should both be lukewarm. Add the balls gently to the milk and place in the fridge to cool the dish thoroughly before serving. This dish is best made one day in advance. Before serving garnish generously with sliced almonds and pistachios for that special touch.

I really urge all of you to try this dish out at least once. It's just too delicious for words. I hope Meeta tries it out too. Knowing her, she will!


Uma said...

looks great! beautiful presentation.

Medhaa said...

I love Rasmalai but have never made them maybe now is the time. I love your pictures, they make want to eat them now. Thanks for sharing

sowmya said...

they look delicious... superb!!

notyet100 said...


shriya said...

Lovely step by step instructions. I also recently posted rasamalai. Yours looks delicious and mouthwatering.

Arundathi said...

hmmm looks fabulous, but would rather just grab yours than try my hand at this! :)) great entry for MM

bhags said...

i dont know whether i would be ever able to make anything like these rasmalais....they look delicious and the pics are real cool

Private Chef said...

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Anupama said...

Uma: Thanks so much

Medhaa: I have tried it before but I would say this is my first successful trial. So do give it a try.

Soumya: Thanks a ton

Notyet100: Tastes as good as it looks

Shriya: I think I'll come over to your blog and see yours too. Combining recipes is sometimes a good idea

Arundathi: You will have to come very soon, it's practically down to a last few pieces now :)

Bhags: Just my thoughts when I first saw my mom make these many years back.But if I managed anyone can.:)

Private Chef: Welcome to Food-n-more. Thanks for such a lovely comment. I will definitely take a look at your website.

ranji said...

yummy rasmalai....been wanting to make this for a long time....will make it soon now:)

Vanamala said...

Thanks for wonderful comment.
Rasmalai is really really awesome anu.

Ashwini said...

Hey there I am glad to see you are blogging again. I tried the filling in your bread roll recipe recently and it was a huuuge hit. Thanks dearie

Vani said...

How gorgeous does that look!

Namratha said...

We love Rasmalais, this looks delish!

ranji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
onno david said...

I really love how your blog looks! The recipes look good too. I love kasar rasmalai. I saw this recipe of course, I had to make it. Yes your blog really surprise anybody. Your picture made me hungry! I can't wait to try it. Anupama! Thanks...

Ramya Kiran said...

These rasmalai's look divine.