I always consider the the last 6 months of the year are not for calorie counting as there are so many festivals starting from Varalakshmi vratam in July and so many sweets.;-) Deepavali is the most famous and most celebrated of them all. This year Deepavali falls on the 23rd of October this year. Starting today, I am going to post several Deepavali sweets and savories on this blog. One of the sweets I tried earlier this month was this very sweet and soft ‘Rasmalai’. Rasmalai originated from Odhisha, an Eastern State of India, from where it moved on to ‘West Bengal’ along with its elder sister, ‘Rosogulla’. If ‘Rosogulla’ is sweet, ‘Rasmalai’ is the sweetest! The preparation of ‘Rasmalai’ is similar to ‘Rosogulla’. Unlike Rosogulla, we need to shape the chenna as round discs. You have to prepare chenna just like Rosogulla and boil it in sweet water. For Rasmalai, we also have to prepare a sweet sugary milk called the ‘Ras’ in which the chenna balls are soaked. Delectable isnt it? If Deepavali is the ‘King of Sweets’, then this is the most fitting sweet for the king :-)
I followed the ‘Rosogulla’s recipe from Srimathi Meenakshi Ammal’s cookery book and adapted it to prepare the ‘Rasmalai’. Since the preparation is similar to Rosogulla, I re-used the preparation photos.
Whole milk – 1 litre(4 Cups)
Sugar for Chenna balls – 1 Cup
Water – 2 cups
lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
Whole milk – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Saffron strands – 5 to 6
Elachi powder(Cardamom powder) – 1 tsp
Roasted pistas for garnishing
1. Boil 1 litre (4 Cups) of whole milk in a wide vessel. When the milk comes to a roaring boil, switch off flame and add the juice of one whole lemon while constantly stirring.
2. The milk will separate into cheese and whey. Using a tea filter, filter out the whey. Now wash the retained chenna in cold running water to remove any trace of lemon.
3. Hang the chenna in a cheese cloth for 1 hour. You should also keep a heavy object on the cheese cloth so that the pressure gets the water out.
4. While the chenna is getting dried, prepare ‘Ras’ by boiling 1 cup whole milk in a vessel along with 1 cup sugar, saffron strands, elachi powder. The milk has to reduce to half. Switch off the flame and set it aside
5. After one hour, using the paper towel, wipe out the any moisture. Now the chenna will look crumbly. (refer pic 1)
6. Spend the next 10 minutes in kneading the chenna to a fine dough (refer pics 2,3)
7. Make small round balls of chenna and then flatten them to form round disc. Keep the size small as they will double their size after boiling
8. Heat a mixture of 2 cups water and 1 cup sugar in a pressure cooker (preferably pressure pan). When the sugar water comes to a boil, carefully add the chenna discs one by one. Close the pressure cooker and let it cook for 1 whistle. After the first whistle, switch off the flame and let the pressure release on its own
9. When the pressure is released, open the cooker. You will notice that the chenna discs have doubled in size. With a ladle, carefully take a chenna disc. With another ladle lightly press the disc so that the sugar water is expelled. Now place it in a clean serving bowl
10. Repeat this for all other discs. Now spoon the prepared ras on the chenna. Garnish with roasted pistachio. Keep it chilled for a hour.
11. After an hour, you can serve the rasmalai in a serving bowl topped with roasted pistachios as a dessert.
- 1 litre of milk yields almost 20 medium sized rasmalais