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Saturday, May 15, 2010

ICC April Challenge : Rasmalaai

Rasmalaai is a traditional South-Asian sweet. Rasmalaai consists of soft, spongy flattened balls of Paneer floating in sweet condensed milk which is delicately flavoured.

So this month's Indian Cooking Challenge , a monthly event by Srivalli of Spicing Your Life, was this lip-smacking Rasmalaai.

It was the first time I was trying to make Rasmalaai at home. And to my surprise it was dam easy to make. And so delicious that my children also relished eating them. I was floating in the heavens seeing the soft spongy balls of Paneer floating on the Ras.

Making Rasmalaai is a easy, step by step process. First step is to make the flattened Paneer Balls. The next step is to soak them in sugar syrup. And the final step is to prepare the condensed slightly sweetened milk.

Let us have a look at the recipe now.

Ingredients:


Milk - 3 litres (2 litres for making paneer and 1 litre for making Rasa/Condensed Milk)
Vinegar- 3 tbsps
Water-5 cup
Sugar- 16 tbsp (8 for Sugar Syrup and 8 for Rasa/Milk Syrup)
Saffron- 8 pieces
Pista-10 finely chopped
Maida flour- 1 tsp
Cardamon-2 (crushed)

Method:


Ist step : Preparation of Paneer

IInd step : Preparation of Sugar Syrup

IIIrd step : Preparation of Milk Syrup/Rasa


I. Preparation of Paneer :

Boil 2 litres of milk. When the milk boils, add vinegar. wait for a minute or two. the paneer will start floating on top and the whey water will stay on the bottom of the vessel. Now with a muslin or a cotton cloth, filter the paneer and pour 2 cups of water on it, to remove the sourness of vinegar and then tie it well and let it hang on for one hour, till the whey water drops out and squeeze them well. Now transfer the paneer to a broad vessel and knead it to make a soft spongy dough. Knead it atleast for about 5 minutes or till there is not much of moisture content left in it. Now add a spoon of maida flour to the paneer and make small flattened ball. Keep the size little small since it will almost double its size in the sugar syrup.


Do not throw away the whey water, let it get soured for about 1 week. After that pour it into a bottle and refrigerate it. This soured whey water will be good for one year of time. When you want to make paneer, you can use this whey water instead of vinegar/lemon juice.



II. Preparation of Sugar Syrup:

In a wide-bottomed pressure cooker, add three cups of water and eight table spoons of sugar. Now when it boils, add the paneer balls one at a time. If you have kneaded well the paneer, the balls will not break. Let it get pressure cooked for 10 minutes in slow flame or for 2 whistles.

After the steam is relaesed open the cooker. The Paneer balls would have doubled in size. Slightly press each and every ball to remove the excess sugar syrup.


III. Preparation of Condensed Milk/Rasa:

When you are starting to prepare sugar syrup. start making milk syrup/rasa side by side. Have one litre of milk in a wide bottomed vessel and let it boil and get reduced into half of the quantity. Add eight table spoons of sugar and mix well. Add saffron and crushed cardoman to it and mix well. Put the paneer ball's into the rasa/milk syrup. Cool it down and refregirate it.

Serve with chopped pistachios on top. Though the process looks long when written down, its very easy and worth a try.