It was the first long holiday after I joined work – Deepavali of 2008. Having been lived in the comfort of my home all my life, I had to move to Bangalore for my first job. And being away from home is very very difficult, if it’s your first time especially. I was very eagerly waiting for the holiday so that I could be home for 4 days at a stretch. If there is one thing that I missed more than anything in Bangalore, it was my kitchen at home – having been staying in a small dingy room in a so-called paying guest house. Back home, everytime I prepared something in my kitchen, my family ooh-ed and aww-ed. Not only that I had no such comfort, I had to gulp down so-called PG food. So the first thing I did after going home (that is after savoring amma’s food) was to get into my kitchen. I always helped amma prepare deepavali sweets and that year, I decided to make Rasmalai. It was my very first attempt of the sweet, after watching it on a TV show. Rasmalai came out delectably and vanished in no time. And if I remember correctly, this is the first ever dish of which I clicked pictures (of course on my low end mobile camera)
Today is my 7th work anniversary and coincidentally, I am posting Rasmalai recipe 🙂
To make Rasmalai
Serves – 4 (makes 12 rasmalais)
Time to prepare – 50mins + time to refrigerate
What I used –
- Standardized or Toned Milk, 1 + 1/2 ltrs
- Sugar, 1 +1 cups
- Vinegar or Lemon Juice, 1 tbsp
- Cardamom Powder, 1 tsp
- Almonds, 7-8
- Water, 1 cup + ½ cup
How I made –
- Take a litre of milk and bring it to boil. Remove it from heat and let it rest for 2mins.
- Mix vinegar or lemon juice in two tbsp of water and pour it into the boiled milk. Keep stirring. In about a minute, the milk starts curdling. When the whey (water separated from curds) is transparent, milk has fully curdled.
- Pour the mixture on to a thin muslin cloth and separate out the whey. Pour some water on the collected curds, to remove any taste/smell of lemon juice or vinegar. Bring the ends of the cloth together, squeeze it gently and tie the ends into a knot. Hang it on the kitchen cupboard handle to let the remaining water drip for atleast 20mins.
- In a thick bottomed pan, bring the remaining half litre of milk to boil. Reduce the flame and keep stirring until the milk is reduced to ¾ the original quantity. Add cardamom powder and a cup of sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove it from heat and let it cool. This should take about 15-20mins.
- Remove the hung curds onto a plate and knead it using your palm until the texture is smooth and soft. Make equal sized balls and gently press each ball between your palms to form a perfect roundel. There should be no cracks else, the Rasmalai would be broken on cooking.
- Meanwhile, in a wide mouthed pot add a cup of sugar and a cup of water and bring it to boil.
- Gently drop each roundel into the sugar syrup. Reduce the flame to medium-low. Keep it covered. Every five minutes, pour a little water from the sides of the pot to ensure the sugar syrup is not getting too thick.
- At the end of 15mins, the Rasmalai roundels should be doubled in size. Let them cool for five minutes and then gently drop them into the milk mixture prepared.
- Garnish with finely chopped almonds and serve cold.
Note: Sugar levels can be adjusted according to personal preferences. I used a litre of toned milk and half litre of standardized milk – results were good. Make smaller rasmalais while rolling them, as they double up in size after getting cooked in sugar syrup. Using a wide mouthed vessel is important while cooking rasmalais as they need the swimming space while cooking. I used a smaller pot and my rasmalais were sticking together after 15mins of cooking and I had a tough time separating them. This tastes best on refrigerating. If you are like my Amma, you can have hot Rasmalais too 🙂