‘Ras’ means juice and ‘Malai’ means cream. Rasmalai is a classic Bengali sweet which is famous all over India and is loved by Indian dessert lovers. It is also enjoyed in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Rasmalai is usually served at a wedding or during festivals and is so creamy and soft that it will just melt in your mouth.
This delicious treat has soft rasogulla dipped in creamy ras or rabdi mixed with cardamom, saffron and chopped nuts. There are three easy steps that you need to follow to prepare rasmalai- curdling the milk to prepare chenna, boiling the chenna discs in sugar syrup and preparing rabdi or thickened milk to dip the chenna discs. Lastly, garnishing the rasmalai with chopped nuts like almonds or pistachio and saffron.
Since wedding season is on its way and we cannot resist our temptations for sweets, rasmalai is a healthier option as compared to other Indian sweets.
What makes Rasmalai healthy?
It is prepared with chenna which is prepared using soft cottage cheese and is full of protein. It has dry fruits which are rich in antioxidants and milk which has calcium. The most crucial reason is that this dessert is not deep-fried and no oil is used in any step. It is made purely from dairy products and even diabetes patients can eat low sugar or no sugar rasmalai once in a while.
I have used two ways to prepare this recipe. The second method is a store-shortcut which will help you make rasmalai in under 15 minutes for any last-minute plans.
Be it a wedding or a special festival, this refreshing and delicious dessert will be your partner in every celebration. So, don’t wait further and try this recipe right now!
Also, do not forget to read the tips at the end of the recipe.
- FOR RASMALAI- 1 Litre Milk (full fat milk)
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice or Vinegar
- 1 Litre Ice Cubes and Water
- FOR RABRI- 1/2 Litre Milk
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- Chopped Nuts like Almonds and Pistachio (Badaam and Pista)
- Few strands of Saffron (Kesar)
- ¼ tsp Cardamom (Elaichi) Powder
- FOR SUGAR SYRUP-1 cup Sugar
- 4 cups Water
- ¼ tsp Cardamom (Elaichi) Powder
Making thickened milk or rabdi for rasmalai
- Pour ½ litre milk in a pan and boil it.
- Add ½ cup sugar and saffron strands to it. Let it then cook on a low flame and keep stirring it after some time so as the milk does not burn.
- Add the chopped nuts and cardamom powder to the milk and mix well.
- Let half of the mixture cool down and the other half stay warm.
Making chenna for rasmalai
- Boil 1 litre of milk in a pan and boil it. Turn off the stove and add lemon juice or vinegar to the milk.
- Keep stirring the milk until it curdles. Add more lemon or vinegar to the milk if it does not curdle. You can also keep it on low flame until it curdles and keep stirring.
- Once the milk has curdled, add some cold water to the milk to stop the cooking process.
- Sieve the curdled milk using a muslin cloth lined over a colander (bowl-shaped strainer used to wash fruits or vegetables).
- Pour some water over chenna to remove the sour taste.
- Squeeze the muslin cloth nice and tight to remove excess water and let it hang for about an hour.
- Now take the chenna in a plate for kneading. Knead the chenna using your hands, nice and smooth for about 10 minutes so that it does not have any grains in it.
- Make about 12 to 15 small and equal sized balls of chenna and then flatten them a little to form discs from the kneaded chenna. Keep them aside.
Making sugar syrup
- Boil 4 cups water in a pan and add ½ cup sugar to it.
- Add cardamom powder to the boiled water and stir so that everything is completely dissolved.
- Slowly add the chenna balls to the sugar syrup and let them cook for about 15 minutes on a medium flame.
- Once cooked, remove the pan from the stove so that they are not cooked further and let them cool down for about 15 minutes. The balls will sink meaning they have been cooked completely.
Assembling the rasmalai
- Take out the disks from the sugar syrup and press them gently to remove excess sugar syrup.
- Add these to the warm thickened milk slowly and gently so that they do not break.
- Let them rest for a few hours so that the milk is completely absorbed by the rasmalai balls.
- Add the other half chilled milk to the rasmalai just before serving.
- Add some chopped nuts, strands of saffron for garnishing and serve.
You can use readymade rasogulla instead of making chenna balls at home.
- Just squeeze the excess sugar syrup from rasogulla so that they can absorb the milk. Keep them aside.
- Now prepare the thickened milk the same way as mentioned above.
- Add the rasogulla balls to the thickened milk and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a low or medium flame.
- This alternate way is easy and will prepare your rasmalai in less than 15 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped nuts, saffron strands and serve.
- Use full-fat milk for better results. As rasmalai balls are nothing but discs of milk so we need to use full-fat milk to make them nice and soft.
- The chenna should not be dripping when unwrapped and should not be too moist or too sticky. It should also not be too dry or you will not be able to make balls from it.
- It is a crucial step to knead the chenna until smooth or the balls will turn out rubbery after cooking.
- Use a big pan to cook the rasmalai balls as they double up in size after boiling. So, they need space to expand.
- Keep adding water to the sugar syrup if it starts getting thicker or the water level is reduced.
- The rasmalai balls need to be cooled down before being added to the warm milk.
I hope these tips and the recipe will help you make perfectly soft and delicious rasmalai at home for your family and friends. So, try this Bengali recipe which will surely be a showstopper at every party and celebration.