Vegetarian Gluten free
Baking & Spices
1/4 tsp Cardamom, powder
1 pinch Saffron
1 1/4 cup Sugar
Oils & Vinegars
2 tbsp Vinegar
Nuts & Seeds
4 cups Milk
4 cups Whole milk
1 cups Ice
4 cups Water
For the Rasmalai balls
- Milk - use whole full-fat milk for best results. Low fat or skim milk will not work well.
- Vinegar or lemon juice - for curdling the milk
- Sugar and water - for the sugar syrup
For the thickened milk (ras)
- Milk - use full-fat whole milk or evaporated milk for cutting time
- Flavor - cardamom powder and saffron. Saffron along with flavor adds great color too so use good quality and a generous pinch. Rosewater can be used too.
- Sweetener - Sugar or condensed milk for a richer flavor. I prefer using a 50:50 ration for the best flavor
- Nuts - Sliced almonds and pistachios. dry rose petals add a nice subtle flavor and make such a great garnish.
STEP BY STEP METHOD (STOVE TOP)
FOR RASMALAI BALLS
1 - In a thick bottom vessel, bring the milk to a boil stirring in between to avoid it sticking to the pan.
2 and 3 - Lower the heat, and add vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until you see all the milk has curdled (you see a clean greenish liquid, whey remaining). I used 3 tablespoon vinegar.
4 - Immediately add the ice cubes to stop any further cooking and line a muslin cloth to a strainer. Filter the whey out collecting the curdled milk in the muslin cloth.
Run some fresh water over it and rinse for a couple of times to get rid of the sour taste from the vinegar/lemon juice.
5 - Now gather the ends of cloth together and squeeze the liquid out as much as possible and hang it for 20-30 mins to drain the liquid further.
Note: We are looking for a chenna that is soft with no dripping water. We don't want it to be completely dry but not too wet either.
6 - Open the knot and transfer the block of paneer to a plate or bowl.
Hack - To cut time you can skip steps 1 to 6 and use store-bought paneer. Just make sure its soft and at room temperature.
7 and 8 - Crumble and knead with your palms for about 5-7 mins until it forms a smooth dough. Do not over-knead.
Alternately you can also knead it in a food processor, pulse for a minute or less. It will turn from crumby grainy to smooth and lump up on one side. Remove on to a clean plate.
The paneer is ready when it is smooth and soft and does not stick to your hand.
9 to 11 - Divide into 10 portions, roll into ball apply some pressure to knead into a smooth ball, and flatten them slightly to shape.
12 - Make all the balls in a similar manner. They should be smooth without cracks. Fill in any cracks you may see. Keep aside.
SOAKING IN SUGAR SYRUP
In another pan get the water and sugar mixture to a rolling boil
13 and 14 - Add these chenna balls gently in it and close the lid. Add only as much the pan can hold since the balls will expand. Do it in batches if required.
15 - Let these boil on high for 10 mins and you will see they absorb the liquid and expand in size.
16 - Turn off the heat and allow them to rest in the syrup for 30 mins. Remove them and let them cool. Keep covered.
FOR MAKING THICKENED MILK (RAS)
17 - In a thick bottom nonstick vessel, get milk to a boil stirring in between to avoid sticking to the pan.
Take 2 tablespoons of boiled milk and add it to another bowl with saffron threads, mix well and allow the saffron to soak.
18 - Lower the heat and simmer milk, stirring intermittently. Keep scraping the sides and layer of cream (malai) that is formed over the milk.
Mix it back into the milk and repeat this process until the milk has reduced and thickened (almost half).
The scraped cream (malai) mixed in milk adds a lot of texture to the milk so don't miss that. It's my favorite part of Rabdi.
19 -21 - Add saffron mixed in warm milk along with sugar cardamom powder and nuts and simmer for another 5 mins. The milk will turn yellow due to the saffron addition. Turn the heat off at this point.
22 - Squeeze the balls gently between your palms or use the spatula as shown to drain the liquid without breaking them
23 - Add them to this warm thickened milk and allow the balls to soak up.
24 - Cool completely, garnished with more nuts and dry rose petals, and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Delicious, soft melt in mouth Rasmalai is ready!!