Rasmalai - one of the most popular Indian desserts. These flattened, small balls made of softened cottage cheese, called paneer are immersed in creamy sweet milk (malai) once they've cooled. The dish is commonly garnished with saffron, nuts and cardamom. Rasmalai is similar to rasgulla except that the balls are put into sugar syrup after being cooked.

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Serves 6-8

  • 2 lbs/1kg ricotta cheese or freshly made Paneer
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 4 cups half & half
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 6 cardamom seeds
  • 2 tbsp rose water (opt)
  • 2 drops of vanilla extract
  • almonds, crushed pistachios

How to make Rasmalai:

  1. Mix the cheese with 1 cup of sugar and crushed cardamom and spread out on a baking tray.
  2. Bake at medium oven (350 F degrees) for about 1 hour or till the cheese loses all moisture. It should not get brown.
  3. Remove from oven, and let it cool. When cool, shape into small flat balls.
  4. Thicken half and half by simmering over low heat stirring frequently for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ½ cup of sugar, saffron, vanilla and rose water (and any other flavoring you may want) to the half and half.
  6. Insert the balls one by one to the half and half mixture. Let it stay immersed for about 1 hour. They should become spongy. Cool in the fridge.
  7. Finally transfer balls into serving dishes. Crush almond, pistachios into small pieces and decorate rasmalai. You can either serve it chilled or at room temperature.

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