Rasmalai is a very famous bengali dessert, its dumplings made from cottage cheese(chenna) soaked in sweetened, thickened milk delicately flavored with cardamom or saffron and served chilled. Its one of my favourite dessert.I had a thought of giving it a try at home coz till now i had just had it outside or at bengali functions.In sweet shops we get it but mostly they mix lot of maida in it, so that that more dumplings are produced with less chenna, but this dumplings are tasteless and very hard. They also thicken the milk by using cornflour instead of naturaly evaporating it which spoils its taste.The authentic rasmalai recipe uses pure chenna and pure thickened milk to get the real taste.So i decided to give it a try last week for the occasion of 'bhai dooj' or ' bhau bij' as called in marathi and konkani. I made it and it tasted awesome, my all bros liked it a lot and they asked for a second bowl:-)). It got over in no time. I had added safforn and saffron-elaichi syrup which enchanced its taste more.
300 grams fresh chenna
2 litre whole milk( to lessen calories use skimmed milk)
4 cups sugar
4 tea spoons maida(optional)
few safforn strands
1/2 cup blanched and sliced pistachoes and almonds
1 table spoon of kesar-elaichi syrup(or use 1/2 tea spoon cardomon powder)
Kned the chenna well for 5-6 mins. If its not binding well add 3-4 tea spoons of maida in it and again kned it well for more 4-5 mins. Now make small balls of it and press on palm to flatten them.Make usually 1 inch flat balls.If the balls are not that firm then freeze them for 40-50 mins so that they become firm.
Mix 2 cups sugar and 8 cups of water and let it get boiled in a wide bottomed vessel. Take the vessel very big to fit all the balls as they double in size when done and they require much room to expand.When this solution gets boiled drop the chenna balls in it and keep the gas on high flame.
Keeping gas on high flame is important as the chenna dumplings do not break coz of it.Cover the vessel partially and cook it on high flame for 20 mins. In between after every 5 mins spinkle 1 tablespoon of cold water on it, coz of this the dumplings puff up well.When they are done they will be almost double in size. Remove them from flame and let they get cooled.
Simultaneously take one thick bottomed pan and add the milk in it. When its boiled, lower the flame and stir countinously so that it does not get sticked to sides.Let it get reduced to 60%, then add sugar.add sugar according to your taste.Soak saffron strands in little warm milk for 20 mins ans add it to the cooking milk and stir well. Now add the kesar-elaichi syrup and let it get cooked more. When its almost half remove it from flame and let it get cooled.Add pistachoes and almond slices.
Now when both dumplings and milk are at room temperature we have to mix them. So take each dumpling from the sugar solution and press it slightly in palm so that all the sugar syrup is removed. Then put it in cooled thickened milk. Repeat the same with rest all dumplings.
Refrigerate it for 7-8 hours. It tastes best after 7-8 hours refrigeration.Yummy rasmalai is ready to serve.
NOTE: To make chenna at home, boil whole milk and when its almost boiled add 2 table spoon of lemon juice and mix it. Let the milk get curdled. Separate chenna form liquid and wash it under cold water for 2 mins. Hang it in muslin cloth for 1-2 hours so that all the water is dripped from it.
Preparation Time: 40 mins