This month’s chosen ICC dish was the classic favourite Ras Malai. It is always my preferred dessert when eating out, for the simple reason that it is generally not too sweet but satisfies that craving for something sweet after a meal.
It might look very complicated to make but this is one of the simplest dishes to make with very few ingredients. Although I have made it earlier, it helped to have the exact measurements on hand while making it for the ICC.
I halved the recipe but still got 10 well sized paneer balls. The rest of the steps were followed exactly.
Makes about 10
1.5 L whole Milk
1.5 tblsp Vinegar
1 tsp Plain Flour (Maida)
8 + 8 tblsp Sugar (Adjust acc to taste)
6-8 strands of Saffron
2-3 Cardamom pods, shelled & crushed
Coarsely chopped/crushed nuts (I used almonds)
To make the Paneer, boil 1 litre of the milk and allow to cool down completely. Remove the layer of cream collected on the top. Bring the milk to boil again, switch off the flame and then add the vinegar. This will make the milk split into the Paneer and whey. Wait for 2-3 minutes and then strain the paneer collecting the whey.
To drain all the remaining liquid from the paneer, tie it in a muslin cloth & leave hanging, squeezing from time to time, for about 1-2 hours. I didnt actually do this, but placed a small kadai with some things to add weight, on top of the above arrangement & it worked out fine.
Meanwhile begin to prepare the milk syrup by bringing to boil the remaining 500 ml milk in a thick bottomed sauce pan. Reduce the flame and let it simmer till reduced to half the quantity. Add 8 tblsp sugar, saffron and the cardamom powder. Continue to heat for 3-4 minutes & switch off the heat. Add the nuts and keep aside.
Once the paneer is almost dry, take it in a wide vessel and knead well for about 5-7 minutes till it is a smooth mixture. At this point at the plain flour and mix well.
At the same time, add 3 cups of water to a pressure cooker & bring to boil. Add the remaining 8 tblsp Sugar and mix.
Now, pinch off small balls and shape them into slightly flat discs. Put these discs in the boiling water, cover and cook on low flame for about 10 min. Alternatively put on the pressure cooker lid and cook for 2 whistles.
Please keep in mind, that the paneer discs will expand in size as they cook, when choosing the pressure cooker or vessel to cook them.
Once they are cooked transfer them to the milk syrup and allow to cool completely. Chill in the fridge before serving. Garnish with more nuts if required.
My Notes: I am always wary when I adjust the recipe for things like this but the Ras Malai turned out to be perfect. This will be another regular dessert for us now. A great one to impress your guests, I say!