when there is that odd free afternoon when I am home alone….with nothing much to do, I most often than not, find myself pottering in the kitchen…..four things led me to making rasmalai this afternoon….i have more milk lying in the fridge than I dare think about…..k was ever so subtlely telling me he was temporarily not interested in any more cakes /muffins or cookies…..rci Bengal was still well within the deadline…..and I have been dying to try to make rasmalai at home
somewhere in the archives of my blog you will read, that my participation in most foodie events on the blogosphere is limited to checking out the roundups and saving it as a bookmark for future use….imagine i tell a friend who cooked up some Gujarati delicacy to send it to RCI Gujarat and she gently reminds me that it was many months ago!! Such is my stupor…….
although i almost always fantasise about rustling up some fabulous creation that looks good and tastes fabulous…when in the act, I usually am fighting a race a
gainst time, and a losing battle i fight with daylight….most of the cooking I do is during the evening and doesn’t get photographed, or posted here….
Anyways, I tried to make this sweet temptation as healthy as an indian dessert loaded with a ton of sugar can be made without compromising on the taste (ha!! Tall order…don’t you think) by using toned milk (less than 3% fat) although all the recipes I went through called for full cream milk. The whole thing from start to finish takes about an hour, so you have to have that much time on your hands (remember I was totally jobless in the afternoon) ….to say that I am thrilled with the results is an understatement….they turned out beautifully and were devoured within a few minutes of serving….last I heard, k was campaigning hard in a bid for me to win ‘Domestic Goddess’….
This goes to Sandeepa, better known as the lady behind Bong mom’s cookbook for RCI Bengal….also to Barabara who said it was ok to send in another entry for Livestrong with a taste of yellow….More power
on a personal note, Rupa has bestowed on me a Nice award and said some very kind words…..i dont really know if I am totally deserving of such praise…..thank you lovely!! she and I were hostel mates and spent some time….mostly in corridors of the hostels, passing each other while en route the Mess…but mostly because we carried stuff for each other from our families….we were both from hyderabad…..i finished my Master’s and left the hostel…and naturally in course of time….we lost touch…..till one day she sent me a couple of mails with details….and then we both realised who we’d been writing to….she of course attended my class…we chatted a while…and reconnected….that’s one thing i love about the internet!! its totally replaced the Kumbh ka mela to find long lost people!!
Time taken (1 hour)
What you need
1.5 litres of milk (I used low fat, use full cream if your hips permit)
2 t white vinegar / lemon juice or 1 t citric acid crystals
4 T sugar
4 green cardamoms, powdered and skins discarded
2 T powdered cahews
1 T cornflour
½ t saffron strands
for the syrup:
1.5 cups water
3/4 (or more) cups sugar
In a thick bottomed pan, boil the milk.
To make the chenna, Remove 1 litre to another vessel, set it on the heat, add the vinegar / lemon juice / citric acid crystals and continue to heat through stirring, till the milk curdles and the whey is almost clear. Leave for a few minutes. Strain through a thin muslin cloth or a fine sieve. Let it drain for atleast 10 minutes till most of the water drains away. Cool (I left it under a fan for 2-3 mins)
When the chenna is cool, knead / mash with your fingers and squash well. It must become a smooth mash like creamy mashed potatoes. Am not sure if this can be done in a blender, I just got one hell of a forearm workout!!
Divide into 12 equal parts, roll into smooth round balls and flatten slightly
While you wait for the whey to drain out of the curdled milk and then cool etc, add the cashew powder, cardamom powder, sugar and most of the saffron (keep some for garnishing) to the half litre of boiled milk. Cook till it thickens and check for sweetness and adjust. Dissolve the cornflour in a few tablespoons of water, slowly add this to the milk, stirring constantly. Cook till the milk mixture till it thickens. Should take about 3-4 minutes. Make sure you don’t stop stirring, and that the milk is in a really thick bottomed pan, to prevent it from burning.
to a pan, add the water and sugar and make a syrup, let it come to a rolling boil. cook the chenna balls in this for 5-6 mins till they float on top….dont crowd them in…..add only as many as your pan can accomodate leaving enough space for them to swim around……dont stir…as this will break them.
When the cheese / chenna balls are cooked, drop them into the milk mixture, and cook, gently moving them around for 3-4 minutes on low heat. (at this stage, instead of stove top,I transferred the contents to a glass bowl and cooked on high for 3 minutes in the microwave oven)
Let cool. Refrigerate, serve into individual bowls granish with a few strands of saffron and enjoy!!