Rasmalai is unanimously loved across different regions of the country and forms an integral part of festive occasions. Two Indian desserts coalesced to create an extraordinary sweet dish that is not just unique in its looks but exquisite in taste and texture as well. Sweet and creamy milk having floating soft and spongy dumplings, this sweet delicacy is absolutely wonderful that manifests the beauty of Indian desserts.
The thickened milk (a form of thin rabri) and chenna dumplings famous in their own distinctive taste, both make this delicacy undeniably an Indian’s favourite.
Although making Rasmalai at home is time-consuming but the process is easy to follow. Here is the recipe:
Preparation time: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For thickened milk
Full cream milk: 1 ½ litres
Sugar: 15 tbsp
Green cardamoms: 5
Saffron strands: 20-25
Unsalted pistachios: 30-35
For chenna dumplings
Full cream milk: 2 litres
Vinegar: 5 tbsp
Water: 5 tbsp
Sugar: 1 ½ cup
Water: 10 cups
For thickened milk:
Take a thick bottom pan and add milk to it. Boil milk on high flame. Add freshly crushed green cardamoms and saffron strands. Give a stir. Turn the flame to low and simmer the milk on low flame stirring occasionally until the milk reduces to half of the original quantity. Add sugar and stir frequently as the thickened milk can stick very easily and quickly to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off flame and keep the thickened milk aside. Slice thinly unsalted pistachios and keep aside for garnishing.
For chenna dumplings:
Boil milk on high flame. After a boil comes, turn off the flame and remove the milk vessel from the stove and let the milk cool for 10 minutes at room temperature. Mix vinegar and water. Add vinegar-water solution slowly in medium-hot milk stirring continuously. The chenna will get separated from the whey. Add ice-cold water immediately to stop further cooking of chenna in hot whey water. Filter the chenna in a muslin cloth. Gather the edges of the clothes and tie a knot. Squeeze out whey pressing the chenna tightly. Hang it to allow get rid of the leftover whey. Transfer the chenna into a big plate from the muslin cloth. Knead it for 10 minutes with your palms exerting full pressure. There should be no grains left and the chenna dough should become soft and smooth. However, do not over knead it, otherwise, it will turn into a runny consistency. Make lemon-size balls out of the dough. Flatten the balls. The flatten balls should be crack-free. Boil water and sugar together in a big vessel.
When it starts boiling, simmer it for ten minutes on low flame. Add chenna dumplings one by one in boiling water on high flame. Cover the vessel and let the dumplings cook for 15 minutes on medium-low flame with the lid on. Give one or two gentle stirs in between and cover the vessel again. Turn off the flame. Remove from the stove. Do not open the vessel. Let the dumplings cool in a closed vessel only dipped in sugar syrup. It will help the dumplings to swell to double in size and become very spongy. Take out the dumplings and press them gently to remove excess sugar syrup. Put them in warm thickened milk and cook them for 10 minutes. Turn off the flame. Let the dumplings rest in thickened milk for two to three hours. The dumplings will soak the thickened milk. Refrigerate for three to four hours. Serve them in individual small glass bowls and garnish generously with sliced pistachios.
Tips to make perfect Rasmalai:
Reduce the milk to half of the original quantity while thickening it on the flame. The consistency of the thickened milk should not be too thick, otherwise, the dumplings would not soak the milk.
While making chenna, add a vinegar-water solution only after cooling milk for a few minutes.
Do not forget to add ice-cold water after chenna and whey get separated to stop further cooking of chenna. Otherwise, chenna will become rubbery in texture.
Make sure to remove whey completely from the chenna. The chenna should be as dry as possible when you start kneading it.
Knead the chenna properly. There should be no grains. But do not over knead. Over kneading will turn it to a runny consistency.
Add chenna dumplings in boiling water on high flame. Cook them covered and do not open the lid while cooling them after they are cooked. It will make the dumplings soft and spongy.
Add freshly crushed green cardamoms while thickening the milk.
Absolutely gorgeous and delicious! These milky dumplings just melt in the mouth. They soak up the sweetened-thickened milk when cooked in it and it intensifies their taste. The thickened milk earning the texture of thin rabri (another famous Indian sweet dessert) adds to its finesse in creating a royal gourmet chenna sweet.