Rasmalai and a lesson for life!

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As a kid, I used to be an avid helper in the kitchen. My sister hated cooking (still does), and so when I started helping out in the kitchen it was a happening event. People were impressed at my interest in cooking, and aunties and ammachis visiting our place would shower praises on me! “Look at her. Everyone should be like her”, they would say. My sister didn’t mind these as long as she didn’t have to cook, and I shared everything I made with her.

One of the first things I loved making was the semiya payasam. Nothing much to it..add ghee, brown the semiya, add sugar, milk…eat! But this was enough to impress my family and so I grew up thinking I was a great cook. When I finally started cooking on my own, especially desserts, none of them would succeed. But I never accepted failure and would still try to make the most complicated sweets from scratch. After a series of failures, I finally realized last month that I am not so good at making sweets as I imagined myself to me. RP’s recipe was there to help me out. Boy! did it help..I served these couple of times and the compliments poured in. But all credit goes to RP and Priya.

And now Deepavali…I knew it was Deepavali because our new Indian neighbors had decorated their house with lights. It was beautiful! But I had an exam to study for and I forgot all about it. Then I located the JFI event which was happening and I had missed it too. I had left a comment at Vee’s blog mentioning how I missed it and maybe I will participate next year, and Vee send me a reply saying I still had time. Wish everyone was so nice when it comes to deadlines ( People at my college could learn from you, Vee!)

So thanks to Vee, I am blogging about my inflated pride and how I turned to being a realist…and also the rasmalai! This rasamalai not only helped me find a new easy dessert recipe, but also made me realize it is okay to take short cuts. Not everything needs to be made from scratch!

Recipe sources: RP’s blog, Priya’s blog

Ingredients:

Ricotto chesse ( I used the medium size one, part skim)

Sugar- according to taste

Rose water- a few drops
Half and half, milk- a cup each
Strands of saffron

Crushed cardamom-2

Pistachios for garnish

Pan: A muffin pan

I didnot measure any ingredients, you really don’t need to. Just adjust sugar to your taste and depending on the number of rasmalai make the sauce.

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix ricotta cheese, sugar and rose water and mix using a spoon. Do not have to spend much energy using a whisk as all it needs is a light mixing. This helps to keep the texture of the ricotta cheese.

When you add the sugar, it is very possible that you might end up eating quite a bit of ricotta ( Why? Because it is so damn good) . So if you are having guests over and do not have more ricotta to add later, I recommend taking small bites to test the sugar.

Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan. No need to oil the pan. Just scoop it in and place in the preheated oven.

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All this will be done in less than 5 mins…now onto the sauce

Combine half and half with milk ( a cup each will work). Put over medium flame. Add sugar, rose water and a few strands of saffron. Keep stirring often till the milk mixture is thick enough to be poured over as a sauce. Not too thick, a little on the runny side. Let this cool. The white mixture will be yellowish when done because of the saffron strands.

To test if the ricotta is done:

When you peep into the oven after 10 or 20 min, you might see a very gooey mess. Don’tpanic. I am telling you this because I did. I was convinced the dish was not going to work and started to panic. Anyway after about 40min, I inserted a tooth pick and it came out clean. Take the muffin pan out and let the ricotta cool. There might be some water that looks like it seperated from the ricotta, but that is fine.

Once cooled, run a spoon around each ricotta to seperate it from the pan. You can invert the whole dish into a plate or take out each one carefully. If you start taking them out when still warm, they might crack. It needs time to settle.

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Pour most of the sauce over the ricotta and keep in the fridge to cool. You can use the rest of the sauce to pour over the dish just before serving. The sauce was so good as it is and be sure to resist the thought of drinking it all!

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To assemble:

In a serving dish, place a ricotta ball. Pour the sauce over it. Decorate with pistachios.

Tips:

Be ready for gasps, especially if your guests have never had rasmalai! Be ready for second helpings!

28 responses »

  1. Hi I saw in Annita’s blog that you craved for Ullivada.. This is how I do it
    Slice one big red onion finely, add 5 tbl spn kadalamavu and 3 tbl spn rice flour, 1/2 t spn chilli powder,a pinch of kayam, and salt..Mix well adding enough water to wet the flour and get a neat thick batter, Using a spoon and pour spoonful of batter in hot oil..and fry..( my grandmother used to add a tbl spn of hot oil in to the batter to make the vada crispier.!! I am a little lazy)

    Sarah
    Ps. Ur rasmalai looks superb!

  2. Thank you Sarah, so very much. I didn’t add the rice flour and maybe that is what I didn’t do right. After ‘tuition class’ me and my friend would buy these ullivada from the corner’kappikada’ while waiting for the busride home. One of our teachers saw us buying this and created a big ruckus.We continued to buy it anyway. I can still remember the oil staining my hands. So ullivada is ingrained in my memory! The thing I made was nothing close. Will try your version.

  3. Nice and easy :)
    Need to try this out, have some r. cheese left over from my Diwali sweet…

    Maybe there should be a ricotta cheese event??!!

    Seems like it would be a success! So many Indian sweets to be made from ricotta cheese.

  4. I am so happy to note that you are having fun with this recipe. Wonderful post! Since I could not grab a serving from your pictures, I guess I have to make it again ASAP. :)

    Thanks RP for this wonderful recipe. I am already craving for another serving.  

  5. hello dear,
    its nice to see ur blog..but im like ur sis.. just fond of eating not cooking…
    anyays ..you keep on trying…

    My sister would be glad to hear that.

  6. Now I want rasmalai too seeing it on ur blog. beautiful ones.. It took me some time too to realise that short cuts don’t neccessarily mean compromises in taste.So here’s to cooking, with or without shortcuts!!

    Amen to that.  

  7. Lovely one! I tried making rabri once pureeing low fat cottage cheese with condensed milk, and added bananas to it. It was pretty good.Would love to try your rasmalai recipe sometime. Will let you know!

    Thanks for the comments on my book blog. It was very useful, and I like your idea of having children write their opinions. May be going forward I could have my daughter have her own column on my blog. I plan to include one or two sentences of what she thinks about each book.(She is just 4 – but it is so funny to hear her tell me things about the books – she told me “J is for Jilebi ” – that’s what she likes best about the second book that I have reviewed on my blog!:-)

    alright – bye!
    thanks!

    Thanks!

    Prabha, I will be following your book blog. I strongly believe in kids reading as they grow up. Rabri is new to me. Will have to try it. Your description sounds yummy! 

  8. What a nice writeup! and so humble of you to give the credit to your blog friends…I must say,you did a great job,those Rasmalais look great! Happy belated Deepavali to you too.

    Cheers,Trupti

    Thanks Trupti. Of course, all credit goes to RP and Priya. They came up with it and I just followed. 

  9. Ooh…I loved these when RP made these and love it seeing it again on your site. This quick desert is a sure crowd winner.

    Thanks for participating and hope you had a happy diwali!!

    Glad I could make it to the event! 

  10. All I can say is yum! My aunty makes a version of Rasmalai with ricotta but was not kind enough to share the recipe. I think I can blow her away with this recipe! :)
    Praveena.

  11. Rasmalai looks great. I have never tasted rasmalai made out of ricotta. I guess I will just have to make it and see.

    If you have a sweet tooth, please pass by my blog, I made some pandas using home made khoya, tasted great.

    Thanks again

    Rasmalai from ricotta is so simple. Try it, you will like it. Unfortunately I don’t have a sweet tooth. I like hot and spicy food. Looks like you are doing a lot of cooking over at your blog. 

     

  12. Gini, I love your detailed recipe and the descriptions of what you faced while making this rasmalai. I’m going to make it this week with confidence knowing I have your post to consult :)

  13. hey gini:
    look at me i am just stuck with your blog …so many interesting recipies in here and above all this rasmalai recipe of yours …i make rasmalai from scractch and its a long process with good results ofcourse but this recipe of yours looks very interesting and quick too …i am gonna try it out this weekend for sure …
    Thanks a lot buddy …
    Seema

  14. I tried this in a 24 muffin pan.Temp was 350′ and put the tray in the middle rack.When I peeped in at abbout 30 min,the ones in the front had browned a little bit in the corners.I stuck a knife in and found the cheese sticking on to it.So,I let it a little longer.I checked again in about 5 min and I found it sticking to the knife still but I found a lot more browning in most of them.So I took it out.
    I let it cool and tried to take it but I find that they still break apart.So,I have just put it in the fridge for now.

    I don’t bake much, so I am not sure what parameters have to be changed to make this right.If I am gonna try this the next time,can u pls give me suggestions?
    As to what temp to try next and how long?

    Thanks

  15. My mother made this last night, except in the Burmese version, called “ma-lain”. It uses a similar recipe, except the cake is more dough-like, and we cut it in squares, and eat it in a sauce of milk.

  16. I don’t know if Priya will read this. But the 6-muffin pan works much better. I will come back and post later.. I am literally heading out, but am posting now as I may forget later.

  17. Thanks Gini. I made this for the second time yesterday and it came out well. I will add a few points for people like Priya:

    1. I used the 6-pan non stick muffin pan, definitely worked much better than my previous 24 -muffin pan ( the small ones).
    2. I baked it for about 42 mins after preheating the oven and did do the check that Gini wrote.. clean toothpick.
    3. Ricotta cheese:
    Sorry, I forget the name, but the Ricotta cheesse I used was full fat Walmart brand, the total amount was a little less than 2 cups ( I am telling based on the nutritional content which said 1/4 cup= 1 serving, total number of servings=7). Somebody in my house threw out the container.
    4. I used a cup of sugar for the above quantity of cheese ..for the cheese sugar mixture
    5. I used full fat half and half.. a pint for the sauce, added 3/4 cup of sugar to it.
    6. I cooled the muffin pan for about 2 hrs. The top looked a little brown and not white as in Gini’s picture. I ran a knife around it and inverted the muffin pan to get it out, one at a time. If that did not work, I gently lifted the whole thing with a knife. If it breaks a little, it is OK..you can fix it again or leave it as is.

    It tasted great. Thanks again Gini. I will try it again with lower fat ingredients.

  18. Pingback: Instant Ras Malai » jugalbandi

  19. Wanted to get a recipe for the rasmalai for ages and finally found it on your blog.. Thanks a lot. I am going to try it today. My inlaws are dutch and just adore Indian food, so they lookforward to coming to my place to try new Indian recipes. this will blow them away.. thanks again…
    Jyoti

  20. hello there;

    i have noticed some people covering the tray with foil while backing the ricotta. i tried useing a deep pan and then covering it with foil but the results were very bad. i ended up having soggy cheese pan cake kinda thing afte 1.5 hr :(. should we cover the baking tray with the foil??
    thanks for the reply

    I used the muffin pans and didn’t use a foil.

  21. wat do you mean by half and half milk i didnt get it plz explain and i dont have muffin pans can u recomend something else to use pz thanx and i am gonna try this soon

  22. Hi,
    I tried your rasmalai . When i baked it in the muffin pan, the outer layer of it became brown color. How do i avoid the roasting of rasmalai. Do help me.

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