Rasmalai

After my previous post on Rasgulla I am bringing one more sweet dish with paneer which you will love to prepare this summer.

Rasmalai is that one sweet dish which my father-in-law loves the most. Now because of his health issues he is staying with us in Bangalore. But until two years back whenever we used to go visit him in Jaipur, he would always buy and keep one pack of rasmalai in the fridge. If some guest is coming home for lunch or dinner… dessert was always rasmalai!!

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So when I learned to prepare rasgulla, I decided to try rasmalai also.

Rasmalai is also prepared with paneer but here additional ingredient is milk, making it different from rasgulla.

If you can prepare rasgulla, then trust me…. 90% work is done here!

So, again I am posting the recipe of Rasgulla here (just in case if anyone has missed it) as it is the main ingredient in rasmalai. Next, we will turn these rasgullas into rasmalai.

Ingredients

Rasgulla :
1 kg full fat milk
1 lemon juice(can be replaced with 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 cups sugar (granulated)
4-1/2 cups water
2 to 3 whole cardamom seeds (optional)
Keep ready one tray of ice cubes

Rasmalai:
1 litre low fat milk
Sugar, as per your taste
Few saffron strands (optional)
Cardamom powder
Mixed dry fruits (chopped)

Method

Squeeze out lemon juice, sieve it, add equal amount of water to the lemon juice and keep this mixture separately.

Boil milk and pour lemon juice into it. The moment milk starts curdling (milk is so hot that it will curdle quickly), switch off gas.

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When whole milk is curdled nicely, pour that immediately in a strainer covered with muslin cloth and add ice cubes to it.

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Let this chhena remain in muslin cloth and wash it nicely in running water so that no taste of lemon or vinegar remains. Squeeze out all water from chhena. Finally, hang this chhena in the muslin cloth for 10-15 minutes so that the rest of the water drains out. If you feel that chhena is too wet, squeeze it with your hands.

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Mash chhena properly. Rub it nicely with your hands so that all the grains of chhena become soft and you can collect it like a dough.

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Prepare small balls of this whole chhena dough. There should not be any cracks in the balls. If you are still gettings cracks, rub the chhena ball between your palms and again make the ball.

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Actually, for rasmalai we can gently press the ball of chhena to look like patties. Now, in a big sized vessel or cooker add water, sugar, and cardamom seeds. Switch on gas on high flame. Keep stirring water till whole sugar is dissolved. The moment the water starts boiling, add all your chhena balls into this syrup.

If you are using cooker, let it boil till first whistle and then sim the flame for next 5-7 minutes.

If you are using a vessel, keep the flame high for the first five minutes and then reduce it to sim for the next 5-7 minutes. Keep some weight on the cover.

Don’t let the rasgullas boil for more than the required time, else they will turn chewy instead of spongy.

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Let the steam cool down and then open the lid of the cooker. You will see that your small balls of chhena have doubled in size.

Your spongy rasgullas are ready or we can say that the first step of rasmalai preparation is over.

Shift them to another bowl along with sugar syrup. Let them cool down completely and later keep them in the fridge for 2-3 hours so that rasgullas becomes slightly firm.

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Rasmalai:

Boil low fat milk kept for rasmalai. Once milk starts boiling, keep the heat on sim. Keep the milk stirring so as to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the vessel. Boil it till the volume of the milk is reduced to half of the original. Add sugar and stir till sugar dissolves completely and switch the off gas. Milk consistency will be thin now. If interested, add cardamom powder and saffron strands for flavor and let the milk cool down completely.

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After 2-3 hours take rasgullas out from the fridge. Squeeze each one by one gently between your palms to take the syrup out from them and keep them on a strainer so that rest of the syrup drains out.

Remember not to squeeze hard, otherwise rasgulla will break.

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Add these rasgullas in ready milk and keep them in the fridge for 3-4 hours so that rasgullas will absorb the milk. Add finely chopped mixed dry fruits.

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In half of the milk I added some strands of saffron and left the other half as it. That is why you can see the difference in color in both the bowls below.

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Serve chilled, creamy, delicious rasmalai to your lovely family and dear friends and enjoy the showers of appreciation.. 💃💃💃💃

 

Rasgulla

I am a complete dessert person who doesn’t need any excuse to gorge on sweets. And if I have homemade dessert, I just keep on searching for an excuse to go again and again into the kitchen.

During summer you just don’t feel like having high calories sweets.You crave for something light which can be digested easily. So I prefer to prepare sweets from paneer during the summer season.

Rasgulla from paneer can be the base dish for many sweets. So you first learn to prepare Rasgulla (believe me, its not so difficult as it seems) and the rest of the varieties will be very easy to prepare.

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The secret of preparing the best spongy rasgulla is in the right technique for preparing paneer. While searching for a good recipe for Rasgulla, I found a video by Vahvah chef about preparing rasmalai. After watching this video i mastered (not at all exaggerating) the way to prepare rasgulla. This is the picture of when I made rasgulla successfully for the first time…

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Later I tried rasmalai, rajbhog and cham- cham (malai-sandwich) successfully with the base of all these sweet dishes as rasgulla with little variations. I will be posting all of them in the blog, but first I am starting with Rasgulla recipe …..

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Ingredients :

I kg full fat milk
I lemon juice(can be replaced with 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 cups sugar (granulated)
4 1/2 cup water
Seeds of 2-3 whole cardamom(optional)
Keep ready one tray of ice cubes
Method:
Squeeze out lemon juice, sieve it, add equal amount of water to the lemon juice and keep it separately.
Boil milk and pour lemon juice into it..
The moment milk starts curdling switch off gas…milk is so hot that it will curdle.

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When whole milk is curdled nicely…immediately pour this in a strainer which is covered with muslin cloth … add ice cubes.

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Let the chhena remain in muslin cloth and wash this nicely in running water so that no taste of lemon or vinegar remains. Squeeze out all water from chhena.
Now hang this chhena in muslin cloth for 10-15 min..so that rest of the water drains out.
Still If you feel that chhena is too wet, squeeze it with your hands

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Mash chhena properly.
Rub it nicely with your hands so that all the grains of chhena become soft and you can collect it like a dough.

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Prepare small balls of this whole chhena dough. There should not be any cracks in the balls.
And still if you are getting cracks, rub the chhena ball between your palms and again make the ball, or give it any other shape.

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Now in a big size vessel or cooker add water, sugar, and cardamom seeds. Switch on gas on high flame.
Keep stirring water till whole sugar is dissolved…and the moment the water starts boiling, put all your chhena balls into this syrup and cover the vessel and keep some weight on the cover… (if using cooker, let it boil till first whistle and then sim the flame for next 5-7 min.) Gas flame should be high for the first five min….and then reduce it to sim for next 5-7 minutes .

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Let the steam cool down and then open the lid of the cooker. You will see that your small balls of chhena have doubled in size.

Your spongy rasgullas are ready….!!
Shift them in another bowl along with sugar syrup. Let them cool down completely and later keep them in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

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Serve chilled.

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Oh, you cook  different dishes also other than just baking bread….!!

This was the instant reaction I got from my dear hubby in the evening when he saw the bowl of rasgullas on dining table … 😀😀😀

 

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Would love to hear from you about this  spongy paneer sweet dish ❤️❤️

 

 

 

 

 

Khoya Cheesecake (fusion dessert)

When I started cooking in the kitchen, it was forced by my mother and my whole aim used to be to finish the given work fast as soon as possible and dash out of the kitchen.

Later, when I started staying in a different city alone because of my job, I had to cook because I needed something to fill the stomach.

After marriage I was completely a house wife, so started doing organised cooking. Some disasters happened and calls to mom before each festival for the recipe of a particular dish were regular.

Disasters in kitchen never encouraged me to try the same dish again. As I used to feel that already I had wasted so much… I should not take second chance.

Successful attempts and praises used to give energy and enthusiasm to try some thing new!!! But till now I was cooking only those dishes which have fixed recipes. It never occurred to me to do some experiments and create something new. Probably because I was in my own shell. My world was around my mother and my mother in law’s world where traditions were fixed. But now social media was slowly creeping into people’s life. People were getting introduced to unknown regions. I got introduced with the world of baking. I was so surprised to see that people bake breads and cookies in their kitchen ovens. Not only this, but many create new dishes by experimenting two different types of recipes together.

I gathered courage and started baking in my microwave. Slowly we stopped buying any bakery stuff from the market as I got to know the difference between ingredients used in bakery and home baked stuff.

Success boosts our confidence a lot!! I was willing to prepare a dessert which should be a fusion of western and Indian cuisine. But at the same time it should not be complicated. Mawa/khoya (evaporated milk) Khoya/Mawais a traditional, classic, rich ingredient in many North Indian sweets preparations. A whole sweet could be done with khoya or it could be the base ingredient for other sweet or it can be used as a filling in sweets. It is even added in some vegetables and the best part is that I always prepare it rather than buying. So I decided to use khoya, all time favourite ingredient and prepare Khoya/Mawa Cheesecake. For the base of any cheesecake marie or graham crackers are generally used. I felt that instead of using graham crackers or marie cookies, Nankhatai (cookies prepared with clarified butter) would compliment this cheesecake better.

Just a few days ago I had baked nankhatai by following the recipe from my very dear multi talented friend Archana Chauhan’s blog https://apinchoflyfe.com/2019/01/12/kesar-naankhatai/

These kesar nankhatai complimented cheesecake so well.

I wanted to create a small border around the cheesecake along with the base from the cookies. I had seen some pictures of cheesecake like this, and this brown border had always attracted me….!!! Cheesecake looked very pretty with this brown border and with the addition of khoya this Cheesecake became a perfect symphony of Indo-Western cuisine culture!!!

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Ingredients :

Crust

200 gm crushed nankhatai
3 tbsp melted butter

Filling

200 gm cream cheese
200 gm mawa/khoya
2 tbsp milk
100 gm powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp rose essence (optional)

Topping/Decoration

Cardamom powder
Roasted mixed nuts
Dried rose petles
Saffron strands

Process:

Crush nankhatai in a zip lock bag and keep it in a bowl. Add melted butter in it and mix nicely.

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In a springform tin spread this nankhatai mixture evenly and press it nicely with the help of  back of the spoon. If you want to add a little border at the sides of cheesecake, spread nankhatai mixture slightly at the sides of the tin and press there also. Keep the tin in the fridge for half an hour so that mixture becomes firm.

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In a pan add milk and khoya and keep stirring it on sim heat until khoya turns into thick paste consistency. Switch off gas and let it cool down.

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Whip up cream cheese till it is smooth and then start adding caster sugar in small portions. You can reduce or add sugar as per your taste bud. Add cardamom powder and keep this ready cream cheese in a separate bowl.

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Now whip up 1/2 cup of whipping cream till it gets stiff consistency.

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Now gently add cream cheese and khoya in whipping cream. If you are interested, can add rose essence. I did not add because I wanted the fragrance of dried rose petals.

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By now cookie mixture is settled down firmly – take out the tin from the fridge and spread evenly cream cheese, whipping cream and khoya mix in the tin. Keep it in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight to firm up.

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Toast some mixed nuts and crush them. When cheesecake firms up, take it out from the fridge, loosen the pan and take out cheesecake carefully and keep it in a separate plate. Decorate it on the top around the edges with crushed toasted nuts and dried rose petals. In the middle of the top sprinkle cardamom powder and some strands of kesar to add some more beauty and flavor.

Enjoy this delicious fusion dessert and if you have a big generous heart, share it with your friends !!

I loved a lot this slightly high brown border around it!

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IMG_20190228_152813889.jpgDid you like my experiment for creating a fusion dessert …

I would be glad to hear from you all ❤️

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Mangoshake (aamras)

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Summer is best known for fun filled freedom from school, playing for hours without worrying about school homework, no need to get up early in the morning, having cousins at your home, or visits to Nani ma ke or dadi ma ke ghar, and having lots of cool drinks, sharbat, chilled ice-cream and lots of fruits. I remember during summer we used to gobble one big sized watermelon after dinner!!!!!!! Mangoes were used in different ways.  Raw mango for pana, chatni, pickle, longi, or eat it just like that with salt.  My favorite was always sweet and sour pana. My mom used to roast raw mangoes instead of boiling them to prepare pana and I still have that yummy tangy taste. Dussehri is considered the best variety of mango in North India. Just slice into pieces and enjoy……. 😋😋We used to enjoy aamras or mango shake in the evening during summer, because as kids we were not allowed to have tea. Now I prepare aamras with breakfast. In Bangalore I buy Baiganpalli mangoes specifically for mango shake as it gives lots of pulp. One glass of mango shake, and you are good to go for  next 3-4 hours…….

Ingredients :

  • Mangoes
  • Sugar
  • Milk

Procedure :

  • Wash mangoes and peel them.

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  • Slice them into small pieces.

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  • Grind these pieces along with sugar.  You will get nice smooth paste like consistency of pulp.

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  • Add milk in it and run the mixer again.

Your mango shake is ready. You can keep it in the fridge to chill it for two hours, or if you can’t wait that long, just crush some ice cubes and add in mango shake. Pour in glasses, cut small pieces of mango and add on top (optional). I love to sip and eat mangoes at the same time 🤣🤣. Enjoy the king of fruits…..

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Dry fruits kheer

 

 

Dry fruits’ kheer is one of those desserts which you can have in breakfast. After only  three or four spoons of kheer tummy will be full but you will keep on craving for more. So have one full bowl of kheer in  morning breakfast and satisfy your taste buds. If your kids have sweet tooth, it is ideal and delicious breakfast for them. This kheer can be prepared during fasting also. Every year I prepare this kheer as Prasad during Janamashtami and Shivratri.

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Ingredients:

Low fat milk           1 litre
Granulated sugar   1/2 cup ( less or more,depending on individual’s taste)
Mix of dry fruits:     1/2 cup
cashew, dry dates, almonds, makhana(fox nut) , chiroji, kishmish (raisins) , magaz (musk melon seeds)

(can take makhana little more in quantity than other nuts because they help in getting milk thicker)

Except magaz, chiroji and kishmish chop other dry fruits in medium size pieces. Soak dry dates in water for half an hour and then chop.

Cardamom powder    for garnish
Grated dry coconut    for garnish
Pista (grated)               for garnish

Process :
In a thick bottomed vessel boil milk.

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The moment milk starts boiling, add all dry fruits and turn the heat on sim. Keep on stirring for the next 10 minutes – until dry fruits start boiling along with the milk.

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Keep the flame on sim and in between keep on stirring and scraping the sides of the vessel. The process of thickening milk takes time, so don’t loose patience. Slowly, in the process of thickening, milk will start changing its color.

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Now add sugar and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Consistency of kheer is again thin because of sugar, so let it boil for 5/10 minutes more or until it becomes thick again. Switch off gas. Add cardamom powder,  grated coconut powder and pista for garnishing.
Let it cool down completely, and if you like can keep in the fridge for two hours and then relish it.

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Carrot kheer

Don’t hate me for my obsession with red carrots. I use  them  as salad, vegetable, pulav and even in breakfast. Yes, you heard it right….. In breakfast!

This concept I adopted after my marriage at my in law’s house. During winter season my mother in law prepares ‘Gaajar ki kheer’ for breakfast and serves it hot.Such a nutritious breakfast and yummy too.At my mom’s house we were not particular to have it during breakfast only. Any time of the day is fine.

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Recently, I prepared it during Shivratri festival as it was a fasting day and we are not supposed to eat any kind of grains .

And with this post  I will stop my red carrots recipes series till next winter. So try it once………

Ingredients :

Carrots        300gm (peeled)

Milk                1litre

Sugar              between 150-200gm(200gm is too sweet so adjust)

Mixed dry fruits           2tbsp

Cardamom powder        1/4tsp

Process :

Cut the both ends of carrots and wash them.  Peel carrots and again wash in running water.

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Keep the milk for boiling and start grating peeled carrots.

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By now milk would have boiled, so add grated carrots in it. Keep the flame on sim and let it boil for 40-45 minutes.

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Keep on stirring in between and scraping milk from the sides of the vessel. Otherwise, in the end it is very difficult to clean the vessel.

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After 40 minutes, add sugar, mix it properly and let it boil for 10 more minutes.

Switch off gas. Pour kheer in a serving bowl. Add cardamom powder and chopped nuts and serve hot.

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