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 ❤️❤️

 

 

 

 

 

Mathura ke pede (Indian sweet with dry evaporated milk)

Months of May and June are kind of dull in terms of festivals in India. In North India these two months are very hot, so it’s not even healthy to cook rich food. But from July weather starts changing and rain showers bring a lot of relief. Now you are able to tolerate the heat of kitchen when you are frying snacks to accompany your evening tea.

With monsoon, festivals start with a tap on your desi ghee ka dabba!! Indian festivals are incomplete without homemade sweets for prasad, and Indian authentic sweets means desi ghee, full fat milk, rich dry fruits and nuts and lots of frying.

During my childhood days my parents never bothered about calories. Mother used to cook a lot of stuff during these festivals and we used to relish them for 15 days at least. We used to walk a lot (no school van luxury) and in the evening used to play outdoors. With lots of physical activity we had the capacity to digest all rich heavy food and homemade sweets.

Now in our houses our house help lady does all physical labor, and we have salads and low fat milk!! But still during festivals I try to prepare certain dishes and sweets in traditional ways, so that Apoorva will remember the authentic taste of our traditional sweets.

Few days back I was experimenting brownies. Manish and Apoorva both were my tasters. I was packing brownie for Apoorva’s snack box daily and more than her, her classmates were very happy. But after some days Manish got so bored with brownie that he requested to prepare some pure traditional Indian sweet. Then one day my favorite blogger Gayathri Kumar posted ‘Mathura ke Pede’ in her blog Cookspot. That post tempted me so much that I decided to prepare them and give a  surprise to Manish .
You might have tasted different varieties of pedas in all cities, but my personal opinion is, that nothing can beat the taste of mathura ke pede.
Manish and Apoorva gave big thumbs up after trying them and I was extremely delighted.

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To prepare peda we need khoya/mawa. I have used homemade khoya for which there is a separate post in my blog Khoya/Mawa. But we can use market bought khoya as well.

To make peda sweet, instead of using powdered sugar I have used boora/tagaar. Boora is prepared with sugar syrup, and it has very fine granuals which add nice crunch in dry sweets like besan ke ladoo. But now it’s difficult to find good quality boora in the market – instead you will find powdered sugar in  the pack. I was lucky to get good quality, so bought two kgs, and I keep on using it occasionally. But you can as well use homemade powdered sugar.

Always remember that if you are using boora, it will soak the moisture of khoya, so while roasting keep enough moisture in it. Otherwise khoya will be dry and it would be difficult to bind it as peda.

I have used Nandini full fat cow’s milk to prepare khoya.

My mother’s precious tip:
If khoya dries up after adding boora/powdered sugar and you are not able to bind it, don’t panic. Add 1 tbsp hot milk in it, if required slightly more, mix everything together and prepare pedas.

Special note for Gayathri Kumar :
Gayathri, Manish has conveyed thanks to you for inspiring me to prepare them!!

Ingredients :

Khoya/Mawa 200 gm
Powder Sugar/Boora(tagaar) 150 gm (this quantity was slightly more for me, so you can reduce)
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Pure ghee 2 tbsp
Milk 4-5 tbsp

Process :

Heat one heavy bottomed pan, add ghee in it, let it melt and add khoya. Adding ghee in the beginning will help khoya not to stick in the pan.

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Keep on roasting khoya till it gets nice brown colour. Don’t let it stick at the bottom of the pan. If khoya is becoming too dry, keep adding 1 tbsp milk to keep its moisture intact as while cooling down khoya becomes slightly dry.IMG_20180709_195514625.jpg

When khoya becomes golden  brown in colour, switch off gas and shift khoya to a separate vessel to cool down.

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Sieve boora or powdered sugar before adding in khoya.

Once khoya is warm enough to touch, add boora or powdered sugar and cardamom powder in it.

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Work little fast here because if khoya cools down completely it will be difficult to bind. Mix everything together and prepare peda in any shape you want.

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If interested, sprinkle or roll them in boora/powdered sugar.

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Surprise your family with this homemade delicious sweet.

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Besan ke ladoo

The moment I listen “besan ke ladoo” immediately my memories go back to Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at my parents’ house. We used to get up at 2 AM and give missed call to our neighbors to wake them up. Except my father, l, my mother, sisters and brother would be ready to go to the very famous Ganesh temple in Jaipur situated at Motidungri. With the families of 5-6 neighbors and friends we used to walk around 5-6 kms to reach the temple. I am not a deeply religious person, but used to wait whole year for this day as it was a lot of fun to walk in a group and meet some other groups on the way as well… And if we would be late to reach the temple, then there would be a very long queue. So to avoid that, we used to reach very early in the temple, and come back by city bus. After reaching home, my mother would start preparation for food and that would be a very traditional rajasthani meal, Panchmel daal, Baati (traditional Rajasthani food),Besan churma,Churma (wheat flour),Gatte ki sabzi  and for prasad, Besan ke Laddu.

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This whole meal has a lot of desi ghee in it, so it was prepared just once a year. For besan ke ladoo, mother used to roast besan and later I used to bind it as laddu.

Manish and Apoorva both relish besan ke ladoo, so I prepare them every year. But somehow this year at Ganesha Chaturthi I couldn’t, so tried to compensate at the occasion of Deepawali..

Ingredients :
Besan :1/2 kg
Powered sugar :1/2 kg(but it is always better if you can get bura sugar)
Desi ghee : as per requirement
Cardamom powder :1/4th tsp

Process:
Take besan and sieve it to avoid all the lumps.

Take a heavy bottomed pan, heat it and add desi ghee and besan. Roast it nicely. While roasting you might feel that more ghee is required and besan is thick to stir.

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But don’t add more ghee because when slowly  besan starts getting roasted, it’s stiffness loosens slowly and stirring becomes very easy. And if in the beginning we will add a lot of ghee to make stirring easy, later besan would be very runny and difficult to bind.

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Now,  how to check whether besan is completely roasted or not? It’s very easy – just taste a little bit – if besan is not sticking to your tongue, it has roasted perfectly!

One more very important thing to take care. When you feel that within 4-5 minutes besan would be completely roasted, switch off gas and transfer besan into a flat broad pan to cool down. Remember that besan is still very hot, so during the process of cooling down, the trapped heat will roast it completely.

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In between sieve powderd sugar or bura .

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When besan is just warm enough to touch comfortably, add bura /powderd sugar. Never add powderd sugar in hot roasted besan otherwise sugar will melt and mix will be very thin and runny and difficult to bind.

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Add cardamom powder. Mix this nicely and bind it as laddu.

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Serve to Ganpati first and then enjoy homemade besan ke ladoo.

 

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Happy Deepawali!!

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Wishing you all a  very happy Deepawali  from DeesPlatter🎆🎆.

Around eight months back I started this food blog. Apoorva is becoming independent day by day, Manish is busy with office and keyboard practice, so my free time was increasing more and more. Before marriage I was teaching, but after so many years I was very hesitant to start it again. Going out for work keeps us in a disciplined routine, but wrapping up all household stuff early in the morning seemed an impossible task to me. Before marriage if we are working, mother is there to take care of everything, but now we are responsible for everything, so going out and working was impossible for me. To utilise free time I started to learn baking which I had never done before. Baking was very interesting and satisfying. The moment oven gives you perfect bake, your happiness has no bounds. Here Internet was my teacher and my family, friends and neighbors were my testers. But the problem was that how much a family of three can eat…. so if I baked a cake, it would be there for three days… now what should I do for the rest of two days?

So thought of starting a food blog. Initially, I was hesitant, because writing was never my forte, but some really good friends and Manish encouraged a lot and I started.

I am not an exceptional cook, like some people who know endless varieties of cooking like – continental, thai, chinese, asian cousin and so on….. My parents belong to UP, but settled down in Rajasthan – so I knew some regular dishes from both the places and I started posting these.

Before marriage I actually never cooked one full meal. I was always a helper of my mother. Honestly, I hated to do that also. If mom used to tell that I have to prepare rotis, I wanted ready dough and never ever wanted to clean the gas and kitchen counter. During festivals also I and my sisters were only helpers – all main cooking used to be done by mother. But little did I know that unknowingly as a helper my mother taught me so much, that after marriage (I remember this very well) except khichdi, I never called her to ask anything regarding cooking. And yes, one more thing I called her to ask for – how to prepare two threaded sugar syrup, for which I am still not very confident.

Those small things which our mother teaches us indirectly in the kitchen are so valuable but we realize this only when we start our independent cooking. Whenever I prepare dough for roti, I always remember how my father taught me to keep the vessel shiny and neat that nobody would know that someone prepared dough in that. Yes, my father taught me to knead the dough because I hated to do that…. and voila! I learned!!!
While mother prepares the best pakode vali kadi… My job was only to stir it occasionally but I learned that slow cooking gives you the best kadi!

During festivals also sweets and savoury dishes that I prepare are the ones that my mother used to prepare and majorly I am posting these on the blog too. Though, some of her dishes I have not yet tried.

This deepawali also three-four days back I was busy with cleaning when I got an order to prepare some traditional sweets and savoury stuff for deepawali. Ok, fine, I will do… was my reply.

Next day I started preparing and whole day I was thinking about my mother and how with a lot of patience she taught me and my sisters the values of life, time and value and importance of working in the kitchen. She is the most hard working person and the only thing which I hate about her is that most of the time she is right!! Now she doesn’t have that much strength because of her health problems, but still the moment she feels healthy, her energy level surprises me.
Today got a very good feedback from the customer for her deepawali order, and I just don’t know why my eyes were wet thinking about you mom!

Oh God! now also I am crying… why daughters have to stay so far, that’s not fair…

I want to dedicate this blog to you amma and wishing you a very happy, healthy, cheerful and prosperous Deepawali!!

 

Kheer with white rice (chaawal ki kheer)

Kheer from white rice is very common in India. Some people prefer to have it along with their meals and some enjoy it as dessert. When I was a kid, I used to finish one full bowl of kheer before starting the lunch, so that I shouldn’t repent later that I couldn’t eat much😋😋.

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After my marriage when I prepared kheer Manish didn’t like it much because it was kind of thick kheer and he preferred kheer with thin consistency but at the same time it should be creamy also. He told that his mother prepares the best kheer and whenever possible, I should learn from her. So during my trip to Jaipur I carefully observed, while my mother in law prepared her famous kheer. It was definitely lip smacking dessert 😝!!!!! And best part was that it was not prepared with full fat milk; she had prepared with low fat milk and yet it was creamy and delicious.
After a very long time I prepared kheer at the occasion of Sharad Poornima. Total cooking time for kheer is slightly more than usual, so don’t loose patience – the end result will be extremely yummilicious.
Tips:
1- Correct ratio of rice and milk is very important in kheer. My simple formula is to take one fistful of rice for one litre milk. It gives perfect consistency of thickness in kheer.

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2- Don’t take whole rice grains for kheer. Whole rice makes kheer very thick. Instead select broken rice of any quality of your choice. My preference is broken basmati rice, which is commonly known as “basmati ki kinki”.
3- Full fat milk starts becoming thick very soon and you have to add water in between to turn it thin. With low fat milk you can comfortably cook kheer on slow flame and it will retain correct consistency.
4- Instead of adding chopped dry fruits, grind them coarsely and mix half the quantity in kheer once it is done. Dry fruits flavor will enhance the taste of kheer.

 

Ingredients :
Rice                      1+1/2 fistful (3o/35 gm)
Milk(low fat)       1+1/2 litre
Sugar                   1cup minus 2tbsp
Cardamom powder and coarsely grinded mixed dry fruits.
Some strands of saffron for garnishing.
Process:
Take rice, wash it twice and soak it for half an hour.

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Take a heavy bottom pan and pour milk in it to boil. Heavy bottomed pan is must to avoid the milk getting burnt at the bottom.

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Add rice to the milk the moment it starts boiling.

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Now you have to keep on stirring milk till rice grains start boiling along with the milk. Turn the gas on sim and stir for 2-3 more minutes and let it boil.

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It will take almost two hours for kheer to be ready.

In between, from time to time keep on stirring and scraping the sides of the pan. The color of milk will change and kheer will be thick.

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Add sugar, stir it till sugar completely dissolves and switch off the gas. Once sugar melts down, consistency of kheer will be thin. I prefer it like this – but if you want you can boil it for 4-5 minutes more to get thicker consistency and then switch off the gas. Add half of the coarsely grinded dry fruits in kheer.

 

Transfer kheer into serving bowl and garnish with rest of the dry fruits and saffron strands. Once it cools down, keep it in the fridge for 2-3 hours and serve it chilled.

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