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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Gaajar ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)

 


I always used to wait for winter season because of two reasons, you get a chance to attend lots of marriages and relish wonderful food spread, and second because of red carrots. Now living in Bangalore attending marriages is very less but red carrots are available in abundance. Back in my childhood I was privileged to have home grown fresh carrots. Used to prepare carrot halwa, carrot+cabbage +peas mixed vegetable, sweet carrot rice and so on. And I remember that season’s first carrot halwa was made on 31st December night, so that we can welcome new year by watching new year program on Doordarshan and enjoy hot carrot halwa.

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My mother used to prepare the bestest Gaajar ka  halwa by following long traditional method. All members in the family used to grate carrots. Now I grate in my food processor and it saves a lot of effort and time. But this is the only short route I follow during the whole process. I don’t agree with following the shortcut by boiling carrots in pressure cooker. No offense to all those who prefer this process, but my personal preference is to follow long traditional method and get the authentic taste.

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Red carrots are available in the market, so,  in this winter season prepare once for sure.

Gaajar ka Halwa

Ingredients :

Red carrots……………..3kg(peeled and cut both ends)

Granulated sugar…………. 750gm (can increase or decrease as per your taste)

Milk……………… 2+1/2litre(low fat)

Khoya /Mawa…………… 250gm (I prepared one day before with full fat milk. Can buy from the market also)

Can check my post for preparing Homemade khoya/mawa

Mix of finely chopped nuts like cashew, pista, almond and cardamom powder…… 1/8cup(can increase according to your taste)

Desi ghee……. 3-4tbsp(optional,to increase richness)

Method :

Cut both the ends of the carrots and wash them nicely in running water, peel them and again wash them thoroughly to avoid any dirt.

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Now take a thick bottomed big vessel and start boiling milk in it.

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When milk is boiling, start grating the carrots. You can grate all the carrots and in the end add all in the milk, or once milk starts boiling, keep on adding grated carrots simultaneously in the milk.

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Now remember that carrots have their own juice, so when you are adding grated carrots into boiling milk, the quantity of this whole mix would be double and it would be difficult to stir it thoroughly. So you can divide this mix in two vessels.

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If you are grating and adding carrots in the milk then keep the heat on sim, to avoid burning the milk at the bottom of the vessel. Once all grated carrots are added in the milk, you can adjust the heat between medium and high and continuously  stir for half an hour and then reduce the heat to sim and let it boil and you take rest.

Yes, it is a long process…, but in the end you will not regret!

Remember, don’t forget to stir from time to time. Slowly milk will be reduced and whole mixture will be thick. Now you can mix the whole mixture in one vessel instead of two.

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Once whole mixture is completely thick and milk is not visible, add sugar and stir on medium heat to avoid burning.

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Carrots will soak all sugar and once again this mixture would be thick. Now you can taste it, if you feel sugar is less, can add more. Now crumble khoya and mix in halwa. On sim heat, mix khoya evenly in all halwa.

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Switch off gas, add 3/4th (of total specified above) chopped nuts,  cardamom powder and ghee and mix these. Transfer ready yummilicious Gaajar ka halwa in a serving plate and sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts on top.

 

Now serve it as a dessert, have it in breakfast with milk or pack for your kid’s snack box.

You can keep it in the fridge for 10/12 days, but it never lasts so long as you cannot keep yourself away from it!

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