Rasgullas – Milk Cheese Dumplings In Flavoured Syrup & Rasmalai – Milk Cheese Discs In Saffron-Cardamom Flavoured Creamy Milk Sauce
Rasmalai simply is a slight variation on the Rasgulla as the same dumplings are flattened and served in a slightly thick, saffron and cardamom flavoured milk sauce. The initial part of making both the Rasgullas and the Rasmalai is the same, and the difference is in the way they’re served.
For the Rasgullas :
For the Rasmalai :
  • 14 or 15 rasgullas (from above)
  • 500ml milk(I used 3% fat)
  • 1/8cup sugar
  • 4 to 5 cardamoms, powdered
  • 10 to 15strands saffronabout
  1. For the Rasgullas, start by making the u201cchennau201d or cheese.
  2. Pour the milk into a deep and largish heavy walled pan and bring it to a boil and turn the heat down so the milk is simmering. Add the lemon juice (or vinegar) one tbsp. at a time and stir well after each addition. The milk will start curdling and at the point where it separates and leaves a somewhat clear (not milky looking) whey, stop adding the curdling agent. If you add too much of the curdling agent your cheese will be tough and chewy.
  3. Turn off the heat and allow the curdled milk to settle for about 10 minutes. Line your strainer with a clean cheesecloth or a cotton kitchen towel and carefully pour the curdled milk into it to drain the whey. Allow to drain well for about half an hour or so. Then use the cheesecloth or towel to twist/ wring out any extra moisture. Your u201cchennau2019 or cheese should be reasonably dry yet moist enough.
  4. Now we start making the chenna/ cheese dumplings. Put the chenna where you can knead it comfortably. A large stainless steel plate with a raised edge, which most Indian kitchens would have, is good for this purpose. Crumble the chenna and start kneading till it is soft and comes together as a ball. Add the tablespoon of all-purpose flour and knead a couple of times.
  5. Continue kneading by using the heel of your palm and pushing it away from you to the edge of the plate that is away from you. Bring it back towards the edge close to you and then knead with the same u201cpushing/ rubbing inu201d motion. Do this until the chenna starts feeling a bit u201coilyu201d or doesnu2019t really stick to the plate when you knead it. You will have to do the kneading for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. In the meanwhile, put the sugar and the water into a largish and somewhat deep pan and bring it to boil, while stirring to dissolve the sugar. If you havenu2019t finished shaping the dumplings, you might want to switch off the flame. This is because you want to have a sugar solution to cook the chenna/ cheese dumplings in but the solution should thicken into a syrup.
  7. Take small bit of the kneaded chenna and flatten it a bit. Put 2 or 3 bits of crystallised sugar in the middle and bring the sides up around it, rolling it into a smooth ball about the size of a large walnut. Make sure there are no cracks on the surface or the ball will break when it is being cooked. Shape the rest of the chenna similarly. Once all the dumplings have been shaped, you need to cook them. While it is not to be done immediately, you need to cook those dumplings in the sugar solution soon enough.
  8. Bring the sugar solution to a boil again, and turn down the heat to medium-high and let it simmer. Add the kewra extract (or powdered cardamom) and then add the dumplings slowly to the simmering liquid. Do not agitate the dumplings till they have cooked for about 5 minutes, and then do so gently. Cover the pan with the lid, and allow the dumplings to cook for a total of 15 minutes or so. You will see the sugar solution frothing up and the dumplings will swell upto double in size. Once theyu2019re done, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl or plate.
  9. To check if theyu2019re cooked just lift one out of the syrup using a slotted spoon and press it gently. If it springs back it is done. Another way is to drop it into some cold water. If it sinks it is done.
  10. If youu2019re going to cook the dumplings in two batches, take out about 1/3rd of the simmering sugar solution and keep it aside. Add half the shaped dumplings and cook them. Take them out. By now, after simmering for 15 minutes or more, the sugar solution would have become a bit concentrated and the dumplings wouldnu2019t cook well in a thicker sugar solution.
  11. So add the reserved 1/3rd portion of sugar solution to the simmering solution and bring the whole thing to a boil, and then back to a medium-high simmer. Now add the remaining dumplings and cook them till done, like mentioned above.
  12. Let the sugar solution cool down and when you are ready to serve the Rasgullas , put 2 or 3 rasgullas in a serving bowl and about 3 tablespoons of the syrup. Garnish with chopped pistachios. Some people like to serve Rasgullas chilled, so if you want to do that chill the dumplings and the sugar solution. I personally find that Rasgullas are softer in texture when served at room temperature or with the syrup slightly warmed.
  13. To make the Rasmalai, First make the creamy milk sauce which is the u201cMalaiu201d part of the Rasmalai.
  14. Put the milk and sugar in a pan, and bring it to boil while stirring it to dissolve the sugar. Then turn down the heat, add the saffron strands and let the sweet milk simmer for about 10 minutes or so, till it reduces a bit and is thicker. Take it off the heat, add the powdered cardamom and stir well to mix. Let the creamy milk (malai) cool and stir occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
  15. Take the Rasgullas, and gently squeeze each one between your palms to remove as much of the sugar syrup without breaking them or flattening them too much. Put them in the slightly warm sweet milk and then let it chill in the refrigerator until serving time.
  16. To serve put 2 or 3 of the soaked cheese discs with enough of the creamy milk sauce to submerge them 2/3rds of the way. Garnish with chopped pistachios.
Recipe Notes

The four of us (Alessio, Asha, Pamela and I) and anyone else who joins us, go exploring a new dish/ style of cooking/ cuisine every month.

This month’s Rasgullas :

Alessio : Milky Sweetness For Healthy Dessert

Asha : Almond And Saffron Malai Shots

Gayathri : Rasgolla Amarkhand

Veena : Rasgulla

Kaveri : Bengali Rosogullas