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Ras Malai


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Zeynab
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« on: June 30, 2015, 03:23:54 am »

 BismEm


Ras Malai is a very popular dessert in Pakistan.  It consists of cheese dumplings dipped in saffron and cardamom flavored evaporated milk.  it's delectable stuff honestly.  Iíve known of very few people in Pakistan making it at home.  They mostly buy it, as we did, for there are no dearth of sweet shops selling professionally-made ras malais that are indescribably delicious though costly.  I'm not an expert at it but have prepared it a few times after leaving Pakistan, just a few times.  And since I haven't made it recently, I'm forgetting a bit on the exact quantities of ingredients. 

You would need quite a lot of milk.  Depending on the amount you want to prepare, for example if it's for a family of 4 or 5, you might need approximately 2 liters of milk, 1 liter for curdling the milk and preparing the cheese (which is really easy, just make sure you have a clean cheese cloth and colander ready in the kitchen) and 1 liter to make a creamy milk syrup to dip the prepared cheese dumplings into.

INGREDIENTS:

2 liters of milk in 2 separate cooking pots, 1 liter in each.
Lemon juice approximately 4 tablespoons.
Sugar.
Green cardamoms.
Saffron.
Kewra essence.
Cottage cheese approximately 1 and a half cup.
A little all-purpose white flour (optional).
Sliced pistachios and almonds for decorating.

First make the thickened milk.  Boil 1 liter of milk with caradmoms, saffron and few drops of kewra essence.  When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the milk thickens to almost half of its original quantity.  Add sugar (depending on how sweet you would like it) and stir very well.  Turn the cooker off and let it cool.

In the meantime, while the milk is evaporating, prepare the cheese. 

Boil 1 liter milk in a the other cooking pot.  When the milk comes to a rolling boil, slowly add lemon juice. When the milk curdles completely and the water separates from the cheese, strain the cheese by putting a cheese cloth over the colander.  Let all water drain away.  Then lightly wash the cheese while still over the cheese cloth to remove any lemony taste.  Drain all water completely.  Not sure exactly how much cheese this would make but approximately it should be 1 and a half cups of cottage cheese.   Then return the cheese in the cooking pot and add sugar.  For 1 cup cheese,  approximately 4 teaspoons of sugar should be enough. Also add quarter teaspoon cardamom powder and couple of drops of kewra water.  For those who don't know of kewra water, it's liquid saffron essence, not real saffron but imitation and thus much cheaper.  Stir over low to medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the cheese look dry.  Remove from cooker and let it cool for a while. 

When cool, knead the cheese to make it smooth either using fingers or rolling it out on a rolling board until smooth.  Then gather it together into a dough.  Make small rounds, each one a little larger than the size of a walnut.  Flatten a little from the top to make it like dumplings or patties.  Keep aside.  Not sure exactly how many dumplings it will make.

When the evaporated flavored milk has cooled a little (it doesnít have to cool completely), gently drop the cheese dumplings into it.   Put it on simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the cooker and cool.  Carefully transfer your Ras Malai dessert into a serving bowl.  Sprinkle with sliced pistachios and almonds.



P.S. Some recipes might also suggest to add a little flour while preparing the cheese and smoothing it.  I think about 2 teaspoons of flour for 1 cup of cheese should be enough otherwise the ras malai dessert could get too hard.  It's often assumed that the cheese dumplings turn a bit hard if the quantity of flour used is more than necessary or cooked with the milk for too long.  So I think 2 level teaspoons flour would be enough and cook the cheese dumplings in the thickened milk just long enough to make them hold their form and not break.


Putting up this recipe with reference to Sister Ruhi's request at Harira recipe post.
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 12:57:37 am »

Oi! Ohh!   Smiley   Thanks a bulky bundle me sis.   This is amazing and hasslefree compared to the ones I browsed that were driving me nuts.  Some mention the preparation of sugar/water syrup and dunking the cheese dumplings in it prior to dunking them in the thickened milk.   This is just fine. Thanks.
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 01:00:20 am »

Yes most recipes mention of preparing the syrup.  I omit that and instead add sugar directly with the cheese .. a time saving shortcut.  Actually this itself is a separate dessert called cheese barfis.
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2015, 01:01:21 am »

Btw, some of those recipes also recommend making rasmalai with ricotta cheese.  What would you suggest?
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2015, 01:03:32 am »

Well, ras malai can also be made with ricotta cheese but it carries a somewhat different flavor.  Doesn’t taste quite like the traditional ras malai you would make from scratch in your kitchen with homemade cheese.   The purpose of using ricotta cheese is to avoid the labor of preparing the cheese at home, so it’s often called instant ras-malai.  But it doesn’t taste exactly the same.  That's what my taste buds say  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2015, 01:04:58 am »

Yeah, that could be so, and I think ricotta cheese also requires some bit of work.  Isn’t really all that instant; like you need to whip it and mix sugar and cardamom powder, then bake it, let it cook, cut it into pieces and then dip the pieces in the milk.  Something like that, right?
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2015, 01:06:51 am »

Yes exactly.  Alternatively you can also freeze it instead of baking.  Baking needs approximately 40 minutes.  If youíre freezing, then at least 1 hour or a bit more.  Besides, it doesnít really set as firmly as homemade cheese either.  Thatís another drawback.  Particularly after baking, which is a more popular method than freezing, no matter how long you leave it to cool, itís never shapely when you cut it into pieces, often with fraying edges after you put the pieces in the evaporated milk.
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2015, 01:08:48 am »

I get your point perfectly. Definitely the one with homemade cheese is better despite the slightly extra labor.   Many, many thanks dear sis.
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2015, 01:09:40 am »

Very welcomed Sister Ruhi.
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2015, 01:12:40 am »

SubhanAllah, ya Rab.  Even though we finished our Iftar little while ago, reading this thread and that pic is making my mouth water  Grin

What's the meaning of the word rasmalai?
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2015, 01:16:33 am »

heeheh heehehee  ...  Cheesy

"rus" in Urdu means juice and "malai" is cream.  Literally it would mean 'juice of the cream.'  But a more appropriate translation would be 'extract of the cream' or 'essence of the cream.'
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2015, 01:18:53 am »

Aha ,, makes sense .....

Btw sis Ruhi, I'll be putting up the chocolate tartlets (also your request at Harira post) either tonite or tomorrow, InshAllah.  Really sorry for the delay.  My profuse apology to your lovely kiddos.
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2015, 01:21:06 am »

Many thanks Sis Heba.  Yeah kids would be joyous.  But no need for apology me Sis.  I totally understand the crunch in your schedule.  Much the same here.
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2016, 03:27:24 am »

Salams and hey sisters !  Cheesy  I'm back.   I made rasmalai with both ricotta as well as homemade cheese.  Both turned out wonderful.  My big point here is that ricotta rasmalai was a lot better than I expected.  Had very much the traditional taste.  I made it with TreStelle ricotta cheese with red label indicating extra fine.  Read the label carefully.  Looked completely Halal.  I followed the recipe Sister Zeynab mentioned.  Mixed it with cardamom powder, sugar, 2 tsp flour (pastry flour is better) and few drops kewra essence.  Then baked it for 40 mins covered.  Cool and then freeze for 1.5 hrs.  In the meantime got the milk ready.  Cooled it.  Then cut the malais, arranged them in a casserole and poured the milk, sprinkled with chopped pistachios & sliced almonds.  My folks went crazy after it  Grin  Few days later made the traditional style as well by curdling the milk with lemon.  It tasted exactly the same, except that it's more time consuming. 
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2016, 03:30:03 am »

But you forgot to post-parcel some to sister Heba  Grin Wink Cheesy
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