As the name suggests Rasmalai should be soft, tender and melt in mouth.
Ingredients for rabri or ras.
Full cream milk-1 litre,
White caradamom pwd-1/4 tsp.
Ingredients for the paneer disc
Cow milk-1 litre,
Plain water-1/2 cup,
Ice cubes - 14 to 16 -medium size bowl,
Plain muslin cloth and a strainer to strain the paneer
Ingredients for boiling the paneer discs
Plain water-6 cups+1 cup,
White cardamom pwd-1/4 tsp.
Note-The secret to soft rasmalai is soft paneer.If the paneer is hard then rasmalai will be hard and will break while boiling.
Cow milk is used as it has less fat and is sweet and nutritous.
Method to make paneer or cottage cheese.
Take a heavy bottom pan and put 1 liter of cow milk to boil.
In another small bowl mix 2 tbsp of vinegar and 1/2 cup of water.
As the milk starts to boil,close gas and pour 1/2 cup of plain water.
Mix and add half of vinegar water mix.
Stir with laddle and you will see the milk separating
Add only half of what is left of the vinegar mix as now the milk is fully separated.
Once the milk is fully separated add the ice cubes to bring the temperature down to stop the process of cooking.
This process is important as at this point the texture of paneer is formed.
Keep ready a muslin cloth on a strainer on top of a saucepan.
Pour the paneer mixture on to the muslin cloth.
Discard the water collected in the saucepan.
Place the paneer under the running tap to remove any trace of vinegar.
Tie the muslin and leave it to hang for an hour so that all the water drips out.
Rabri or ras
Usually rabri is milk cooked on low heat to get a thick consistency but for rasmalai the consistency is not thick as the paneer discs are soaked in it.
Boil full cream milk in a heavy bottom pan.
As the milk starts to boil ,lower the heat and let it simmer for 50 to 55 minutes.
Keep stirring so that milk does not stick to the bottom.
After 20 minutes add a pinch of saffron to give the authentic yellow colour(optional)
Mix and leave it to cool.
Making of paneer disc:
After the paneer has hung for an hour in a muslin cloth, hold the cloth from the top and squeeze out if there is any water left in it.
Place the muslin on a towel in the center and cover it from one side.
Lightly press and using the side of the palm press gently to remove any moisture in the paneer.
Flip side and likewise press to remove any moisture.
The towel helps in soaking the moisture.
Once the moisture is removed,remove the muslin cloth and place the paneer in a plate.
Using the edge of your palm,lightly knead the paneer to make it smooth for 5 minutes.
Do not knead it like a roti dough as it will remove all the fat from the paneer.
The paneer has to be pressed with a light hand.
After 5 minutes gather it to form a log and divide it into 10 equal parts.
It will be a little sticky but use the back of a knife to clean the mess.
Make smooth balls and then lightly press it to form small discs.
Once all the discs are formed,keep it aside.
Place a big size deep pan which has a lid on gas.
Pour 6 cups of water ,1 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp of cardamom pwd.
Stir with a laddle to help the sugar mix quickly.
As it starts to boil,remove 1 and 1/3 cup of the water mixture in a medium size bowl.
Put 1 cup of water again in the pan to replace the water which we have taken out.
(The water which we have taken out will be used to soak the paneer disc once they are cooked)
As the water starts to boil,add the paneer disc one by one.
The small disc have now doubled in size.Close gas.
Remove the lid and using a flat spatula or a wide spoon remove the paneer discs to soak in the water syrup kept in the medium size bowl.
Let it soak in the bowl till they are cool to room temperature.
Take a serving bowl and pour the rabri in it.
If the rabri is too thick add a little milk.
Dip it in the rabri and let it soak for another half hour or keep in the fridge to cool.
If the rabri has become too thick,add little cold milk.