Friday, March 5, 2010

Ras Malai

This Diwali ( 2009) I wanted to make something different. So i thought why not make Ras Malai as this is  my favourite sweet. Ras Malai  consists of sugary, cream to yellow-colored flattened balls  of paneer soaked in cream. Let's see how it's done.

Get This:
Whole milk - 8 cups (divided)
Water- 5 cups ( in a pressure cooker)
Sugar - 1 cup
Lemon juice-- 2 tbsp
Saffron- a pinch
Cardamom powder-- 1/4 tsp
Almonds & Pistachio-- 2-3 tbsp chopped roughly
Sugar for the Ras -- to taste

Try This:
  1. Boil 4 cups of milk in a steel pan & boil the remaining 4 cups milk in a non stick pan. ( The milk The milk in the non-stick pan needs to be reduced to half the quantity so once it comes to a boil, keep the flame low and keep cooking while stirring occasionally. Grind saffron with a small amount of sugar and add it to the milk while boiling).
  2. Once the milk in the steel pan comes to a rolling boil, slowly add lemon juice.
  3. When the milk curdles (paneer), switch off the stove and strain the paneer in a cheese cloth.
  4. Pour a little cold water over the paneer and hang the cheese cloth on the tap for approx 30 minutes to remove all of the liquid.
  5. Remove the paneer from the cheese cloth and run it through a food processor to smooth it out. You can knead the paneer by hand but it will take a long time to make it smooth.
  6. Divide the paneer into 12 equal portions a little smaller than the size of a ping pong ball.
  7. Roll the portions in your hands until a smooth ball is formed. Lightly press the ball until it flattens out.
  8. In the pressure cooker with water, dissolve 1 cup sugar and add the flattened paneer.
  9. Close pressure cooker lid and cook until one whistle sounds. Immediately switch off the stove and set the timer for exactly 5 minutes.
  10. After 5 minutes, carefully take the pressure cooker to the sink and pour cold water over the lid to remove the pressure.
  11. Remove the cooked paneer with a slotted spoon into a bowl and allow it to cool.
  12. Meanwhile, the milk in the non-stick pan should have reduced to half. Add sugar to taste, cardamom powder and nuts. Switch off the stove and keep milk aside.
  13. Once the paneer is cool enough to handle with your hands, gently squeeze out the sugar syrup from the paneer and place the paneer into a serving dish.
  14. Pour the prepared reduced milk over the paneer and chill in the refrigerator.
  15. Garnish with additional chopped nuts.
-- I used only whole milk for this recipe. Never tried this with low fat or fat free milk.

--- Recipe Source:
--- I followed exactly as mentioned in the link pasted above.
--- They also have a video demo on how it's done.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Carrot Halwa

When I was a beginner the first sweet I ever made was carrot halwa. It was a huge hit !! This is how I make it.

Get this:
Carrots -- 3 big, grated
Milk-- 1/2 litre
Sugar-- 1/2 cup
Clarified Butter/Ghee-- 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts about 7-9 (halved)
Raisins-- about 10
Cardamom  powder -- 1.5 tsps

Try this:

  1. Grate carrots and set aside.
  2. Heat a pan on low heat. Add in the clarified butter/ghee. Now add the grated carrot. Fry it for about  35-40 seconds.
  3. Now add in the milk and bring it to a rolling  boil. Once the milk boils add in the sugar.
  4. Cook on medium heat until the milk thickens.
  5. When the clarified butter/ ghee starts separating, add in the cardamom powder and raisins. Mix well.  Turn off the heat.
  6. Decorate with cashew-nuts!