Rasmali gets its name from 2 words. Ras meaning sugar syrup and Malai for Cream. So, it includes both. Thus Rasmalai is spongy, juicy sweet flat Chena balls, dipped in creamy thick milk. Garnished with chopped pistachio, chopped almonds, and saffron threads, this recipe looks beautiful.
In Bengali’s tone, we also call it Rossomalai. Rasmali or Ras Malai whichever way you write it is a delicious Bengali Sweet. My family and friends love it very much. Thus, I do not forget to prepare this recipe during festivals and special occasions.
So for preparing a soft and spongy Rasmalai, you firstly need Chena. If you have checked my Rasgulla recipe then you are aware of how to make Chena for all Bengali sweets. If not! No issues; here is a quick recap of it, along with the tips and tricks.
Tips for Easy Rasmalai for Home
Tip1- Milk for Chena for Rasmalai Recipe:
In my Rasgulla recipe, I asked you to use 50% cow milk and 50% of buffalo milk to keep Rasgulla White and spongy. But, since Rasmalai is slightly pale thus for this recipe we will use homogenous cow milk.
Tip 2- To get soft Chena:
As the basic ingredient of this recipe is Chena. Thus, to make spongy Rasmali we need soft Chena. For this, boil your milk in a thick bottomed pan over medium flame. While boiling, stir the milk continuously, to avoid skin formation in the milk. In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup of water. As soon as the milk starts boiling, switch off the flame and let it rest for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, while gently stirring the milk, add the lemon juice or vinegar mixture slowly in it.
Tip 3- To get rid of the lemon taste from Chena:
Once the milk gets curdled, then its time to gather our Chena. For this, place a large strainer over a large bowl, then cover the strainer with a muslin cloth. Then pour the curdled milk along with whey over the muslin cloth. As the whey strains out completely, pour some water over the gathered Chena. Wash Chena while adding water by slowly rotating your fingers in the gathered Chena. This cleans lemon taste from Chena completely.
Once the Chena gets clean gather the edges of the muslin cloth and squeeze all the excess water from it. After squeezing hang it for 2-3 hours to get rid of excess moisture and whey.
Tip 4- Massaging Chena for spongy Chena flat Balls:
This is a very important step and it should be done perfectly. Overdoing it turns the Chena balls hard. While if you do less, your Chena Balls will break while cooking.
The time for massaging Chena totally depends on the quality of Chena. It may take 2-3 minutes to 10 minutes of time. So, when to stop and how to do it?
Massage the Chena with the base of our palm. To do it press some Chena with your palm. Then applying light pressure of your hand, move your palm gently ahead. We need to mash the Chena like this to remove all the lumps of it as well as make it smooth. Applying this step we will make a smooth paste of Chena. Even after making the Chena keep it massaging until you feel fat in your hand. As soon as you see that fat starts to separate from Chena; its time to stop immediately.
So as you have completed the most important step, now its time to roll them and flatten them. For this, follow the steps in the recipe section below.
Tip 5 – Sugar Syrup for Cooking the Chena Balls:
For cooking the Chena balls we need sugar syrup. A sweet syrup is also called Ras in Hindi. So to prepare this syrup mix 300 grams sugar in a liter of water in a deep heavy-bottomed pan. You can also use your pressure cooker for it. Remember to keep the flame medium to high to cook this syrup. Sirr the syrup continuously till the sugar dissolves. Then let it boil, till it starts bubbling. As soon as the syrups start bubbling, add the flat Chena balls in it. Cover the lid and let it cook for around 15 minutes. Also, check the Chena balls after every 5 minutes and give them a light stir. Also rotate the Chena Balls in syrup with gentle hands.
Whichever vessel you are using to cook these balls, always remember you have to just cover the lid to cook the ball. Never close the lid tightly. If you are using a pressure cooker never pressure cook them.
After 15 minutes of cooking the Rasmalai Balls, they will absorb the sugar syrup and will swell to double their size. As soon as it happens, switch off the flame. Let them rest in the syrup, till we prepare our Malai.
Tips for preparing Malai for Rasmalai
Malai is thickened milk. But it is not so thick as Rabri recipe. We need to slightly thicken the milk. But still, it should be thin so that it can get absorbed in our Rasmalai Recipe.
Tip6- Milk for Malai:
Though we use cow milk for preparing Chena. You can use both buffalo milk or cow milk to prepare Malai. I prefer using buffalo milk for it as it thickens quickly.
Tip7- How to prepare Malai for Ras Malai:
So, heat the milk over the medium flame while stirring continuously. Adding sugar let it cooks for around 10- 15 minutes. After that add cardamom powder, chopped pistachios, chopped almonds, and saffron in it. The saffron in it gives the milk its saffron color. But if you want to make it darker, then you can also use some yellow or saffron food color. Then again cook it for 10 more minutes. Remember you have to keep it stirring, otherwise, you will get the skin on the top.
Once the Malai is ready, squeeze the syrup from Rasmalai balls in sugar syrup. Immediately transfer them it this Malai. Let them rest for 4-5 hours at room temperature to absorb Malai.
Now, as you are aware of all the tips now! Here is a quick and easy recipe for soft spongy Rasmalai at home.
for preparing Chena
- 1 liter of full cream milk (पूर्ण वसा वाला दूध) for preparing Chhena
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice (नींबू का रस) or white vinegar (सफेद सिरका)
for preparing Sugar Syrup
- 300 grams of sugar (चीनी)
- 3 cups of water (पानी)
- 1 tablespoon milk (दूध) optional to remove impurities from syrup
for Rasmalai Milk
- 1 liter of full cream milk (पूर्ण वसा वाला दूध)
- 100 grams of sugar (चीनी)
- 2 pinch saffron (केसर)
- 15-16 chopped almonds (कटा हुआ बादाम) finely chopped into long pieces
- 15-16 chopped pistachio (काटा हुआ पिस्ता) finely chopped into long pieces
- 3-4 green cardamom seeds (छोटी इलायची का बीज/ दाना) crushed
How to prepare fresh Chena
- To prepare fresh Chena, pour full cream milk in a heavy-bottomed vessel and put it over medium flame to boil.
- After the milk starts to boil, reduce the flame to low. Add around 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice in the milk and continue stirring the milk. You will see the milk starts to curdle. If the milk does not curdle completely add little more vinegar or lemon juice and stir it well with a spoon.
- When the milk gets curdled completely, switch off the flame, and let it rest for 2-3 minutes to settle.
- After 2-3 minutes add 1-2 cup of cold water in the pan. This will help not to overcook the curdled milk and thus we will get soft Chena perfect for our Ras Malai Recipe.
- Now place a large steel strainer lined with thin muslin cloth over a large bowl. Pour the curdled milk over this muslin cloth lined over the strainer, to collect the Chena on top.
- Collect the open edges of the muslin cloth and remove the excess water by lifting the cloth and pressing it lightly.
- Then Rinse this Chena under cold running water, to remove its acidic behavior and sour taste that it has acquired from vinegar or lemon juice.
- Now and tie the open edges of the cloth together to form a bundle. And hang it for around an hour to remove excess water from it. After an hour of hanging our, Chena will be ready to prepare Ras Malai.
How to make Rasmalai
- Put the Chhena on a plate and rub it with your hands to turn it into smooth and soft. Rub the Chhena till the grain gets removed in it. As soon as the grains disappear from the Chhena, stop rubbing it. A very soft dough like Chhena is ready.
- The Chhena is ready to prepare Rasmalai.
- Take out a small piece of Chena from this soft Chena dough. Then roll it between your palms to make small balls. Once it turns into a ball, press it between the palms and make a thick flat spherical shape.
- Similarly, make a thick flat spherical shape from the rest of Chena and keep it on a plate. Cover them with a wet cloth and keep aside.
- You can easily make 10 to 12 Rasmalai from this much Chena.
How to cook Rasmalai
- For cooking Rasmalai we need to prepare sugar syrup first. For this mix 300 grams of sugar with 3 cups of water in a vessel and keep it on high flame over the gas.
- When the water starts boiling and the sugar dissolves completely in the water, check for impurities in sugar syrup. If you find impurities in sugar syrup, then add a tablespoon on milk in the syrup and let it boil.
- After 2 minutes, you will observe all the impurities of sugar that have solidified and get collected at the top in a cloudy foam type texture. Remove all these foam from syrup with the help of a strainer and you will find a crystal clear sugar syrup.
- Once the sugar syrup is crystal clear put all the chenna balls in this boiling syrup and let them boil for 18-20 minutes.
- Always keep the syrup boiling and bubbling to cook Rasmalai thus always keep gas on high flame. Cooking the Rasmali this way turns them to almost double in size while soaking the syrup.
- As they turn double in size turn off the gas and let the Rasmalai cool down while keeping them in the syrup.
How to prepare thickened milk for Rasmalai
- To thicken the milk, put the milk in a heavy-bottomed vessel and keep it over the gas on medium flame.
- Once the milk starts boiling, keep it constantly stirring with a spoon. Also, add saffron and chopped dry fruits in it.
- Keep cooking, till the quantity of milk reduces to its half. Once the milk is reduced to half add sugar and cardamom powder in the milk and cook for another 2-3 minutes while stirring continuously, till the sugar dissolves completely.
- After the sugar gets dissolved in the milk, turn off the gas. The thickened milk is ready for Rasmalai.
- Take out the previously cooked Rasmalai from the sugar syrup and put it in this thickened milk.
- Delicious Malai Malai is ready.
- Keep it in the refrigerator to cool down. Once the Rasmali gets cooled and eat it or serve it to your guests.