The Rasmalai, or ROSHOMALAI (as it’s known in Bengal), is a recipe that can be roughly divided into two parts. The first part is making the roshogolla, that is then allowed to soak up in malai, which constitutes of the second part. Although many versions exist around India and the world, the original makers of this recipe, KC Das, follows one that can only be called sublime. “The recipe is simple,” said Dhiman Das, the director of KC Das, a brand associated with Roshogolla for nearly 170 years, “but it takes a few crucial things to get it right.” To make the perfect Rasmalai, there are a few things one should be careful of. It will make the end result extra delicious.
In 1932, the roshomalai or rasmalai was officially launched by Krishna Chandra Das, the son of Nobin Chandra Das, who holds the title of being the “Father of Roshogolla” in Bengal. Krishna Chandra Das, or KC Das, also was the first person to can the humble roshogolla, which went a long way into popularizing the sweet across the globe. The rasmalai, created by KC Das, is now a beloved sweet across India, and is a sweet, decadent dessert that is a great way to end a meal.
Tips And Tricks To Make The Perfect Rasmalai
1) Check The Milk Quality
The milk must be of good quality and really fresh to start with. Ideally, it should not be pasteurised but obtained from the cow directly. It should not smell strongly of anything, because that may affect the final result. No water should be added to the milk at any point.
2) Boiling Matters
“When you boil the milk before curdling it, it should be kept at an even temperature so that the milk boils uniformly and doesn’t get too hot somewhere and not enough in others. It should also be maintained over a flame that doesn’t have any distinctive smell. Milk absorbs smell pretty easily, and charcoal or wood has a distinct smell,” noted Dhiman Das. A good rasmalai should only smell of the goodness of milk and whatever flavouring agent you’re adding into it.
3) Smooth Dough
The chhena dough needs to be super duper soft and completely smooth, but you cannot use a food processor. The dough needs to be kneaded nonstop until it becomes just the right texture to be formed into balls and cooked.
4) No Artificial Flavours
If you are working to make your own roshogolla for the rasmalai, then don’t waste the opportunity to add some real ingredients like saffron or pistachios, and not an artificial flavouring agent. Most of these leave a chemical aftertaste in the mouth and can ruin your efforts, effortlessly.
5) Check For Sweetness
It’s always a good idea to check for the sugar, not just when you are making the malai, but also after the roshogolla balls are in the malai. That way, you can get it as sweet as you want it to be, and adjust to your taste.
Following these instructions is simple, but the result may be a roshomalai which will blow your mind. Here’s a recipe of Saffron Rasmalai that was inspired by the KC Das special rasmalai and its absolutely delicious.
How To Make Saffron Rasmalai | Saffron Rasmalai Recipe:
1. For the Roshogolla
- 1.5 litres milk
- 1 teaspoon calcium lactate
- 1 tablespoon water
2. For the sugar syrup
- 500 gm sugar
- 500 ml water
- 1 teaspoon reetha pods (soaked in 1 cup of water)
3. For the Malai
- 1.5 litre milk
- 1/4th teaspoon saffron
- 600-700 gm sugar (as per taste)
- 1 tablespoon pistachio powder
- 2 pods of cardamom, crushed slightly
- In a wide iron kadhai, heat the milk till its scalding hot to touch, but not boiling. Combine the calcium lactate with the water, add to the milk, stir once quickly, then wait till the milk curdles into chhena. This will take about 15-17 minutes.
- Pass the chhena through double layer of muslin to get the whey out. Then let it rest for about 15 minutes to get rid of some of the water. Then squeeze the muslin hard to get rid of some of the excess water.
- Make the syrup by putting the sugar and water and bringing it to a boil. When the sugar dissolves, the syrup is ready.
- Knead the chhena with your hand in a push and pull motion with the palm of your hand to get rid of any lump and completely smoothen the dough without separating the fat from the mixture. Once kneaded smooth, form into small, round, flattish balls.
- Put the sugar syrup on heat and add the balls, one by one, to it. Once the syrup comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of the reetha water from soaking the reetha pods. This is an extra step, but it really helps soften and fluff up the rashogollas.
- Now, to create the malai, put the milk over heat with the cardamom and reduce it till its reduced by about 1/2. Add 1 tablespoon of this milk to the saffron and let it bloom. Then, add the sugar to the milk together with the cardamom. Let the sugar dissolve fully. Then, turn off the heat. At this point, add the saffron, followed by the pistachio. Let the mixture cool down fully. Then, add the cooked chhena dough balls. Make sure you don’t put the syrup in, but just add the balls to this. Turn off the heat immediately, and let the malai cool down naturally before transferring it to the fridge for an additional 15 to 20 minutes at least before serving.
This festive season, indulge in classic rasmalai (roshomalai) and make the festival a delicious affair.
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About Poorna BanerjeePoorna Banerjee is a food writer, restaurant critic and social media strategist and runs a blog Presented by P for the last ten years where she writes about the food she eats and cooks, the places she visits, and the things she finds of interest. She is deeply interested in culinary anthropology, and food history and loves books, music, travelling, and a glass of wine, in that order.