Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ras malai (cottage cheese balls in condensed milk )

Another sweet sweet dish from India. Its made of milk and nothing but milk ... Do have some sugar and other some ingredients.

I learned it from a friend of mine. I always used to thought of ras malai as one of the toughest dish ever made or ever known to me. It is tough though but not that much . So here goes the recipe...

4 lt. whole milk (with fat 3%)
2-3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar
sliced almonds and cashew to decorate

Boil up 2 lts. of milk in a pan, when its boiling add the lemon juice to it and do not stir. Lower the flame to low. Let it stand for 5-7 minutes. The milk will curdle. Let it stand for some more time or till the water from the solid particles in almost clear in color. Now strain this water+solid mass.But before straining , prepare the strainer. Use a very thin cotton cloth and place it on the strainer, remember tat the cloth should be big enough. Now pour your water+solid mass(cottage cheese)in this prepared strainer. Let the last drop of water be out. Squeeze the cloth to remove as much water as you can. We do not need any extra water in our cottage cheese. Keep it aside.

Now in another big clean pan, boil the another 2 lts milk. When its boiled, lower the flame and let the milk thicken. We need to thicken the milk to a double cream like consistency. This takes constant observation and little more patience. But keep in mind, the outcome will be far far better than all the efforts. Approximately, it takes around 1-2 hrs. Add the 2tbsp sugar in the end .Keep stirring this intermittently as the milk tends to stick to the pan. And if possible use a big non-stick pan. Use quite a big pan for this as the cheese balls we add later will be double in size when they are done and your pan shud be able to accommodate them.

Now with the cottage cheese, start kneading it. Its the messy part of this dish. All the cottage cheese will stick to your hands a lot but keep kneading. You have to knead it for quite some time, till it does not stick to your hands enough. And you can easily handle the cheese. It can take approximately 20-30 minutes. When the kneading is done, make very small balls from the cheese( big playing marbles size ). Only thing, after making the ball just press it a bit to flatten it a little. (Note: The balls should not break while making them. If they are breaking, then again knead the cottage cheese for some more time). You might get 15 from the whole cottage cheese.

Now here, where your thickening milk is somewhat thicker add these balls to the heating milk. When the cheese balls are double in size and the milk is thick enough, remove from the flame and keep this in fridge for some time. As the dish is served best when cold.

While serving put 2-3 cottage cheese balls with the thickened milk and decorate it with nicely sliced almonds and some cashew nuts.
Your long patience is sweeter in the end... Enjoy the sweet dish with your family.

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