The two most important men in my life have a few things in common, other than me of course. Football. And the love for a bowlful of eternally awesome Ras Malai.
The retail world has been celebrating Father’s Day since the very next day they officially ended Mother’s Day. But my Father’s day really is today, on the 18th. Yes, that’s my Dad’s birthday.
And since Jamai Shoshti was just a day before when my Daddy ate some payesh back in India, I thought I’d do something for his jamai, okay, actually make that two sons-in-law – one in New Delhi and the other one sitting here by my side, watching a replay of one of the FIFA matches from yesterday.
Both my Dad’s jamai-s have been deprived of any jamai appayan and know little about what the Son-in-law Day is all about. Blame it on distance, I’d say.
Three celebrations at the price of one with this Kesar Ras Malai. Kesar is Hindi for saffron, and Ras Malai is manna from heaven. Ras Malai is an Indian dessert of cottage cheese dumplings soaked in saffron-flavored, creamy milk.
This is my first time making of Ras Malai and I pretty much followed the instructions from here. But I used my own measurements and called it Kesar Ras Malai!
Ingredients for Kesar Ras Malai are:
For the Rabri*:
2 liters milk
1 teaspoon green cardamom powder
Few strands of saffron soaked in hot milk/water
*Rabri is a sweet condensed milk, made by slowly cooking the milk till it becomes dense and changes color to a rich pink/yellow depending on the ingredients you add. I’d suggest you start on your Rabri at least two hours before you begin to make the cheese dumplings.
Start boiling the milk in a thick bottom pan on slow heat, add the dissolved saffron strands and cardamom powder. Continue cooking on low heat till it thickens. This could take a couple of hours!
Add sugar and keep mixing. I usually eyeball my sugar and keep tasting the milk that’s condensing while I am doing so. Also remember that anything hot will taste less sweet (or less salty), than it actually is.
Remove from the heat.
For the cheese dumplings/ malai:
2 liters milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
6 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
Strain in a cheesecloth and keep hung for about 10-20 minutes. Ready the cheese by mashing it with the heel of your palm. Make ping-pong ball-size portions and round them between your palms. Then make little patty-shapes and keep.
In a large saucepan, boil six cups of water with one cup sugar and cardamom powder.
Add the cheese patties in batches in the boiling water. Cover with a lid. Let the dumplings puff up. Turn midway of boiling. It usually takes about 2-3 minutes on each side.
For the garnish:
Few pistachios, chopped
Pinch of cardamom powder
Few strands of saffron
Press each dumpling lightly between the palms of your hands and squeeze out the extra liquid. Line them in a large dish/ dessert bowl. Pour the rabri on them.
Garnish with chopped pistachios, cardamom powder and saffron. Chill for at least two hours. By this time, the cheese patties will soak in the condensed milk and become very soft.
Serve two portions per person, drizzled lavishly with the rabri. See if they ask for more.