Rasmalai is a Classic Indian dessert made of juicy cottage cheese balls simmered in a milk sauce with nuts, saffron, and sugar.
Rasmalai Recipe with step by step photos. Rasmalai is a rich and creamy Bengali sweet made from Rasgulla and Rabri .It is very rich and full of delicious nuts. Though it may look complicated. It is very easy to prepare in home. Now let’s see how to prepare Rasmalai.
What is Rasmalai
Rasmalai is a traditional Indian dessert. It has its origin in the eastern region of the Indian sub-continent. Rasmalai translates to, Ras meaning juice, and Malai meaning cottage cheese balls.
Ras here refers to the juice that we prepare from the milk by simmering and flavoring. Soft cottage cheese balls are prepared by curdling the milk and then kneaded into softballs. These balls are then cooked and soaked in sugar syrup. These balls are the rasgullas. The rasgullas are then squeezed gently to remove the excess sugar syrup and then dunked in the milk sauce.
I have a detailed post on how to prepare ragullas. You can prepare rasmalai from scratch or just use store bought rasgullas. I usually prepare the rasgulla the previous day and then rasmalai the next day.
Rasgulla - Use can make them from scratch or use store bought ones. Works well either way. Try as per your convenience.
Sugar - A mandatory ingredient for sweetening the ras.
Saffron- Infuses with milk and brings in an exotic and rich aroma to the rasmalai.
Cardamom - Adds a nice flavor.
Nuts - Use add assorted sliced nuts for a rich rasmalai.
Rose petals - An optional ingredient but I prefer using them for garnish.
The most common issue we face while preparing the rasmalai for the first time is that they then turn hard, rubbery or chewy.
When we know these tips and hacks it's easy to troubleshoot rasgulla at any stage.
- The first step is to get the perfect rasgulla. If the rasgulla comes out juicy and soft then it is 90 % done.
- Prep for the ras or the rabdi. Chop the nuts, and soak saffron in milk. Squeeze the excess syrup from the rasgulla and keep them ready.
- Get ready for the ras by simmering the milk and adding sugar, saffron, and nuts.
- Soak the rasgulla in ras and chill.
- The above mentioned step is the tricky one If you get them right. The rest is an easy candy and anybody can get it perfectly.
I have a detailed post on homemade rasgulla, read that to get the tips and tricks. You can use store bought ones if you are still in doubt or pressed out of time.
Tips for Perfect Rasgulla
- Always use curd or yogurt for curdling the milk. This is from my personal experience. I tried using Lemon juice, vinegar, or even citric acid in my earlier days. I felt the robust flavor in my paneer or chenna. With yogurt it was perfect and I highly recommend it.
- Do not leave the chenna for a longer time once the milk is curdled. Drain the water and then wash and hang it real quick.
- We normally wash the chenna or paneer after the milk gets curdled. Do not use too much water be mindful while washing.
- Hang the washed chenna to drain the water.
- Knead the dough for about 15-20 mins. This is a crucial step to getting the perfect spongy rasgulla.
Always use creamy full fat whole milk. Only these will give you an excellent creamy malai. We knead the malai to make the rasgulla. Skimmed milk or low fat milk will not give the desired results.
Perfect kneading of the malai is key to making the best rasgulla. Make sure the milk is curdled perfectly and kneaded to perfection.
If the rasgulla does not hold the shape it means the chenna or the milk solids is not kneaded well. Knead for some more time and then shape the rasgulla and do not apply more pressure while shaping them.
How to make Rasmalai
Soak the saffron in warm milk and set aside for 15-20 mins. Let the saffron infuse with milk.
Squeeze out the excess syrup gently from the rasgullas. We just do this by pressing the rasgulla gently in between the palms or two spoons. Make sure you do them gently, if squeezed hard the rasgullas might crumble or break.
Heat a saucepan with milk and bring it to a boil. Next, add the saffron along with the soaked milk.
And then add in the crushed cardamom or cardamom powder.
Simmer in a low flame so that the milk thickens. Scrap the malai layers in the sides and continue cooking till it becomes creamy.
Next, add the sugar or condensed milk.
Now add the rasgulla to the rabdi. Stir gently.
Finally, add the chopped nuts.
Turn off the heat and let the rasmalai rest for about 30 mins.
Keep them covered. Once the heat is down Refrigerate the ras malai and serve chilled.
Tips & Variations
- Rasmalai is one of the most celebrated Indian desserts. We can serve rasmalai hot or cold.
- Kesar rasmalai is a popular variation and has an amazing saffron flavor.
- Rasmalai cake or Rasgulla cake is a very popular fusion Indian cake. You can make use of the rasmalai and prepare them.
- We can use the rasmalai sweet in various Indian fusion desserts.
- Ras malai recipe is freezer friendly and meal-prep-friendly too.
- You can make the ras( liquid ) or even the rasgulla balls before and just assemble them 4 or 5 hours before serving.
- If you are looking for an easy rasmalai recipe you can buy store-bought rasgulla and then mas the ras and then assemble and serve.
- There are also ready made or Instant rabdi mix available these days you can use them for making a quicker ras.
- The ingredients for rasmalai are available in most Indian stores in any part of the world these days.
Tastes best when served chill. Perfect for any occasion or Party.
Rasamali stays good in the fridge for 5 days. Would not recommend freezing them as they taste best only when enjoyed fresh.
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Standard 1 cup measures 240 ml
- 15 Rasgulla
- 4 cups Full fat milk
- ½ cup Sugar
- Saffron generous pinch
- Nuts Almonds or pistachios cut lengthwise
- Cashew or any nuts to garnish
- Soak the saffron in warm milk and set aside for 15-20 mins. Let the saffron infuse with milk.
- Squeeze out the excess syrup gently from the rasgullas. We just do this by pressing the rasgulla gently in between the palms or two spoons. Make sure you do them gently, if squeezed hard the rasgullas might crumble or break.
- Heat a saucepan with milk and bring it to a boil.
- Next, add the saffron along with the soaked milk.
- And then add in the crushed cardamom or cardamom powder.
- Simmer in a low flame so that the milk thickens. Scrap the malai layers in the sides and continue cooking till it becomes creamy.
- Next, add the sugar or condensed milk.
- Now add the rasgulla to the rabdi. Stir gently.
- Finally, add the chopped nuts.
- Turn off the heat and let the rasmalai rest for about 30 mins. Keep them covered.
- Once the heat is down Refrigerate the rasmalai serve once them chilled.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, the nutrition value provided here is an estimate. It will vary based on the quantity and brands of the products used.
Note: This post is originally from 2017. I have updated with new Recipe card, Pictures and video now.