Rasmalai, also known as ras malai, is a delicious Bengal sweet treat and one of India’s most popular desserts. It easy to see why: chhana balls, literally pressed milk curds soaked in simple syrup, are the stars of this dish.
Rasmalai is a creamy sauce made with milk and sugar, and it’s flavored with cardamom powder, saffron and rose water. The chhana balls swim in this coating, lusciously sweet sauce for a delicious dessert. Topped with sliced almonds and pistachios, you get a lovely crunch, too, making this authentic dessert a real treat — a fabulous way to end a meal with friends.
Let’s make our own chhana balls and soak them in a homemade rasmalai sauce. This is a dish like no other, so enjoy!
For the chhana balls:
For the rasmalai sauce:
For the chhana balls, heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat until boiling. Stir occasionally.
Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon juice. The milk should curdle. Stir occasionally until you get enough curd. Add more lemon juice if necessary.
Strain the milk through a cheesecloth to collect the curds, press to remove excess water, and transfer the curds into a mixing bowl.
Once the curd has cooled down and is manageable, incorporate the corn starch and form balls with your palms. You should be able to make around 8-10 bite-sized chhana. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir in the sugar while stirring until completely dissolved to create a simple syrup.
With a slotted spoon, carefully float the milk curd balls in the simple syrup and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the chhana balls and set them aside.
Add the milk into a saucepan and heat over medium flame until simmering, stirring occasionally.
Add in the sugar and reduce the milk in half. Reduce the heat to low and add the cardamom powder, crushed saffron strands and rose water.
Drop in the chhana and cook for 5 minutes. Stir gently without breaking the balls.
Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Serve and garnish with the sliced almonds and pistachios.