Rasmalai pudding is a popular Indian dessert made with chenna balls (Indian cottage cheese balls) soaked in sweetened milk flavored with cardamom and saffron. It is a delicious and creamy treat that is perfect for any occasion.
History of Rasmalai Pudding
Rasmalai pudding is thought to have originated in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. The name “rasmalai” comes from the Hindi words “ras” (meaning “juice”) and “malai” (meaning “cream”). The dessert is said to have been invented by a 16th-century poet and musician named Rasikananda.
This rich pudding quickly became popular throughout India and is now one of the most popular Indian desserts in the world. It is especially popular during festivals and special occasions.
How to Make Rasmalai Pudding
This incredible pudding is relatively easy to make, but it does require some time and patience. The first step is to make the chenna balls. This can be done by curdling milk with an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar. Once the milk is curdled, the chenna balls are formed and cooked in sugar syrup.
Once the chenna balls are cooked, they are soaked in sweetened milk flavored with cardamom and saffron. The milk is then heated and simmered until it thickens. The pudding is then ready to serve.
Rasmalai Pudding Recipe
Here are the ingredients you will need for this delicious recipe.
Full-Fat Milk (1 liter): The heart of our recipe, full-fat milk provides the rich and creamy base for the delectable rasmalai pudding. When heated, it undergoes a transformative process, curdling with the addition of lemon juice or vinegar, yielding soft chenna balls that are key to the dish’s texture and flavor.
Lemon Juice or Vinegar (1 tablespoon): Playing a pivotal role in curdling the milk, lemon juice or vinegar adds a subtle tanginess to the chenna balls. This acidity helps in separating the curds and whey, creating the foundation for the delightful texture that defines rasmalai.
Sugar (1 cup): Sweetness is the soul of rasmalai, and sugar brings the necessary sweetness to both the chenna balls and the syrup they are soaked in. The syrup, infused with sugar, becomes a luscious bath for the chenna balls, ensuring a decadent treat with each bite.
Water (1/4 cup): This ingredient combines with sugar to form the syrup that bathes the chenna balls. It provides the essential liquid medium for creating a sweet, aromatic concoction that binds all the flavors together.
Cardamom Powder (1/4 teaspoon): A fragrant and warm spice, cardamom powder introduces a layer of complexity to the rasmalai pudding. Its subtle, citrusy notes enhance the overall aroma, creating a harmonious blend with the sweetness of the syrup and the richness of the chenna balls.
Saffron Threads (A pinch): The golden strands of saffron not only add a beautiful hue but also infuse the dish with a delicate and exotic flavor. Saffron elevates the rasmalai pudding, providing a hint of luxury and a touch of warmth to the overall experience.
Milk for Soaking Chenna Balls (1/2 cup): Used to simmer the Chenna balls, this additional milk step imparts a final layer of creaminess to the dish. It ensures that the chenna balls absorb the aromatic flavors of cardamom and saffron, creating a cohesive and indulgent final product.
Rasmalai Pudding Recipe
- 8 cups Milk 2 Liters
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 cup Sugar 200 g
- 1 tbsp Rose water
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom
- 1/4 cup Toasted Almonds 20 g
- 1/4 cup Toasted Pistachios 20 g
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- Bring the milk to a boil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Once the milk is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and stir until the milk curdles.
- Line a colander with a cheesecloth-lined kitchen towel.
- Pour the curdled milk into the colander and let it drain for 30 minutes.
- Once the milk has drained, gather the edges of the cheesecloth and twist to squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Rinse the chenna under cold water to remove any lemon juice residue.
- Place the chenna in a bowl and knead it until it is smooth.
- Divide the chenna into 9 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, rose water, and cardamom.
- Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the chenna balls to the skillet and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Remove the chenna balls from the skillet and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate.
- To make the rabri, combine the remaining milk and sugar in a large pot over medium heat.
- Bring the milk to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the milk has thickened and reduced by half.
- Add the cardamom to the rabri and stir to combine.
- To assemble the ras malai, place a chenna ball in a bowl and top with rabri.
- Garnish with almonds, pistachios, and additional rose water.
Tips for Making Rasmalai Pudding
Use full-fat milk for the best results.
Do not overcook the chenna balls in the sugar syrup, or they will become hard.
Soak the chenna balls in the milk for at least 5 minutes before serving. This will help them to absorb the flavor of the milk.
You can garnish the rasmalai pudding with chopped nuts, dried fruits, or edible flowers.
What is the difference between rasmalai pudding and rasgulla?
Rasmalai pudding and rasgulla are both Indian desserts made with chenna balls. However, rasgulla is soaked in sugar syrup, while rasmalai pudding is soaked in sweetened milk flavored with cardamom and saffron.
Can I make rasmalai pudding without saffron?
Yes, you can make rasmalai pudding without saffron. However, saffron gives the pudding a beautiful yellow color and a unique flavor. If you do not have saffron, you can substitute it with a few drops of yellow food coloring.
How long can I store rasmalai pudding?
Rasmalai pudding can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, it is best to consume it fresh.
Rasmalai pudding is a delicious and easy-to-make Indian dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It is a creamy and flavorful treat that is sure to please everyone.
If you are as much of a sweet tooth as I am, I have another recipe that will absolutely adore. Try our lush dark chocolate pudding recipe.