Friday, September 28, 2012

Bengali Rasmalai / Angoori Rasmalai - A Guest Post By Sayantani Mahapatra

Whips up a feast in the kitchen, grows her veggies in her garden patch, dabbles in photography. Self employed as an interior decorator, loves to gift pretty things she crafts herself. When a Mom of a little kid does all this and more, its hard not to be impressed! Sayantani Mahapatra of A Homemakers Diary calls herself a true Bengali at heart, though Bangalore was home to her for quite sometime. It was a surprise for me to discover that she lived in the same city, though I have not had the pleasure of meeting her when she was here.

Try resisting this Tangerine Ricotta Pudding or these Baked Savory Onion Crackers. Eye-catching Shahi Gulabs will make a fantastic center -piece for your next dinner party. Ditto to her Naksha Bori. If you live in Kolkatta you will love her for compiling info on sourcing baking ingredients in the city. Hop on to her blog for all this and loads more!

Thank you very much for your kind words for me Sayantani, I am truly humbled. Love your Angoori Rasmalai, which happens to be one of my favorite favorite Bengali sweets. So here is Sayantani bringing for you spongy cottage cheese dumplings soaked in saffron laced milk - Heavenly, absolutely!!

 Bengali Rasmalai or Angoori Rasmalai… what’s in a name

Suma, this lovely lady is not only the face behind my most favorite Indian baking blog Cakes and more but also is a source of inspirations to me. I have written many times how she helped me to realize my long-standing dream of baking bread at home. Every time I look at her blog I am amazed at how she manages so many things at one time. When I struggle with a 3 years old she efficiently manages her job, two kids, home and then she bakes beautiful treats. Fudgy brownies, crunchy cookies, pillowy breads and creamy puddings…you will find every baked goodies in her blog which dreams are made of. Every time I check her blog I feel like shifting base again and rent a place near to her house.

So when she asked me to do a guest post for her I was more than delighted. Not only this is my first guest post but the fact that the opportunity is for one of my favorite blogs  made it extra special.

Very logically my first choice was to submit some baked goodies but the oven has just got busted a few weeks back so here I am with a recipe that my family thinks I make best, a recipe for a cherished Bengali sweet. In my home this is known as guti’r payes or milk pudding with tiny little balls of rasgullas but when I came to kolkata I found this being sold as Rasmalai. I fought with the shop keepers in favour of those plump oval shaped spongy dumplings soaked in heavenly saffron flavoured milk, known all over India as Rasmalai. But no they dint budge and kept on saying that this is Bengali Rasmalai. Even many of my Facebook readers confirmed this as Bengali Rasmalai and some even informed another name of this dessert as ‘Indrani’.

Though am not yet sure of its name but that does not reduce how amazing it tastes. Given a chance I much prefer it to the regular rasmalai. The tiny little spongy cheese balls are a delight to bite on. almost like burst of sweetness and juices on your tongue. Also if you are a confident pressure cooker user making this does not take much time.

Bengali Rasmalai
(serves 6-7)

Full fat milk: 1.5 litres
Condensed milk: 1/3 cup
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
Sugar: 1 cup
Green cardamom: 4 pieces
Flaked almond and pistas for decoration

Lets make the chana or cottage cheese first. Heat 1-liter milk in a thick bottomed pan. Once it starts to boil pour in the limejuice. Reduce the flame to low and stir gently. The milk will curdle and clear whey will separate. Strain the paneer in a muslin cloth. Wash under cold running water to get rid of the lemony smell and then hang it for ½ an hour to drain the extra whey. After that tie the cloth to make a small pouch containing the cottage cheese. Place this on an inverted stainless steel plate. Cover this with another rplate and Place something heavy on it like a stone mortar or a 5 liter jar of oil. Keep it like this for another 30 minutes or so.

At the end of it take out the cheese on a wide plate and start kneading. Gently press and spread it on the plate with the heel of your palm. Do this for 4-5 minutes or till a smooth dough is formed. Make very small (pea sized) balls out of it. Roll between your palm to make the outer surface smooth.

Boil the 3 cups of water and the sugar in a wide pressure cooker. Add 2 crushed green cardamoms in it. Once the syrup comes to a rolling boil place the chena balls in very carefully. Attach the lid and cook on medium till two whistles. Let the steam dissipate naturally. Open and carefully take them out one by one. Try not to crowd the cooker or the tiny balls will break. Do this in 2-3 batches.

Take out the balls from the syrup and gently squeeze out the syrup and keep aside.While the chena balls are simmering, start boiling the remaining ½ liter milk in another heavy bottomed pan. Once it comes to boil add the condensed milk and let it simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning at the bottom. Add the chena balls in it along with crushed cardamom powder and simmer
gently for another couple of minutes.

Cool and sere with a generous sprinkle of flaked almonds and chopped pistachios.

Hope you will like this dessert recipe while Suma is away on a small blogging break.


Unknown said...

lovely post..I always love her posts..rasmalai looks awesome..a must try recipe.

Sum said...

Love this one...

Indian Khana said...

Looks so delish ...nice pics

Hamaree Rasoi said...

When Sayantani was in Blr we both tired a lot to squeeze in little time to meet but alas !! A very hard working and creative lady she is...These cute small cheese dumplings are looking very tempting...

Archana said...

What a beautiful looking rasmalai. I rarely ever try making Indian desserts at home, but this looks really beautiful. S and S, you girl really rock ! said...

Cannot take my eyes off that 'Ras Angoori' as its called back home :))
Super like

Archana said...

Fabulous post. Even I admire Sayantani and her creations.

I am hosting Bake Fest all through Sept ’12. Do send me your entries
I am also hosting Fast Food Not Fat Food 1st Sept to 15th Oct ’12. Do send me your entries

divya said...

superb looks... will you pass it to me...beautiful clicks...

Priya Suresh said...

Sayantani rocks, if i need to make some bengali foods,i'll go directly to her space.

Such a fabulous damn attractive rasmalai.