It was only after coming to US, I learnt to make this easy Ras Malai using ricotta cheese (as substitute for paneer) and that makes the recipe simpler. I am not sure if this is the authentic taste but I am sure it is close to the original.
This is a very easy dessert to make, even though the steps may seem complicated. But if you try it once, you will get a hang of it and realize how simple it is to make. The dessert by no means is a low-fat and not the right one to eat if you are counting calories. But then the taste is delicious, creamy and tasty that it is definitely worth a treat. And come on, a little dessert never hurt anyone right 🙂
Since this is a fail proof recipe I usually make this when we have guests over. And it has not disappointed me so far.
- 15 oz ricotta cheese /425 gms/ 1 tub ( I used part skim)
- ½-¾ cups sugar ( use less if you don’t like it sweet), also note that the milk will be sweet
- 4 cups milk ( I used 2% milk/ whole milk is preferable)
- 1 cup half and half ( optional, no need to use this if using whole milk)
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4-5 strands saffron
- Almonds/pistachio (chopped into fine pieces for garnishing)
Makes: 15-20 medium pieces
- To make the malai/ricotta squares– Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- In a bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and the sugar well. (Make sure there is no water in the cheese)
- To drain the water, I wrapped a cheese cloth around the container (after opening the lid)and turned it upside down for about 1 hour. If there is little water, it is ok as it dries up during baking.
- Next take a baking dish (I used square), grease it and then spread the ricotta sugar mixture so that it is about ½ inch thick. Make sure it is evenly spread especially at the center.
- Note: I sometimes put in a foil of aluminium on the baking sheet, press it tight so that there are no creases around the edges and then grease it with oil spray. After that I level in the ricotta sugar mixture and then bake. This prevents the ricotta squares from sticking to the baking sheet and comes out easily after baked.
- Bake it for 40- 45 minutes until a pale brown color is formed at a top or knife inserted in the middle comes back clean.
- Keep a close watch while baking and make sure it does not brown; else the ricotta part will not taste good.
- After it is cooled, cut them into desired shapes like squares/circles/diamonds. I cut them into squares.
- To make the Ras/ Sweet Milk/ Syrup: In a big container, boil the milk stirring in between so that it does not stick to the bottom.
- Reduce the flame and then add sugar, saffron, half and half, let it simmer and continue to stir in between.
- Let this quantity reduce a bit and thicken and then add the cardamom powder.
- Keep aside for cooling and when it has come to room temperature, add the cut ricotta pieces and almond pieces to the prepared milk/ras/syrup.
- Keep it in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours before serving. Serve chilled!