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Ras Malai is a popular dessert in India. Ras malai consists of sugary, cream to yellow-colored balls (or flattened balls) of paneer soaked in malai (thick milk) flavored with cardamom.

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.

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Rasmalai Recipe


  • 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! 
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