Easy Ras Malai (using Ricotta cheese)

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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

Ingredients 

  • 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

Method

  • 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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35 comments

  1. BongMom says:

    This will be done soon. I usually use Tinned Rasgullas to make Rasmalai.

    BTW you can mix ricotta with condensed milk and little milk powder or khoya and bake it to make a easy-quick sandesh

  2. Mayuri says:

    Nice rasmalai. I make this very often when I have ricotta cheese on hand. I either bake it in a square pan or in muffin pans for perfect circles.

  3. Jaya Wagle says:

    Supriya,

    That sounds delicious. I too have made it using the canned rasgullas in the past. Will try out this version for the next dinner guests.

    PS: I got a story waiting for you I know you will like. :)

  4. Sharmilee says:

    Rc, my first try of rasamalai was a disaster seeing the word easy tempts me to try ur version…Not only that but ur perfect rasamalai makes me crave for some :)

  5. Medhaa says:

    hey lovely recipe, will try this soon, I assume the sugar is 1/2 – 3/4 cups, its not mentioned above can you confirm. Also can you let me know how u drain the water from the ricotta cheese. Thank you Medhaa

  6. RedChillies says:

    Thanks a bunch for pointing it out, I have corrected the cups, will include how to drain water from cheese.

    Sayantani thanks. Sorry but I have not tried with cottage cheese, I don’t think it will hold well like the ricotta cheese. Also if I remember well, cottage cheese has small globules.

  7. Munni says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe. This turned out delicious.
    Will surely make it again !!! A definite crowd pleaser.
    Thank you red chillies.

  8. Aparna says:

    Would you please let me know how many servings will this recipe serve? I am thinking of making it for a large crowd…thanks for the easy/quick recipe..

  9. Sahnthi says:

    Just tried this out right now. I baked the ricotta squares and everything and have created the syrup with everything in the pot. Only thing I have a bit of trouble with is picking up the ricotta squares from the pan without them breaking apart. Do you have any suggestions about this?

    Great recipe by the way – this is the best one I have come across so far, and it is so easy!! Thanks so much for posting this delicious recipe. I have always used to wait to eat at an indian restaurant or wait till my mom made it (which was about once a year about), and now I can have this whenever I want with this easy and delicious recipe. Thanks!!!

  10. RedChillies says:

    Hi Shanthi, thanks so much for trying and glad you liked it. 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 helps the ricotta squares in coming out much easily. I will update this in my post.

  11. Seema says:

    I too tried this dish. But after baking it on aluminium foil, when i tried to remove it out, it all broke out and the whole plan failed. I did not put oil spray on aluminium foil. I’m not sure, if oil spray may work or not, in removing it out intact.

  12. redchillies says:

    Seema, yes oil spray would be necessary. Also make sure it is cooeld down before it is cut. Sorry this did not work.

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