I don’t have a big sweet tooth and don’t eat a lot of Indian sweets. However, there are some exceptions to this. I do love aate ka halwa, Kaju katli and ras malai. Ras Malai is an amazing Indian dessert, which is chena/cottage cheese dumplings dunked in chilled rabri pudding.
It is soft, light, and not overpoweringly sweet. If you wish to control your sweet portions like me, then you can have it with lesser rabri. I have made this recipe from scratch using full cream milk. You can also use tinned rasgullas and make a quick rabri and get make a super quick version too.
If you have a sweet tooth and like milk-based sweets then don’t forget to try my Lemon and Pistachio Kalakand too.
- I have used full cream milk for this recipe and I would advise you to use the same. Using toned milk would not give you the same results.
- Since I only had a small lemon at home, I used that but it was not enough to curdle the milk, and hence I used a little vinegar as well.
- Chill this in a refrigerator for several hours to enjoy this chilled and the rabri would get dense too.
- I have added pistachios and almonds for this recipe, you can omit nuts if you are allergic to them.
PREPARATION TIME: 5-6 hours
COOKING TIME: 40 minutes
DIFFICULTY SCALE: Medium
For the Chena Dumplings –
- Full cream milk – 1 liter
- Lemon juice/Vinegar – 2-3 tablespoons
- Ice – 1 cup
For boiling the Dumplings –
- Corn flour – 1 teaspoon
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 4 cups
For the Rabri –
- Full cream milk – ½ liter
- Sugar – ¼ cup
- Cardamom powder – ½ teaspoon, freshly ground
- Saffron – 2-3 pinch
- Pistachios – 9-10
- Almonds – 9-10
For the Chena Dumplings –
- Take a heavy bottom pan and boil a liter of full cream milk.
- Once the milk boils, immediately turn the heat to simmer and add lemon juice/vinegar to the milk.
- As soon as it curdles, remove from heat and add a cup of ice cubes or cold water. This will stop the cooking process immediately and ensure that we get a super soft chena.
4. Strain the chena into a strainer and drain the whey. Save some whey in a small bowl (you might need this later for kneading)
5. Wash the chena under running water for a minute to remove any tartness from the lemon or vinegar.
6. Place this chena in a muslin cloth or kitchen towel and hang it near a tap so that all the excess whey drains. Hang it for an hour.
For boiling the Chena dumplings –
- After an hour, take this chena onto a plate and start kneading it with clean hands.
- Add a teaspoon of cornflour and use your palms to mix it well. Make sure that the chena doesn’t have any lumps. Do this for 10 minutes.
- You have to retain some moisture in your chena. It should not be completely dry. If it feels dry, then take a little whey in your hands that we saved from before, and use it for softening the chena dough.
- Make small size balls of the chena and keep them aside. Remember that these balls would double in size, so make them according to your preference. I made them the size of a small lemon and got 10 pieces.
11. Add 1 cup of sugar in 4 cups of water and place it in a wide pan. You can also use a kadhai for this. Allow it to boil and make sure that the sugar dissolves completely.
12. Now gently add the balls to the boiling sugar syrup and let them cook. Keep the heat on medium.
13. Make sure that you are not overcrowding the pan and the chena are not touching each other.
14. Cook them for 12-15 minutes. They will double in size by then.
15. Turn off the heat now. Let them sit in the sugar syrup for 15-20 minutes while they cool. They will absorb some sugar by then.
For the Rabri –
- Now take a non-stick pan or a heavy bottom pan and boil about half a liter milk on high heat.
- Once it boils, turn the heat to low. Keep stirring the milk frequently.
- This will ensure that the milk condenses and gets a rabri like consistency.
- Once the milk reduces to about two-thirds of the quantity you started with, add in half a cup of sugar. Since you will eat this chilled, the mix needs to be slightly sweeter.
- Crush the seeds of about 5-6 green cardamoms after removing the pods.
- Add the crushed cardamom powder into the milk along with a few strands of saffron. Mix well.
22. Take this away from heat and allow it to cool down for 15-20 minutes.
Final assembly –
- Take the boiled chena dumplings out of the sugar syrup using a strainer. Do this gently.
- Squeeze out the excess syrup and flatten the dumpling to make a flat cutlet type shape.
25. Now place them in a bowl next to each other.
26. Drizzle the cooled rabri on top.
27. Crush some almond and pistachios and add them on top.
28. Refrigerate for 5-6 hours or overnight and serve your Ras Malai chilled.