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A Sweet Paneer and Milk Dessert: Ras Malai

A Sweet Paneer and Milk Dessert: Ras Malai

This is a dessert made with paneer, the sponge-like cheese from India, in a milk sauce. If you like milk and cheese, you will be very satisfied with this. It's great to serve to guests.

Ingredients: 4 servings - 16 paneer balls

For the paneer balls:
Paneer (Homemade Indian cheese: Recipe ID: 892420)
about 150 g
Syrup to cook the paneer:
★Water
800 ml
★Sugar
1 cup - 200 ml
For the milk sauce:
■Milk
600 ml
■Sugar
1 tablespoon
■Cardamon
2 pods / or 1/2 teaspoon
Toppings:
Almonds
a small amount
Pistacio nuts, if you have some
a small amount

Steps

1. Make a batch of paneer cheese (see Recipe ID: 892420). Drain well.
2. Put the paneer on a plate, and knead well using the pads of your thumbs, as if you were kneading bread dough.
3. After 3 to 5 minutes, the paneer that was all separate before will graduallly come together.
4. When it has come together nicely, form into a square.
5. Cut the square into 16 pieces.
6. Roll each cut piece gently into a ball with your palms. Press down lightly with your thumb to form flat balls.
7. This is how they look when they're all formed.
8. Put the ★ water and sugar in a large pan, and bring to a boil to make the sugar syrup. Please adjust the amount of sugar to taste.
9. When the syrup comes to a boil, add the paneer balls one by one. Cover securely with a lid and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
10. The paneer balls will swell up to about twice their original size. At this point they will be sponge-like in texture.
11. Put the balls and syrup together onto a plate and leave to cool down until you can touch them with your hands.
12. Combine the ■ milk, cardamon, and sugar and heat slowly over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Stir up from the bottom occasionally so that it doesn't burn.
13. Take the paneer from step 11 out of the sugar syrup and press lightly with your fingers to extract some of the syrup. Rest on a plate.
14. Add the lightly squeezed out paneer to the boiled milk from step 12. Let the spongelike paneer absorb the milk.
15. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat. Stir it up occasionally so the bottom doesn't get burned.
16. After cooling down the sauce to about room temperature, chill it for 2 hours in the refrigerator. If you are in a hurry, cool the whole pan in ice water.
17. Put 3 to 5 paneer dumplings per serving on a plate, top with some nuts, and it's done. In Hindi this dish is called Ras malai.

Story Behind this Recipe

This dessert, which is served at wedding feasts in India too, is a great dish to serve to guests that everyone likes. People talk about "that ras malai served at that wedding..." years after the fact.
In India, fall and winter are the seasons for festivals. So I made this to fit the seasons.