Rasmalai – a rhapsody in one breath!

Am in shock!


Idly opened my webpage and looked for the recipe to my very favourite, TOP-of-all-the-pops dessert, sure that I must have blogged it early on in the blog and find I HAVEN’T! Omg, OMG! What’s rasmalai going to do to me in revenge? How could I have forgotten?

Better sense prevails – rasmalai is too sweet to do anything to me in return, except maybe look at me reproachfully! All I can say in my defence is that rasmalai has been responsible for at least half the superfluous pounds I carry and therefore my subconscious must have blocked it out! And kudos to the subsconscious too – having come back from Amreeka with excess  baggage that I didn’t have to pay for since I was carrying them strategically positioned on the nether end and the tum (and no, you may not know exactly how many!), i have put myself on a diet and now I just have to go make rasmalai! Never mind, I’ll be extra good for the rest of the week… famous last words?

The love affair with rasmalais has lasted me my entire adult life – which is when I first tasted them and I am sure that you will find a rasmalai-shaped hole in my heart when I die!

Kolkata, you may have a Black Hole, you might need a bath more often, you may have inflicted an incomprehensible music genre on the rest of India (apologies to Robindra Sangeet – the fault is totally mine for having the most unmusical ear in the world!) but… and  it’s a VERY big but – (please refrain from making obvious comparisons with another similar sounding noun which refers to the result of many years of putting away Bengali sweets with gusto!)… but… all is forgiven! Your genius in creating this most delicious of all desserts (whether you did or Odisha did can be settled at another slugfest!) has ensured you a place in culinary paradise forever and ever amen!

There are those (forever consigned to the Hades!) who have attempted to re-work this piece of perfection by flavouring it with strawberries and even, horror of horrors – chocolate! To those I say, repent while you are still alive! Salvation is nigh – if only you will go back to the Goddess of Bong sweets and swear that you will never again interfere with its perfection of cottage cheese dumplings in cold thickened milk and saffron… wait, let me go make some before I perish of want!

Here’s how.


  • Milk 2 litres + 2 litres for the rabdi
  • White vinegar 40 ml
  • Plain flour/maida 2 tsp
  • Cornflour 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar 1.2 kilograms + 6 tbsp
  • Milk 2 tablespoons
  • Saffron strands – a few
  • Slivered pistachios and almonds – 2 tbsp

Bring 2 litres of milk to the boil. Add the vinegar and 2 cups of cold water and stir for a minute. Switch off.

Let it settle for ten minutes and then strain through very thin muslin. Discard the water (or freeze it in cubes for kneading roti dough later!) The water should be completely removed.

Knead together the chenna (the cheesy stuff that you’ve just strained out) with 1 tsp of maida and the cornflour. Knead to a very smooth dough.

Divide into about 25-30 balls and roll till the surface is smooth. Press slightly to flatten them a bit. Set aside.

In the meantime, start another an with the other two litres of milk in it. Reduce milk, stirring frequently till it is reduced to about 1.5 litres.

In another pan, bring the sugar to a boil along with 1 litre of water. Boil for a few minutes, removing the scum as it rises.

Make a slurry of 1 tsp of maida and 1 cup of water and add to the syrup.

Gently slide the chenna discs into the syrup and boil for fifteen minutes, drizzling a few tbsp of water down the sides every few minutes to keep the syrup from getting too thick.

To test, take out one and press with your finger or a spoon (recommended!). If it is spongy and springs back, its done!

Let them soak for ten minutes then squeeze out and slide gently into the rabdi.

Dissolve saffron in 2 tbsp of milk and add.

Cool and then refrigerate.

Serve in bowls with the rasmalai sitting prettily in the middle of a some rabdi and slivered nuts on top.

Do obeisance to the woman/man who invented this!

(Pic courtesy internet)