Ras Malai

Ras Malai a sweet dessert originating in India and is popular throughout the Indian subcontinent. It is served after a meal and is popular throughout South Asia. The name Ras Malai comes from two parts in Hindi and Urdu: Ras, which means Juice/Juicy, and Malai, which means cream. Ras Malai consists of sugary white, cream or yellow colored balls (or flattened balls) of paneer soaked in malai (clotted cream) flavored with cardamom Homemade Ras Malai is usually made up of powdered milk, all-purpose flour, baking powder and oil; kneaded to form a dough, molded into balls and dropped into simmering milk with cream. As you can see from this version we changed the recipe to make it easier for everyone to make this sweet dessert. The balance of the cheese balls and the chopped nuts made for a real winner in our books. The dessert should be made ahead of the meal and allowed to completely cool. I made mine in a mini muffin pan, but you can use a regular muffin pan as well. When cooking in a regular muffin pan, the time will be 40 to 50 minutes to cook, using the smaller pan obviously cut down on the time a bit, I cooked until the edges started to brown. Very important to allow to cool before removing, if not they are still to squishy and not properly set and you will tear them apart.

You will need (I doubled the recipe for us ; the following is for four people )

• 1-3/4 (15 ounce) containers whole-milk ricotta cheese
• 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon white sugar
• 3 cups half and half
• 1-2/3 cups white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 3/4 teaspoon rose water (optional)
• 1-3/4 pinches saffron (Saffron’s flavor, intense yellow color and relative scarcity make it one of the most prized spices.) you can sub turmeric, just use less; the flavor is much more intense
• 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons chopped blanched almonds
• 1 tablespoon and 1/4 teaspoon chopped pistachio nuts

1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Blend the ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup sugar together in a bowl with a hand mixer; divide the mixture between 12 muffin cups. Or 24 smaller muffin cups

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3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Arrange the cheese balls onto a dessert platter.
4. While the cheese bakes, pour the half and half into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat; simmer 10 minutes. Stir 1 cup sugar, the cardamom, rose water, and saffron into the half and half and simmer another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Drizzle the cooled mixture over the cheese balls. Sprinkle the almonds and pistachios over the cheese balls to serve.

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 Enjoy the recipe and as always let me know if you liked it. I can be reached at LauraLovinglife@ Hotmail.com

Bon appétit


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