My early adulthood is littered with memories of going to S’s home and gorging on the Rasmalai her mother made. I would basically raid her fridge, opening and taking what I wanted. In S’s home, no one seemed to mind. In fact, they sort of took it for granted that I would raid the fridge, and would keep chocolates on the side bar, so I won’t have to look for it much. They also had loads of mishti in the fridge, which I would eat steadily through the day, lolling on S’s bed, and discussing … ahem… well, lets not talk about what we used to discuss.
The memories of those lovely afternoons with amazing food will always be there in my heart.
The key to making good rasmalai is to get the perfect roshogolla for it. Those who think making it is easy, I bow to their superior knowledge. I don’t a) have the time, or b) have the enthusiasm to make roshogolla from scratch. My version contains store-bought roshogolla which I generally source from Jamuna Sweets, near my house, an adorable little place which makes them around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I pick up twenty or so at one go, and well, when it comes to cooking, only 14 of them go into the pot, because the rest, by that time, has become history (I swear I didn’t eat them! It was the mother!).
The rasmalai I make is quick, easy to make, and needs less than ten ingredients. I add some coarsely ground cashew to it, because I am not much of a fan of thin, runny milky rasmalai and prefer it with a bit of a texture.
Start by adding a few strands of good quality saffron to a couple of tablespoons of hot milk. Let rest for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the juices from about 8-10 medium sized roshogolla and reserve the syrup.
Heat a pan and add 400 ml. whole milk. Add to it one whole cardamom, bashed slightly, or 1/4th teaspoon cardamom powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the milk comes to a rolling boil. Then lower the temperature to a simmer and keep stirring every 20-30 seconds to avoid the formation of a skin on the surface of the milk. Cook till the milk is reduced to 2/3rd of its original quantity. Add 4-5 tablespoons of the sugar syrup reserved from the roshogolla. Stir it in and cook for 3-4 minutes more.
Add a teaspoon of finely chopped cashews. You can also bash them till they are ground, but I like the texture of the finely chopped one. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, and then add the squeezed out roshogolla and the saffron milk. Turn off the heat and let the dish cool down to room temperature. At this point, you can put them in a fridge and let it cool for 2-3 hours minimum before eating, or you can have them straight off the pan, lava hot, but oh so good!