Friday, September 19, 2008

Quick & Easy Ras Malai (Ricotta Cheese Dessert With Almonds & Pistachios)

We just made this dessert for a large gathering (500 servings!) and everyone enjoyed it tremendously. It is the easy version without having to start from scratch - i.e. making paneer. A fantastic make-ahead dessert that really is quick and easy!

12 Servings


2 lbs Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Sugar
2 cups Whole Milk
1 pinch Saffron (Optional)
1 Tbsp Cardamom Pods
1/4 cup Blanched Almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Raw Pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/8 tsp Freshly grated Nutmeg (Optional)
1 Tbsp Rose Water


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Combine thoroughly the ricotta cheese with 1/2 cup of the sugar.

Spread the cheese mixture in the buttered pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool; then cut into squares or rectangles - as desired, and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.

In the meantime, boil the milk with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and simmer for 30 minutes.

While milk is simmering, peel the cardamom pods and gather the seeds; discard the shells.

Grind the cardamom seeds with the saffron and a teaspoon of sugar into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.

Turn off heat and stir in the nutmeg, saffron, cardamoms, and almonds into the hot milk.

Pour the milk mixture carefully over the baked cheese and let cool.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.

Stir in rose water before serving.

Serve cold - accompany the pieces of the ras malai with some of the sauce .

Rose water is available in Indian markets.

P.S. You may use purchased paneer to make ras malai. Paneer is available at Indian markets. Store bought paneer is very dense; so mash well with a few tbsp of milk first and then add the sugar. Then proceed as above. If you prefer a sweeter dish, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup more sugar to the milk.

No comments: