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Rasmalai – Sweetened Milk Dessert with Soft Paneer(Cottage cheese) Dumplings


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Rasmalai is a milk based Indian (Orissa/Odisha) dessert. Translated, ‘Ras’ means Juice and ‘Malai’ refers to cream made from milk.

Rasmalai is an extension of another sweet dish, Rasgulla. Home made cheese (paneer) is made into soft, smooth discs and are boiled in a sugar syrup. This makes the Rasgulla. In Rasmalai, the disks are squeezed gently and put into a sweetened creamy thickened milk dessert and scented with cardamom and saffron. Nuts are used as garnish.

The trick is to keep the disks smooth and soft and not crumbly in texture.


This recipe prepares a small quantity – enough for 2-3 people. Try it out first and once you’re comfortable with the process just double the recipe for more yield.

Ingredients:  Yield –6 dumplings serves 3 people

For the Rasagulla – Sweet Paneer Dumplings.

  • 2½ cups full cream milk
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ tsp plain flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • You will need a bowl of ice, a colander and  muslin/cheese cloth

For the Flavored Milk:

  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder + some crushed cardamom
  • 1 Tbsp nuts – Almonds Pistachios as desired



To make the Paneer Balls in Sugar syrup (Rasagulla)

  • Add the milk to a heavy bottomed sauce pan and bring to a bubble.
  • As the milk bubbles and just starts to boil, add the lime juice. Do not stir.
  • The milk will soon start to curdle. Stir once or twice, to see if the whey ( the clear yellowish liquid) has separated.
  • As soon as the whey has separated, add a bowl of ice -to cool down the solution and stop further curdling- which will result in not so soft rasagulla.
  • Place a muslin cloth in a colander and place in a bowl.
  • Drain the cheese through the muslin cloth.  Reserve the whey that collects in the bowl.
  • Place the colander containing the cloth with the cheese under running cold water and rinse well. (This helps to remove the sour taste of lemon.)
  • Wrap the rinsed cheese  and twirl the ends of the cloth to make a bundle. Gently press out some liquid and leave to hang for 30 minutes to remove some liquid.
  • The right amount of liquid needs to be removed without drying out the cheese. You know its right when you can roll a small bit of the cheese into smooth balls.
  • If it turns out too dry you can add spoons of the reserved whey till it kneads well.
  • Once the paneer/cheese has reached the correct moisture content, place the muslin bundle over a large kitchen towel and then wrap the dry kitchen towel over the cloth and roll, applying gentle pressure with hands. This is an easy way to knead the paneer till smooth and soft.  Do not knead harshly.
  • Add the flour and knead once again(inside the cloth)till the dough is absolutely smooth. Remove the cloth and pat the cheese cloth with the ball of dough to collect all the bits stuck on the cloth.
  • Divide into 6 equal parts and roll between the palms of your hands till you get smooth balls.
  • Press each ball gently to gets rounded discs.
  • Mix the sugar and water in a pressure cooker and heat till it reaches a rolling boil.
  • Add the cheese discs and close cooker.
  • Cook on high till you hear one steam whistle. Reduce heat to medium (NOT LOW) and cook for 7-8 more minutes.
  • Take off heat and allow cooker to rest 5 minutes. Pour water over cooker to cool it down and then open.
  • Your rasagulla is now ready.
  • Remove from the syrup and press gently to squeeze out some syrup.
  • Now add the milk and the condensed milk to a sauce pan and bring to boil. Simmer till slightly thickened.
  • Add cardamom powder and crushed cardamom.  Simmer till the milk is flavored by the spice.
  • Add strands of saffron and the cheese discs now. Simmer briefly and remove from heat.
  • Add chopped nuts and chill well till served!


Try and Let us know – Rasmalai.


Some like to flavor the rasmalai with rose essenceor rose water and add pink color to make it a rosy treat – instead of flavoring with cardamom.
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