Rasmalai is the next favourite Bengali sweet in the country after rasgulla. It has been widely accepted over the years and hence, you will find several shops in North India as well as the West, selling this golden saffron coloured dessert. Due to it’s ease of making, it also is a party favourite and is often found in the caterer’s menu. Having said that, I tasted daber rasmalai for the first time from a caterer’s menu.
I have been very fond of rasmalai. For most part of my life, I have lived in places where you couldn’t get good quality rasgullas. Hence, tinned rasgullas were the only ones available but they don’t taste anything like the real thing. So, Ma would end up using the tinned rasgullas for making roshomalai. It’s the easiest thing to do. Daber roshomalai, was however, a much later finding. It was at one of our friend’s wedding, that the caterer had made this. From one spoonful of it, it wasn’t difficult to figure out the recipe. Then I came home and tried making it and it was really appreciated by everyone.
About Daber Rasmalai
Traditionally, it would be called daber roshomalai but for the benefit of all readers, let’s leave it to daber rasmalai. Rasmalai is one Bengali sweet which has been adopted by the entire country. Daber rasmalai is a variation of this Indian sweet. The key ingredient here is daab or tender coconut. Therefore, what we need is the thick flesh of tender coconut to thicken the sauce. Saffron is not used in this recipe nor any cardamom. What I really prefer is the subtle flavour of tender coconut coming through, in this dish. Little chunky pieces of tender coconut along with a soft spongy rasgulla tastes heavenly.
You can make your own rasgulla or use store bought ones
There isn’t any rule that you have to make your own rasgulla for a rasmalai. You can use store bought ones or even the tinned ones. However, if you are in a place, where you cannot source rasgulla, then follow these steps to make soft rasgullas. The most important step of the process is to use full fat Cow’s milk.
How to Make your Own Rasgulla
Take 1 lt of full fat cow’s milk and boil it. Use lemon juice to curdle the milk and then strain it to make chhena. Wash the chhena thoroughly under running water to remove all lemony scent. Then comes another crucial part, removing all excess water. Havinf said that, remove excess moisture but not all of it. Tie the chhena in a cheesecloth or muslin cloth and keep it in a strainer with a weight on top for half hour. The extra moisture would be taken out. Take a tsp of cornflour in this chhena and knead into a smooth dough.
Kneading is a tedious process and you can use a shortcut of using a food processor. Make a sugar syrup with 1 cup of sugar and 4 cups of water. Then, make small balls of the chhena and let them boil in sugar syrup for 15 to 20 minutes. Take one out and drop it in a bowl of water. If the rasgulla drops to the bottom, you know that it is cooked. Ma used to make them in a pressure cooker but I find it easier to cook in a saucepan, where I can see what’s going on.
Serving and Storing Suggestions
Daber rasmalai needs to be served chilled. Infact, it tastes better and the flavours are pronounced after a couple of hours of chilling in the refrigerator. Having said that, It’s best to consume this within two to three days of making the dish. Since there is tender coconut in the sauce, it doesn’t stay well for more than three days.
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- 2 nos tender coconut with pulp
- 1 lt full fat milk
- 1/2 can condensed milk
- 8-10 nos rasgulla Read above on how to make your own rasgulla
- 2 tsp cornflour optional
- Boil the milk and then let it simmer till the quanty reduces by half. This will take about half hour to 45 minutes and you need to stir occasionally.
- Add condensed milk to taste. Sweeten the milk with condensed milk. Stir thoroughly and let it simmer.
- If you have shop bought rasgullas or even the tinned ones, squeeze out the syrup and cut them into halves or quarters (if they are too big).
- Add those to the milk and give it a boil. If your milk has thickened enough, then you don't need to follow the next step. Adding cornflour is not traditional but a shortcut I use only for rasmalai.
- Take half a cup of milk from the saucepan and add a tsp and half or if required 2 tsp of cornflour and make a slurry. Add that slurry to the saucepan with the thickened milk and give it a boil. Then turn it off and let it cool down.
- In the meanwhile, cut open the tender coconut and keep some of that sweet coconut water.
- Cut the pulp into small pieces. When the milk has almost cooled down, add the chopped pulp and 3 to 4 tbsp of tender coconut water. Stir through and then chill it in the refrigerator.
- It tastes the best when you let it sit in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
- Serve chilled.