Kesar Rasmalai

Last night I had a sudden demand for dessert from the boys sometime around 10.30 PM. All I had at hand was lots of milk. And Kesar (saffron).
Kesar: the spice of the Gods! I love the aroma, the hue, the strands-everything about it!

Made this Kesari Rasmalai flavoured and coloured solely with the richness of saffron- no cardamom, no pistachios, almonds or cashews,nothing. Pure Kesar Nirvana. The rasmalai discs are completely melt- in- the- mouth ♡
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And all under thirty minutes!

Ingredients

For the gullas/flat cottage cheese discs
Milk- 1 litre (I used cow milk from the dairy, boiled and removed the cream and then made paneer like this. Semi-skimmed milk works best.
Lemon Juice- 2 tsp (add slowly till milk separates)

Sugar Syrup
Water – 2 cups
Sugar – ½ cup
(Since the gullas here are flat, they can be made in less sugar syrup compared to rasgullas)

For the Ras/Milk Syrup
Whole milk/full cream milk- 1 litre
Sugar- 4 Tbsp (or less/more as per preference)
Kesar- 1 tsp full (soak it in ¼ cup of warm milk (NOT HOT) and leave for 30 minutes)
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Prepare the ras by boiling the whole milk for about 20 minutes till somewhat thickened. Add sugar and let cool.
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Meanwhile make the gullas/rasmalai discs
Boil the semi –skimmed milk, add lemon juice slowly till the milk mass separates. Here is a pictorial on making paneer at home. Strain and wash the paneer thoroughly. Press it under a heavy weight for five minutes to get the whey out. The paneer that you get is crumbly in texture. This is the right kind of paneer to get good gullas.

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Rub with palms till the fat/ghee/chiknayee is released and make discs.
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Mix the water and sugar and bring to a boil and drop the discs in the sugar syrup. Cook covered for about 12-15 minutes.
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To check if the discs are done, drop one in drinking water, if it sinks, it is done. If it is floating, boil for another couple of minutes.
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Once done, remove the discs to clean drinking water which is at room temperature and let cool.
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Assembling the Kesariya Rasmalai
The ras would have cooled from hot to warm now. Stir in the kesar. Squeeze the discs gently and drop into the ras.
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Enjoy warm or chill for a few hours and indulge.
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Making Paneer/Cottage Cheese at home

Paneer/ cottage cheese is used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. Though it is easily available at sweet shops and the supermarket, I like to make mine at home. For Indian desserts like rasgullas, rasmalai and gulab jamuns, fresh home made paneer is a sure- shot way to get excellent results.

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Here is a stepwise illustration on how to make paneer/cottage cheese/chhena at home.

You need

Milk- 1 litre
Lemon Juice/Vinegar- 1-2 Tbsp diluted with 1/2 a Tbsp of water
Some ice cubes (optional)
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  1. Bring to boil a litre of milk (though any variety may be used, I prefer fresh cow milk)
  2. Gradually add lemon juice/vineager stirring the milk till the time the milk  mass  separates from the greenish whey/liquid
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  3. Turn off the heat
  4. Add 10-12 ice cubes
  5. Strain and wash thoroughly with cool drinking water to get rid of the sour lemony smell
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  6. Transfer to a muslin cloth,tie the cloth holding the corners and hang for 10-15 minutes to drain the excess whey.
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Your fresh homemade paneer is ready to use.
It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours but is best used fresh.
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