½ cup Powdered sugar (Confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar)
1/8 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Cardamom powder
1/8 teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup Ghee (clarified butter) at room temperature (in semi-solid form)
1 tablespoon Almonds sliced
1 tablespoon Pistachios sliced
Preheat the oven 350°F (180°C) for at least 10 minutes.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep it ready.
Take dry ingredients (all purpose flour, besan, semolina, salt, cardamom powder and nutmeg) in a bowl. Whisk it until everything is incorporated well.
Add ghee (NOTE: Ghee should be at room temperature in semi-solid form.)
Start mixing it using a spatula. When it gets like a crumbly texture switch to your hands and start kneading. The warmth from your palm will melt the ghee slightly and it helps to form the dough. The dough should be smooth (not loose or sticky).
Now take a tablespoon size of dough, start rolling and make a smooth, crack-free ball.
Make an indentation in the center with the help of your finger.
Place the cookies few inches apart on the prepared baking tray.
Add sliced almonds and pistachios in the center.
Bake into the preheated oven for 17-18 minutes.
Let the cookies cool down in the pan itself for 10 minutes. Don’t touch them, they might get break or fall apart. Then transfer them on the cooling rack using a spatula and let nankhatai cool down completely.
Fat amount: Do not reduce the amount of ghee. The fat vs flour ratio has to be right to achieve a flaky texture.
Fat consistency: Ghee has to be at room temperature in semi-solid form (check ingredient pic of the reference.) If it’s in the solid form then you won’t be able to knead the dough. If it’s melted then you’ll end up with the loose, sticky dough.
Flour: You can use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. But the texture will be slightly dense.
The dough became loose and sticky: This may happen if you are living in a hot climate and ghee is melted while kneading the dough. If so, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. So ghee will solidify slightly and it won’t be soft anymore.
Nankhatai crumbled up: You have touched them too soon. Let them cool completely before touching or lifting by hand. As they come out from the oven, they are still soft and fragile. Let it cool down in the pan itself without disturbing for 10 minutes. They will firm up during this cooling time. Then using a spatula transfer them to the cooling rack and let them cool down completely.
Heat ghee in pan. Add ricotta and mix. Let water burn out by cooking on medium for a few minutes.
Add condensed milk and stir. Cook, stirring every other minute or so for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add milk powder, thoroughly mixing. Cook until mixture begins to form into a paste like mix, pulling away from the pan. It should be a little moist but come together. Don’t overcook else peda will become too dry.
Add cardamom and mix. Turn off gas.
If using cutters or shapes, pour mixture into a pan. I used a 9X9 brownie pan and pressed into pan with bottom of a bowl. If making traditional shapes just turn out mixture onto a piece of parchment paper.
Make shapes or cut outs as you wish and serve!
Be sure not to overcook the mix they retain some moisture once dried
1 teaspoon sooji (rava or cream of wheat) or all purpose flour or cornstarch
1 to 2 tablespoon rose water or kewra water or ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1. Take 1 litre of whole milk in a pan and bring it to a low boil on a low to medium heat.
NOTE: I used organic cow’s milk, which does not have much fat. If you use buffalo milk, it has too much of fat and makes for a thick layer of malai/cream floating on top. You have to remove the thick layer of malai before you proceed with the making of chenna.
2. While the milk is heating up, line a mesh strainer or colander with a piece of cheese cloth or muslin.
3. Keep stirring the milk at intervals. This will help to prevent froth from forming on top and the base from scorching.
4. When the milk comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to its lowest. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Start with just 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and stir very well. If the milk has not curdled completely, then add more. Keep the lemon juice handy so you can add it as needed.
NOTE: Depending on the quality of milk, you may need extra acid to get the milk to curdle. Vinegar also can be added instead of lemon juice. Another option is curd/yogurt. Add 4 to 5 tbsp of yogurt (or more if required).
5. As soon as the milk curdles, switch off the heat. The milk should curdle completely and you should see a green watery whey.
6. Now pour the curdled milk in the cheese cloth/muslin lined strainer or bowl.
TIP: The whey is very nutritious, so don’t discard it! Add it to your chapati dough or in dals or curries.
7. Gather the muslin from the sides and rinse the chenna or coagulated milk solids very well in running water. This brings down the temperature of chenna as well as removes the lemony flavor and tangy taste from the chenna.
NOTE: If you used yogurt/curd in place of the lemon, you don’t need to rinse the chenna in water.
8. Now squeeze the muslin with your hands very well so that excess water is drained from the chenna.
Any excess moisture in the chenna will cause the rasgulla to break when cooking.
9. Place a heavy weight on the chenna for 7 to 8 minutes, or hang it for about 30 minutes.
10. After the chenna is thoroughly drained, remove the cheesecloth. Think of chenna like Goldilocks – it should not have too much moisture nor be too dry. The texture below is just right!
Make Rasgulla Balls
11. Add 1 teaspoon unroasted sooji, rava or semolina. The rava I had was coarse, but a finer one will also work well.
NOTE: You can substitute all purpose flour/maida to bind the dough. For a gluten-free option, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch instead of semolina or all purpose flour.
12. First mix the sooji with chenna and then begin to knead.
If you see that the chenna is watery, then you have a bit too much water. You can add some maida (all purpose flour) so that extra moisture is absorbed. Alternatively, keep a heavy weight on the chenna again so that the extra water or whey gets drained.
If the chenna looks crumbly and dry, then this means that you need some more moisture. To correct this, sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of water while kneading.
13. With the heels of your palms, mash the chenna and knead. Keep on collecting the chenna from the sides and continue to mash and knead.
This kneading process is very important and also decides the texture of chenna. When you feel your palms becoming a bit greasy, it is time to stop.
Just a bit of greasiness is required. Avoid kneading to an extent where the whole chenna becomes greasy.
I kneaded for about 10 minutes as I have very light hands. Depending on the quality of chenna and the pressure you apply while kneading, you can take more or less time.
14. Knead to a smooth ball of chenna which should be able to come together without breaking or falling apart.
15. A close up photo showing you the texture of the chenna dough.
16. Now pinch small portions from the chenna and roll them between your palms to a smooth round ball.
17. Prepare all small balls this way. There will be some fine cracks on the chenna balls. Don’t worry! This is normal.
18. Cover all the chenna balls with a moist muslin or kitchen towel and keep aside.
Make Sugar Syrup
19. In a large pot, take 2 cups sugar.
20. Add 4 cups water (1 litre). Be sure to use a large pot or pan so that there is enough space for the rasgulla to cook and increase in size. You can also use a stovetop pressure cooker.
I used a pot measuring 8.5 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches in height, roughly 3.5 litres.
NOTE: I used organic raw sugar, hence the golden tones to it. White sugar will also work just fine.
21. Heat the sugar solution on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring so the sugar dissolves. You don’t need to boil the solution.
If there are impurities in the sugar solution, then move to the next step. If no impurities, then move to Step 25.
NOTE: To save time, I kneaded the chenna and cooked the sugar syrup simultaneously.
22. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and stir. Adding milk helps in removing impurities. If there are no impurities, then you don’t need to add milk and may directly proceed to step 25.
23. Once the sugar solution becomes hot, the impurities begin to float on the top.
24. You can either remove them with a spoon…
24. Or choose to strain the impurities in a cheese cloth/muslin lined strainer. I prefer this method.
25. Reserve ½ cup of sugar solution to add later while cooking the rasgulla.
26. Reserve another 1 cup of the filtered sugar solution in a serving bowl.
27. Add the rest of the sugar solution (approximately 2.5 cups) back to the same large pot and bring it to a boil on a medium high heat.
28. Gently slide the rasgulla balls into the sugar solution.
29. Once all the rasgulla have been added to the sugar solution, gently shake the pot. Don’t stir the rasgulla with a spoon.
30. Cover immediately with a lid and let them cook. Keep the heat to a medium or medium high.
31. After 4 minutes, open the lid and add ¼ cup of the reserved sugar solution. Shake the pot.
Adding the reserved sugar solution ensures that the temperature and consistency of the sugar solution is maintained and the sugar does not cook to thread stage.
32. Cover again and continue to cook.
33. After 4 minutes, again add ¼ cup of the reserved sugar solution. Cover and again cook for 2 minutes.
In total, the rasgulla balls cooked for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, they had increased in size and were done.
How to Know When Rasgulla Are Done
34. You have to check the doneness while the rasgulla are simmering. Once the rasgulla are cooked through, switch off the heat and keep the pot down.
The time to cook rasgulla will vary depending on the thickness and quality of pot; the size of pot; and the intensity of the heat.
The time range can be somewhere between 7 to 11 minutes. So you can add the ¼ cup sugar syrup after 2 to 3 minutes also instead of 4 minutes.
I used a thick bottomed wide and deep pot, so the cooking time was slightly more for me.
35. There are two ways to check the doneness of rasgulla.
First method is to place the rasgulla in a bowl or cup of water. If the rasgulla sinks to the bottom and stays there, its cooked.
Second method is to press a small portion of the rasgulla with your finger. If the pressed portion bounces back to its original shape, its done.
Soaking Rasgulla in Sugar Syrup
36. Once they are cooked, take each rasgulla with a spoon.
37. Place it in the serving bowl containing the reserved 1 cup of sugar solution. Cover and keep aside.
38. Let the sugar solution in which the rasgulla were cooked cool to a warm temperature. Then add this sugar solution to the serving bowl containing the rasgulla.
39. Once the whole mixture has cooled down, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of rosewater. Stir gently. Allow them to soak in the syrup for about 30 minutes, so that the flavors infuse the rasgulla.
TIP: Some flavoring has to be added, otherwise you will get a milky taste in the rasgulla. In case the milky taste is there, then you can increase the amount of rosewater or add 1 teaspoon cardamom powder.
NOTE: If you don’t have rose water you can substitute kewra water (pandanus water) or ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. You can even use both rosewater and cardamom powder.
12 to 15 Rasgulla – homemade or store brought ones
1 litre whole milk
4 to 5 tablespoons sugar or add as required
10 to 12 almonds unsalted – blanched
10 to 12 pistachios unsalted – blanched
½ cup water for blanching the almonds and pistachios
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 to 2 teaspoons rose water or kewra water (pandanus water)
8 to 10 saffron strands
few saffron strands – for garnish
1. To make rasmalai, you will need 12 to 15 rasgulla. You can either make them at home or you can use store bought ones.
If you want to make rasgullah at home the next recipe is on rasgullah you can learn from it.
2. Boil ½ cup water, then add 10 to 12 almonds. Cover and keep aside for 30 to 40 minutes.
NOTE: Usually both almonds and pistachios are added, but I had run out of pistachios, so I just used almonds. You can add about 10 to 12 each of the almonds and pistachios.
3. After 30 minutes, peel the almonds and slice them. Keep aside.
4. While the almonds are blanching, add 1 litre of full fat whole milk in a thick bottomed pan or kadai.
5. Bring the milk to a boil on medium flame.
6. While the milk is coming to a boil, take 2 tablespoons of warm milk from the pan and add it to a small bowl. Add 8 to 10 saffron strands. Stir and keep aside.
7. Once the milk has come to a boil, lower the flame and simmer the milk. Collect the floating cream and push it to the sides of the pan using a spoon or spatula. Continue to cook this way till the milk is reduced to half.
8. Keep on collecting the cream which floats on the top and move it to the sides. Also keep stirring the milk at intervals so that the milk does not scorch.
This process of reducing the milk will take about 20 to 25 minutes after the first boil on a low to medium flame.
9. Once the milk has reduced to half of its original volume, add 4 to 5 tablespoons of sugar, or as per your taste.
10. Stir well so that the sugar dissolves. Scrape the milk solids from the sides and reincorporate them into the simmering milk.
11. Add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder.
12. Add most of the sliced almonds, reserving a few for garnish.
13. Also add the saffron dissolved milk.
14. Stir to incorporate. Keep simmering the reduced milk at a low heat and stir occasionally. Check the taste and add more sugar if required.
I usually do not thicken the milk quite to Rabri consistency, as the rasgullas need to soak some of the sweetened milk. Just reduce the milk till it’s roughly half of its original quantity.
15. Take each rasgulla and gently apply pressure with a spatula so the sugar syrup is removed from it. You can also press and squeeze the rasgulla in your palms. Be gentle and don’t apply too much pressure, as the rasgulla will break. There should be no sugar syrup in the rasgulla.
16. Press all the rasgulla balls this way.
17. Now place the squeezed rasgullas in the simmering milk.
18. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat. You can omit this step and simply place the rasgulla in the prepared rabdi. But they will be more juicy and flavorful if you let them simmer for a couple of minutes.
19. Switch off the heat and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of either rose water or kewra water (pandanus water).
20. Stir gently. Cover and let the rasmalai come to room temperature, then chill thoroughly in the fridge in a covered bowl or container.
Serve rasmalai garnished with some sliced almonds or pistachios and saffron strands. You can also serve rasmalai warm or at room temperature if you prefer. Enjoy!
Mix wheat flour, semolina and oil making tight dough (like for bakhri).
Make 8-9 balls of the dough. Roll out into big thick circles for bakhris.
Roast bakhris on non stick griddle. Pressing so they are cooked well on both sides. Let cool.
Tear bakhri into pieces and grind them in blender. Pass through a sieve. The bigger pieces should be blended again into finer particles.
Mix nutmeg, coconut, almonds and raisins into the wheat/semolina mix. Make a well in the center of the mix.
In a kadai, melt ghee and jaggery on low heat. Pour it into the wheat/semolina mix and combine thoroughly.
Heat 2 tbsp milk in same pan used for jaggery melting. Add to mixture. This will help with binding and reduce amount of ghee needed.
Using your hands, make round ladoos. Decorate with poppy seeds.
Note: My Mom’s recipe does not use cardamom and my preference is not to use it. She uses nutmeg and it adds a warmth and depth that I love. If you like cardamom powder, feel free to use in lieu of nutmeg.
½ teaspoon cardamom powder or 4 to 5 green cardamoms crushed in a mortar-pestle
3/4 cup condensed milk or 220 grams sweetened condensed milk or about ½ tin of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup desiccated or fresh coconut for rolling
chopped dry fruits of your choice (optional)
Coconut Ladoo – Recipe 1
Roasting the coconut
1. Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a frying pan or kadai. You can also use coconut oil.
2. add 1.5 cups tightly packed grated coconut.
3. Stir and roast the coconut on a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes. The roasting is to just get rid of some moisture. Don’t brown them. If using desiccated coconut, then no need to roast it in ghee. Just mix the desiccated coconut with condensed milk and heat the mixture. If using frozen coconut, then let it come at room temperature before you begin to roast it.
Making coconut ladoo
4. Now add ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk. Here I used amul mithai mate.
5. add ½ tsp cardamom powder.
6. Stir very well and cook this mixture on a low flame.
7. When you see that the mixture has begun to thicken, then keep stirring regularly.
8. When the mixture begins to leave the sides of the pan and when you see some coconut fat at the sides, switch off the flame.
9. Pour the coconut ladoo mixture in another bowl or pan. Allow it to cool.
10. When the mixture has cooled completely, pinch small to medium balls from the mixture and form ladoos. Apply some ghee on your palms when shaping the coconut ladoo. in case the mixture is loose and you cannot make ladoo, then put it back on the pan and heat for a few more minutes.
11. Roll the ladoo in desiccated coconut (nariyal ka burada) or in fresh coconut evenly.
12. You can also make all the coconut laddu at once and then roll in the desiccated coconut.
13. Place the coconut laddu in small muffin liners or just place them in a tray.
14. Serve coconut ladoo straight away or refrigerate and serve them later. These coconut ladoo stays good for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.