Recipe by Girl from India
Cottage cheese balls in thickened milk. A truly delectable Indian dessert from the state of Bengal. Very popular at weddings and parties. Do try it! It is from the same family as the Rasgolla. (method for which also is included in the following recipe so the recipe looks a little longwinded)
For the cottage cream cheese balls
- 2 liters milk
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (any curdler like vinegar or citric acid)
- 800 ml water
- 900 g sugar
- 20 gm. flour (optional)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
For the thickened milk
- 500 ml whole milk
- 100 g sugar (1/2 cup)
- 3 -4 green cardamoms, peeled and ground coarsely
- 25 g pistachios, blanched,skinned and slivered
- 1⁄4 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in
- 15 ml milk
Directions See How It's Made
- For the cheese balls: Bring the milk to boiling point.
- Add the lime juice/ vinegar in little doses till the milk curdles completely and the liquid separates from the cheese.
- Strain the cheese after washing it in a number of changes of water to ensure that there are no traces of the lime or vinegar left.
- Hang it in a cheesecloth for about 40 mins to allow the remaining water to drip away.
- Put the drained cheese on a plate or in a food processor.
- Knead or blend on low to a smooth consistency.
- Now add the baking powder and flour (if using)- add it only if the dough is too sticky and unmanageable.
- In the mean while keep the water to boil and add the sugar to it.
- Let it dissolve completely.
- Skim away any impurities.
- Bring to a simmering point.
- While this is boiling shape the dough into 20 little walnut shaped balls if making rasgollas (balls in sugar syrup) and into flat shapes like patties for rasmalai.
- Add the balls to the syrup (put one on a trial basis first if it breaks up you may need to add a little more flour to the dough. Otherwise you may end up with all of them forming a huge mess in the water) and simmer on low heat till the balls are double in size (about 10 mins)- for rasgollas you may have to boil them for around 20 mins and add the cardamom and saffron to the water.
- Carefully remove the balls with a slotted spoon and keep aside for 3-4 mins to drain.
- For the rasgollas pour the syrup over the balls when it has cooled and refrigerate till needed.
- For the rasmalai you will have to make the thickened milk: Reduce the 500 ml milk to half (250 ml) on low heat stirring occasionally (add the cardamom powder to the milk as it simmers).
- Add the sugar stir, cool and refrigerate.
- To serve, pour the chilled milk over the cheese balls and refrigerate for atleast 30 mins.
- Sprinkle with the saffron strands and the pistachios.
- Alternatively you can add the saffron and rose water instead of the cardamom as the milk boils so that it gets coloured for a kesari rasmalai.
- Note: Most of the time I do not thicken the milk too much but just bring the milk to a boil and add sugar and give the rasgollas a boil in the milk too and then chill.