Tuesday, 26 April 2011

ras malai.


shopping list
200g paneer cheese
one pint of full fat milk
200ml of double cream
150g caster sugar
a quarter of a teaspoon ground cardamom
one teaspoon flaked or chopped almonds
a pinch of paprika
two teaspoons chopped pistachios, around fifteen nuts.

this is a traditional indian dessert which is totally easy to make and sure to wow.

interestingly, the original recipe which worked for me suggested using ricotta, which i tweaked myself and used a pre-made block of paneer cheese.

i then realised the reason that many opt for soft ricotta or making their own fresh - the cheese really is in a block, almost with a blue tack haloumi consistency. i overcame this by simply boiling the block of cheese in water for a few minutes to soften it up. a tip which i would recommend for anyone, especially due to the next element of the recipe. unless of course, you are popeye himself.

preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180 degrees.

next, use a blender, i used handheld, to get the paneer into a cottage cheese like form, adding 50g of the sugar as you go. this actually makes a gorgeous smelling sweet mixture which with only two components is hard to believe that they make a biscuit when cooked.

scoop the mixture into a cake tray and bake for around thirty minutes. it should make roughly twelve. i insist you check these regularly as when they reach a golden brown it only takes seconds for them to unknowingly burn underneath.

while the cheese biscuits bake, pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat; simmer ten minutes. stir the remaining 100g sugar, cardamom, and paprika into the milk mixture and simmer another couple of minutes.

remove from heat and allow to the sauce to cool completely. similarly, allow the biscuits to cool for around ten minutes before getting them out of the tray.

drizzle the cooled mixture over the cheese dumplings and sprinkle the almonds and pistachios to serve.

or if you want to try this indian delight without having to do the washing up, try it here at one of my favourite indian restaurants, tamatanga.

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