Diwali is around the corner. Good food and wonderful memories make any festival more enjoyable for us. The holiday season begins in most part of the world in October. In US, England and part of Europe, it began with Halloween. For Indians, the festival season began in the beginning of October with Vinayagar / Ganesh Chathurthi and Navaratri.
Next on our list is Diwali. They are known as festival of lights. The festival involves lighting small clay lamps. It signifies the win of good over bad. It’s a tradition to light lamp to welcome Goddess Lakshmi (The Goddess of Wealth). Fireworks are a major part of Diwali. We celebrate the festival by sharing sweets and savory snacks with friends, neighbors and family.
The date for diwali changes every year. It is predicted as per the luni-solar Hindu calender and this year it falls on Tuesday, November 13th. Many living outside India celebrate the festival either on weekends that falls before or after the actual date. Life has always been unpredictbale for many mom’s like me. Each day is different with a naughty toddler in hand. So I would love to make recipes that are quick and easy. First thing that came to my mind is the most popular Indian sweet called Rasamalai. To kick start this year’s Diwali celebration, I made Rasamalai as the first sweet. I made it in less than 20 minutes with store bought rasa gulla tins. I quickly made a milk base with half and half, heavy cream, cardamon, saffron and sugar. Boiled and simmered the creamy base for sometime and gently cooked the rasagullas in it. Once the rasagullas soaked up all the goodness, I garnished with some roasted cashews. The most sought after dessert for Diwali was ready in no time. You could definitely make fresh homemade rasagullas. Buying a store bought can is purely optional.
Rasagullas are very popular Indian sweet made with milk. It is a cheese based sweet originally from Eastern part of India (Orissa, West Bengal). It can be freshly made at home by curdling the milk with lemon juice or vinegar. Once the cheese gets separated from the whey, it is rolled into a ball and simmered in sugar syrup.
SEMI-HOMEMADE RASAMALAI -EASY RECIPE
Source: Zeya (my neighbour)
- 1 can store bought Haldirams Rasagulla
- 1 quart half &half
- 1/2 quart heavy cream
- 1 cup raw white sugar (+more if you need more sweetness)
- 5 cardamon pods (crushed) or 1 teaspoon cardamon powder
- Pinch of salt
- 10 saffron strands
- 20 roasted unsalted cashews, pistachios or/ add almonds
1. Remove the rasa gullas from the tin. Drain the sugar syrup. Set aside.
2. Bring the half & half, heavy cream, sugar, cardamons and salt to a rolling boil. Simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Remove 2 tablespoon of the hot milk base into a clean ramekin and place the saffron strands and let it dissolve.
4. Pour the beautiful orange coloured milk base along with the saffron strands into the simmering base. Stir to combine.
5. Add the rasagullas and let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Don’t stir or poke the rasagullas. It might break and crumble to pieces.
6. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
7. Before serving sprinkle crushed nuts on top. You can serve it warm or cold.
1.Once I tried to squeeze the syrup out of the rasagullas.The final rasamalai dish had crumbled rasagullas in it. If you want to avoid the excess sweeteness from the rasagullas, make sure you handle them gently and don’t apply too much pressure on gettting the syrup out.
2. Use less sugar in the milk base to balance out the extra sweetness the rasagullas will bring in.