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Narkel Nadu
Ras Malai (Below)
Sweet Balls


Ras Malai

Ricotta Cheese 2 lb.
Half and Half 2 qts.
Sugar 2 cups
Cardamon pods 5
Bay leaf 1
Vanilla 1 tsp.
Rose Water To taste (opt.)

Mix 1-1/2 cups of sugar with the Ricotta cheese and bake it in a 400 degree F oven for about 1 hr and 15 minutes in a flat dish covered with aluminum foil. The cheese should have hardened and turned a pale brown. Thicken the Half and Half by simmering over low heat for a long time, cooking over low heat and stirring frequently. Thicken until the volume drops to around half of the origi nal volume. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cardamon pods, bay leaf, vanilla and rose water (and any other flavouring that you may want) to the Half and Half. Heat for a few minutes. After the cheese has been baked, cut it into 1 inch squares and add to the hot thickened Half and Half. Cool for a few hours in the fridge, and offer chilled.


2 quarts milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
5 whole cardamom pods
1 teaspoon fine grained semolina
3 to 4 drops rose essence
1 quart half and half
1/8 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon shelled, unsalted pistachios

Make the chenna with the milk and lemon juice, in the usual way. Hang up the milk curds for 2 hours instead of 1/2 hour. Knead thoroughly by hand or use a rolling pion to knead out threads in cheese. Make a ball and set it aside. Put the 3 cups of sugar, 6 cups of water, and the cardamom pods in a deep pan. Bring to a fast simmer over a medium flame. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, turn the heat to low and let the syrup simmer gently for a few minutes, then remove from heat.

Flatten the ball of chenna and add the semolina and rose essence to it. Knead for 5 minutes, making sure the semolina and rose essence are well mixed in. Now make 20 smooth balls, without cracks, rolling each with just a little pressure between the palms of your two hands. Bring the syrup to a simmer over a medium flame. Drop the balls into the syrup. Bring to a simmer again. Adjust the heat so the syrup simmers gently for 5 minutes. During this period, move the balls around and turn them over occasionally, using a very gentle touch. Make sure you do not damage the balls. Turn the heat up and bring the syrup to a hard simmer. The syrup should look like a mass of tiny moving bubbles, but it should never boil over. Sprinkle the balls with 2 tablespoons of hot water, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. During this period, the balls should swell up.

Uncover, sprinkle the balls with another 2 tablespoons of hot water, cover and cook, simmering hard for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the balls to an empty bowl. (the syrup can now be discarded or saved for another purpose.) Pour the half and half over the balls and let them soak in it for 3 hours.

Take the balls gently out of the half and half with a slotted spoon and put them in another bowl. Pour the half and half into a skillet or saucepan and boil it down until you have about 2 cups left. Turn off the heat. Crush the cardamom seeds finely in a mortar and mince the pistachios. Add the crushed cardamom, the minced pistachios, and the one tablespoon of sugar to the reduced half and half. Pour this half and half over the chenna balls. Allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and offer chilled or at room temperature.


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