I wanted to make something special for the Independence Day Food Parade at Mahanandi. No celebration is complete without sweets. So, mishti was an obvious choice. While looking up more about sweets and West Bengal, I came across couple of interesting links. Did you know that Nabinchandra Roy of Bagbazar, Kolkata created the first Rasagulla in 1868? Or that different districts in West Bengal are famous for different kinds of sweets? "Krishnanagar is famous for sarbhaja, Burdwan for mihidana, Midnapore for babarshah, Birbhum for morabba, Maldah for raskadamba and Jalpaiguri for chhanchi dai." More information here and here.
I have to admit I have never made rasmalai at home so I was a little hesitant. I didn't make it from scratch, instead using readymade rasgullas as cheese ball substitute. It turned out great. Not only did I learn to make something new, I also learnt little bit more about the sweets I enjoy. I am really encouraged by this experience and am going to make it from scratch the next time.
1 tin rasagulla (8-10 pieces)
1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pistachios & walnuts (you can substitute walnuts with almonds & cashews)
1/2 tspoon cardamom powder
1 tspoon rose water
Pour the milk in a deep and wide pan (not non-stick) and bring it to boil.
Squeeze the rasgullas for excess syrup and drop them in boiling milk. Boil it for 5-7 minutes till they turn soft and flat. Take them out on a plate and cool.
Add sugar, 1/4 cup pistachios, walnuts, cardamom powder and rose water in the milk.
Boil the milk in low heat stirring every 10-15 minutes.
Boil till you have 1/4 of the milk left. It took me 1 hour 15 minutes.
Cool to room temperature. Add the cheese balls in the milk.
Garnish with pistachios and cardamom powder.
This is my float for the Independence Day Food Parade hosted by Indira at Mahanandi. Happy Independence Day!