It’s white and spongy; it’s sweet, but not super-sweet; it’s covered in a sweet cream sauce and it has crushed pistachios and almonds on the top as a garnish. What is it? Well, it could be anything I suppose, but what this is, is an Indian dessert called Ras Malai.
It’s made with paneer (a form of cottage-cheese) that is formed into flat rounds, soaked in a sugar syrup briefly, then soaked in a sugared cream sauce and garnished with finely crushed nuts and saffron, and sometimes bearing a cardomom and a slight rose-water flavor.
You could make it at home, but then again, you could go to your Indian grocer and pick up a box of Ras Malais from his freezer. Either way, you’ll be in for a lovely treat. I was curious to look for a recipe online just now, and found also a lovely little Wiki entry on this dessert. Little did I know that Ras Malai originated in Orissa, an almost-forgotten state in the eastern part of India. Check it out here!
And to what do we all owe this little lesson on the Ras Malai, you ask? Well, we had it for dessert last evening, and it looked so lovely that I couldn’t help but whip out my phone-camera to capture a picture for posterity. And for this post, of course!