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As I had announced on November 30 regarding my participation in the Food Advent Calendar Event 2017, today I am back with my chosen recipe on my assigned date :). When I got this opportunity for Advent Calendar & I had to choose a spice which I would be using – I immediately chose Saffron aka Kesar & the cuisine as desserts because I love trying different desserts at home.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigmas and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and coloring agent in food. Saffron has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Saffron has also been used as a fabric dye, particularly in China and India, and in perfumery. It is used for religious purposes in India. As a spice, Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. A pinch of the spice can be added to soups, stews, risotto and rice dishes, as well as to any tomato-based sauce. Saffron is considered an especially good addition to seafood dishes, such as paella and bouillabaisse. Saffron is used in dishes ranging from the jeweled rice and khoresh of Iran, the Milanese risotto of Italy, the paella of Spain, the bouillabaisse of France, to the biryani with various meat accompaniments in South Asia. One of the most esteemed uses for saffron is in the preparation of the Golden Ham, a precious dry-cured ham made with saffron from San Gimignano.
Saffron has a very unique, rich & delicate flavor and it is used extensively in Indian desserts. It lends a beautiful luminous yellow-orange color to the desserts specially the milk based desserts. Saffron is widely used in Persian, Indian, European, and Arab cuisines. I personally love to add saffron in my desserts because it makes even a simple dessert look gorgeous & festive.
For this Event, I chose one of my favorite Indian desserts – Angoori Rasmalai; and gave it a saffron-y taste and color. Soft and spongy small cottage cheese dumplings dunked in creamy saffron flavored thickened milk, garnished with dry fruit slivers and saffron strands is apt to be included in the Event. For this rasmalai, I used store bought small sized rasgullas instead of homemade ones. These are easily available at any sweets shop in Delhi. This is a super quick method to make homemade rasmalai & enjoy this delicious dessert in no time. This super simple hack procedure was shared on Facebook by a very dear friend and an amazing cook, Renu Kochhar Nagrath of Renu’s Kitchen Delights fame. I adapted her recipe & tweaked it a bit to make the rasmalai creamier & saffron-y in taste.
Do try this Angoori rasmalai; and for the recipe, you’ll need:
Preparation Time: 10 mins.
Cooking Time: 30 – 40 mins.
Passive Chilling Time: 6 – 8 hours
Serves: 4 people
- 200 gms small sized rasgullas (I used market-bought, available at any sweet shop)
- 1/2 litre full cream milk
- 2-3 pieces of saffron/kesar barfi (I used market-bought, available at any sweet shop)
- A good big pinch of saffron soaked in warm milk
- ½ tsp Cardamom powder
- A few slivers of almonds
- A few unsalted pistachios, coarsely shopped
- Grate saffron barfi and keep aside. Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan on medium to low flame for 10 mins.
- Once the milk boils, add the grated barfi in milk, mix well and boil further till it reduces to 2/3rd of its quantity. Leave the milk to cool a bit.
- When the milk is still warm but not hot, add all the small sized rasgullas in it and leave them covered for at least 10 minutes. During this time, the rasgullas will absorb the milk and become soft.
- After 10-15 mins, squeeze the rasgullas and transfer in the serving dish. This step is done to release all the extra sweetness out of them into the milk as we have not added any sugar in the milk.
- Do the taste test at this step to check the sweetness in the milk as per your preference. In case you want, you may add a bit of sugar as per your taste preference. I didn’t feel the need to add more sugar as the sugar from barfi & rasgullas were sufficient as per our preference.
- Now, add the saffron milk and cardamom powder in the sweetened milk and mix well. The color of the milk will turn golden yellow as soon as you add saffron milk.
- Finally, pour the milk into the serving dish in which we have kept the squeezed rasgullas and make sure they soak properly in the milk.
- Garnish with a few more saffron strands, almond slivers and chopped pistachios. Chill in the refrigerator for about 6 – 8 hours.
- Your perfect Angoori Rasmalai is ready to be served and enjoyed chilled.
Source of Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron
Thanks for reading..!!