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Sunday, 10 December 2017

Rasabali / Sweet Odia Recipe


 Rasabali is a melt in mouth sweet dish from Odisha , India. Rasabali is offered to Baldevjew and originated in the Baldevjew Temple of Kendrapara. It is one the chapana bhoga of the Jagannath Temple. Rasabali consists of deep fried flattened reddish brown patties of Chhena (Farmer's Cheese) that are soaked in thickened, sweetened milk (rabri). Flattening the chhena into palm -sized patties is done in order to allow them to absorb the milk more readily. The thickened milk is also usually lightly seasoned with crushed cardamoms. 
Source : Wikipedia


Odia Cuisine uses less oil and is less spicy compared to other regional Indian Cuisines. Rice is the staple food of this region. Mustard oil is used as cooking medium in some dishes, but ghee (made up of cow milk ) is preferred in temples. Many sweet dishes of the region are based on chhena.


The recipe of Rasabali is simple and easy to follow. Though store bought paneer can be used, homemade chhena gives best results. I have used saffron along with cardamom to flavor the dish. saffron imparts a lovely golden yellow color aswell. Rasabali is somewhat similar to rasmalai , but very different taste wise. Here the chhena balls are deep fried before adding to the flavored thickened milk. I have added little whole wheat flour and semolina along with pinch of baking soda to homemade chhena which acts as a  binder and prevents the chhena balls from disintegrating while deep frying. I made this dish for the first time and everyone in my family enjoyed rasabali thoroughly. I adapted the recipe lightly form here

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings : 4-5

Ingredients:
  • 1 liter full cream milk
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice / vinegar 
  • 3-4 pods of cardamom , crushed
  • 1 teaspoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon semolina
  • 3-4 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds and pistachio 
  • Dried rose petals and fresh basil leaves (holy tulsi) for garnishing (optional)
  • Few Saffron strands
Method:
  1. Bring half liter milk to boil . Once the milk boils, put off the flame. After 5-7 minutes add lemon juice or vinegar to the milk. The milk will curdle immediately. 




2. Now drain the curdled milk in a sieve lined with clean kitchen cotton towel. gather the sides of the cloth together and drain all the whey from the cheena. Run the cheena under fresh water to remove the traces of lemon juice / vinegar from it. Press the cloth to remove the whey . Hang the cloth to get rid of excess water from chhena. This may take around 10-15 minutes.



  3. Meanwhile in another broad bottom pan or wok heat remaining 1/2 liter milk . Remove 1 tablespoon of warm milk and transfer it to a small bowl. Add saffron strands to it and keep aside until use. Allow the remaining milk to reduce until half of its original volume. Reserve 1 tablespoon of sugar (powder it and keep aside)  and add the rest in the milk followed by addition of 1/4 teaspoon crushed cardamom.

                            

                            


4. Once the milk has reduced to half , add the saffron milk to it and simmer.



 5. Once the chhena is free of all water , remove it in a plate and mash it with the help of your palms in an upward movement to make it smooth.



6. Add whole wheat flour , semolina, remaining crushed cardamom , pinch of baking powder and the powdered sugar (reserved in step 3)to the mashed chhena. Mix all the ingredients and knead the chhena well into a smooth dough. Pinch out equal portion and make balls out of them. I could make 5 balls.


7. Flatten each ball on your palm into a circular tikki shape. Heat oil in a deep wok and deep fry the flattened cheese balls until golden brown from all sides. Take care not to burn them.




6. Drain the fried chhena balls and add them to warm thickened milk. Allow them to cook for 5 minutes on low flame and put off the heat. The rasabalis will absorb milk and become soft and spongy.



7. The dish is ready. Garnish with almond and pistachios slices, dried rose petals and tulsi. Offer it to deity ( if making as naivedyam) , chill and serve .

                            

Sending in this Odia sweet recipe- Rasabali to #122nd #FoodieMondayBlogHop where the theme for this week is #OdiaCuisine. The theme was selected by my dear friend Sasmita Sahoo Samanta who is a talented food blogger and an odia girl herself.  . She blogs at Firsttimercook. Do check her blog for some awesome recipes and do not forget to check my fellow bloggers post as well for some lovely recipes from Odia Cuisne.
   Notes:
  • Store bought paneer (cottage Cheese) can be used in this recipe but homemade chhena gives best results.
  • Take care while deep frying the chhena discs so that they do not burn.
  • Usually refined flour is added to the chhena while making discs, i have added whole wheat flour instead. Wheat flour , semolina and baking soda helps in binding the chhena and prevents it from disintegrating while deep frying. 
I hope you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so , feel free to share your response with us.
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For more chhena based sweet recipes , do check my posts on (Just click on the name of the dish for the recipe link)
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