Vegan Rasmalai | Includes Nut Milk Recipe and Almond Ricotta Cheese Recipe



With Diwali right around the corner and plethora of sweets being prepared, one thing I truly missed was Rasmalai. Traditional Rasmalai is almost completely made of dairy and I didn’t think I could get the texture or flavor profile right! The biggest challenge to me seemed to be making dairy free cheese balls! Boy, was I wrong! This recipe REALLY surprised me. I started off by trying out methods to make almond milk ricotta cheese. Once I had that part down, I tried different methods to make the “cheese” balls, and was finally happy going the traditional route. 

For “cheese” balls/disks:
  • 2 cups of almond milk ricotta cheese (homemade recipe below) 
  • 2-3 tsp corn starch
For sugar syrup:
  • ½ - ¾ cup sugar 
  • 2-3 whole green cardamoms
  • 2 cups water
For Rabri/creamy syrup:
  • 4-5 cups of nut milk (see recipe below)
  • ½ - 1 cup sugar (per your taste) 
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder (ellaichi)
  • 1-2 tbsp cut almonds (or any cashew) 
  • Few strands of saffron (kesar) 
Method: 

  1. In a bowl or flat plate, add corn flour and ricotta cheese. Mix well. Divide mixture into 10-12 equal parts and make in round smooth balls or fallen to disks. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the sugar syrup by boiling the water, sugar, and the whole cardamom pods. Once the syrup comes to a boil, add the cheese disks and cover and cook for 10 minutes. 
  3. After 10 minutes, transfer to a bowl with the syrup and let cool.
  4. Next make the rabri or the creamy “milk” mixture. Boil all the ingredients listed for the rabri on medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. If you’re using store bought plant-based milk, this may take a lot longer. You can alternatively add 1 tsp of corn flour mixed with a few teaspoons of cold water into the mix to help thicken it faster. Turn off the heat once it has thickened to your liking. 
  5. Take the cheese disks out of the sugar syrup and add them to the rabri. Let cool completely, and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours or overnight before serving. 
  6. Garnish with chopped nuts/dried rose petals/pinch crushed cardamom before serving if you desire.

FOR THE NUT MILK:
  • 1 cup raw cashews; soaked overnight 
  • 1 cup almonds; soaked in hot water for 30 mins and peeled 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 4-5 cups of water
Method:
  1. Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth.
  2. Strain the milk through a nut-milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth into a bowl or large measuring cup. Pour the almond milk into an air-tight storage container and place in the fridge. Refrigerate overnight (or for at least 8-10 hours)

HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE 
  • 2 cups almonds; soaked in hot water for 30 mins and peeled 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
Method: 
  1. Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth.
  2. Strain the milk through a nut-milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth into a bowl or large measuring cup. 
  3. Bring the almond milk to a boil. Turn off heat and add lemon juice and stir gently. Let mixture sit for approximately 1 hour to ensure that the almond milk curdles. 
  4. Line a sieve or strainer/colander with cheese cloth. Place over your sink. Pour the curdled milk into the strainer. Wash the curdled milk with cold water to ensure that the sourness from the lemon is removed. Place the strainer/sieve over a larger bowl that can hold it and collect water. Allow to drain overnight in the refrigerator. The longer it strains, the thicker it will become. It will firm up as it cools in the refrigerator. Put the strained ricotta in a container and refrigerate or use immediately.

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