5-6green cardamom podspeeled and crushed to get the powder
finely chopped pistachios
Boil milk in a heavy bottom pan.Once it comes to a boil, switch off the flame and add 1/2 cup of water to bring the temperature of the milk down a bit.
Wait for 5-10 minutes and then start adding lemon juice till milk curdles.
Add lemon juice till the milk curdles completely.
Using a strainer drain the water and collect the chena.
Rinse it under tap water so that there's no trace of lemon juice in it.
Leave it in the strainer for 10-15 minutes and then take the chena in your hand and squeeze out remaining water slowly.
Add cornflour and start mashing the chena till it’s smooth.
Set the clock to 10 minutes and mash constantly for 10 minutes using your palm. Once it’s smooth, make small balls out of it.
Heat 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water in a wide pan and wait till it comes to a full boil. Drop the balls in boiling sugar syrup and cook for 15-17 minutes. The balls will double in size by then. Take out the balls from the syrup and drop them in fresh water. If they sink to the bottom, the balls are done. They are always done by 15-17 minutes so you can skip this step if you want.
In a heavy bottom pan, boil 500 ml of milk.
Soak few strands of saffron in a tablespoon of warm milk and set aside.
Once the milk comes to a boil, lower the flame and continue to stir the milk at regular intervals. After 10 minutes add sugar and mix.
After 20-25 minutes the milk will thicken to desired consistency, add soaked saffron and crushed cardamom.
Also add finely chopped pistachios [if using]. Mix and switch off the flame.
Take out the cooled down rasmalai balls from the fresh water bowl. Squeeze and flatten lightly using your hands and put in sugar syrup for around 10-15 minutes [so that they absorb the sugar] before transferring them to milk. Squeeze the balls carefully as they are very soft and can break easily. I like to flatten the rasmalai at this stage rather than flattening them in the beginning. I feel they get cooked evenly in the sugar syrup when the balls are round in shape.
Transfer the balls to thickened milk [milk should be warm].
Chill in the refrigerator overnight or for 5-6 hours. Garnish with chopped pistachios and few saffron strands before serving.