Ras malai

This traditional Indian dessert consists of small dumplings of fresh cheese floating in creamy milk. It's rich, flavorful and satisfies the sweet tooth.


1 lb paneer (or ricotta, or cotage cheese)
2 1⁄2 c milk (whole milk)
3⁄4 c cream (heavy cream)
3⁄4 c sugar
1 pn saffron
2 cardamom (optional)
  pistachios (or other nuts, chopped, as decoration)
3 c syrup (made with 3 cupas water + 1 cup sugar)


Combine the whole milk, liquid cream, sugar and saffron in a large saucepan. Clanetamos the mixture, stirring constantly, until it boils. Lower the heat and let it simmer slowly until it reduces and thickens, 15-20 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down. This is creamy milk.

We knead the fresh cheese until it is very smooth. We form 12 balls that we flatten slightly. They will be like thick disks.

Heat the syrup in a wide saucepan. When it starts to boil, carefully add the fresh cheese cakes. Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook them for 9-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 20 minutes. Remove the ras malai, draining well, to a plate and let cool.

To serve, put part of the creamy milk in a bowl, place the ras malai and pour the rest of the creamy milk on top. Decorate with chopped nuts.

Total time
1 hour, 15 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
6 servings


Blanched or toasted pistachios and almonds are often used as garnishes because they complement the flavor of this dessert.

A syrup made from 750 ml (3 cups) of water and 175 g (1 cup) of sugar is used.

When removed from the syrup, the boiled queso fresco wheels can be slightly flattened to remove excess liquid.

For this dessert to have a deeper flavor, the discs of cheese cooked in syrup can be placed in a bowl together with half of the creamy milk and refrigerated for 3-4 hours. The rest of the creamy milk is poured on top just before serving.

Instead of boiling it in syrup, queso fresco can be mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of sugar and baked in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 175º C in miniature tart pans or a muffin pan.


In India, it is common to coagulate milk and make panir (fresh cheese) for ras malai at home.

Ras malai is one of the sweets that are prepared during Diwali.

Food in India

dessert, treat, sweet
moderate, boiling
Indian food recipes
Food in Asia