When a country has 28 states, 7 union territories, people from different cultures, religions, and 1.3 billion people, one would expect that country to have a variety of food.
Whether that be sweets, vegetables, curries, and other types of food, the variety of food available in a nation with such an astonishing array of diversity will have no limits. India is one such nation that such a wide variety of food.
Everyone loves food, well I guess everyone does. I have met no one that does not like food. Along with being essential to a human being’s survival, food seems to unite people and bring out happiness amongst the masses.
In a nation with about 21 public holidays, food becomes an integral part for celebration. Also, with many cultural/religious festivals in a year, food sure becomes an essential way for celebration in the nation with the 2nd largest population.
One such food that brings out happiness at the many special occasions that occur in India every year is the milky, sweet dish–Rasmalai. You can find this sweet in every Indian sweet store and most Indian grocery stores and restaurants across the world.
There is just something special about this sweet. It’s so delicate and the taste is amazing. The word itself, when broken up into two parts meaning juicy cream, i.e., ‘Ras’ means juice, and ‘Malai’ means cream.
Ingredients and preparation.
The ingredients for this sweet dish include chenna (homemade cottage cheese), sooji (Semolina/Rava), rose water, rabdi, sugar, saffron, almonds (preferably silvered ones), cashew nuts, water, and rosewater. It can include cardamom, pista, and ras (a type of syrup). The sweet dish should be kept at a cold temperature, as it is best served cold. It can be kept in refrigerators. Also, the chenna should not be too moist or dry.
History/origins of the Rasmalai.
The ingredients for this sweet dish include chenna (homemade cottage cheese), sooji (semolina/rava), rose water, rabdi, sugar, saffron, almonds (silvered ones), cashew nuts, water, and rosewater. It can include cardamom, pista, and ras (a type of syrup). One should keep the sweet dish at a cold temperature, as it is best served cold. One can keep it in refrigerators. Also, the chenna should not be too moist or dry.
The origins of the famous Indian sweet originate from the Indian state of West Bengal. Some origins trace back to the Indian state of Orissa, which is the neighbouring state of West Bengal. Some claims are that it originated in Bangladesh, because before 1947, Bangladesh was a part of India. Back then Bangladesh was a part of a state called Bengal along with modern-day West Bengal, which is in India.
There are claims that Rasmalai is a variant of another popular Bengali sweet dish called Rasgulla, which is also a juicy, milk-based sweet like Rasmalai.
One theory surrounding the origin of Rasmalai goes back to early 19th century. A variety of sweets got supplied to families and events in the Indian state of Tripura by the Ghosh community.
Legend has it, that milk got added as a type of pudding to the Rasgulla, which led to Khirbogh being created, and later known as, Rasmalai. Legend has it that this is the first version of the Rasmalai.
The Rasmalai entered Comilla, which is now in modern-day Bangladesh, via two brothers from the Brahmanbaria district, Khanindra (Khani) Sen and Manindra (Mani) Sen.
The pair introduced Comilla to the Rasmalai through their business. Their shop, ‘Manoharpur Comilla’ added Rasmalai in their dessert business. Well, whoever came up with the sweet is a genius.
Now it is a part of everyday life in the subcontinent and makes festivals even merrier. I would not mind one right now before I head off to work. Mmmmmm… Rasmalai. Ahhhhhh!!!!!