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Rasmalai Recipe

4.44 from 23 votes
Total: 30 minutes
Serves 10

Imagine biting into the soft and delicately spongy balls of chenna/ cottage cheese that melt into the mouth effortlessly, and the saffron-infused thickened milk makes this recipe a sheer indulgence! A treasured Indian sweet, this Rasmalai recipe is an exquisitely flavored sweet delicacy that is super addictive and will make your festive season more enjoyable.

With its incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture, it will leave you craving for more!

Step-by-step Rasmalai Recipe

What is Rasmalai Recipe

The creamy Rasmalai, or Rassomalai, is a cherished Bengali sweet delicacy famous for its incredible melt-in-mouth texture and addictive deliciousness.

This term, Rasmalai, is a conjunction of two words, ‘ras’ meaning juice or syrup and ‘malai’ meaning cream. This mouth-watering dessert, made from chenna (homemade paneer or cottage cheese), is decadent in flavors and textures. 

The chenna, prepared from full-fat milk, is kneaded until smooth and divided into small balls or disc-shaped rasmalais. These balls/ discs (patties) are then boiled in the sugar syrup for sweetness and soaked in thickened saffron and cardamom-saffron-flavored milk.

The essence of cardamom and saffron infuses the dish with a fragrant charm, making this dish an irresistible treat that captivates the taste buds with every bite.

This rasmalai recipe does not use any additional ingredient or raising agent. Still, when boiled in the sugar syrup, the chenna balls/ discs inflate to double their original size and take on a puffy, spongy texture.

They take up the flavor when soaked in sweet masala milk.

Reasons You’ll ♡ Rasmalai Recipe

This super yummy sweet treat is adored for its irresistible combination of soft chenna balls soaked in saffron flavored milk. Here are some other reasons you will love this rasmalai recipe for —

  • Super easy to make
  • Infused with irresistible flavors
  • Made with simple and readily available ingredients
  • Gluten-free and 100% vegetarian
  • No artificial ingredients used
  • Can be made in advance and stored for later
  • Can be scaled to please a large gathering!

Our step-by-step guide is here to help you create the most luscious Rasmalai recipe ever!

Serve this delicacy as a showstopper dish to your guests on your next celebration, or relish it as a sweet ending to your everyday meals; it is a guaranteed pleasure to indulge.

Rasmalai Ingredient List

Rasmalai Recipe Ingredient List

Milk  Full-fat milk is used in this rasmalai recipe to make paneer/ chenna, a prime ingredient in making this rasmalai recipe. Full-fat milk yields creamy and smooth textured chenna balls/ patties that make this recipe delectable.

Lemon juice or vinegar  This is used for curdling the milk when making fresh paneer/ chenna for the rasmalai recipe. 

Milk powder  Added to the flavored milk to render the rasmalai recipe more creamy and luscious.

Sugar  Used for sweetening and flavoring our sweet delicacy. The confectioner’s sugar is used for this recipe. 

Nuts  Slivered nuts garnish this recipe to enhance its esthetics. 

Saffron  A few strands add a lovely hue and a beautiful subtle flavor that makes this recipe irresistible.

Elaichi/ Cardamom Powder  Gives the rasmalai recipe an authentic flavor and aroma.

Rose water/ Kewra essence  This adds a subtle flavor and aroma that makes the recipe more enticing and takes the overall deliciousness up a notch.

Rasmalai in a bowl garnished with rose petals

Rasmalai Recipe Tips and Variations

Selection of milk for this dessert — Preparing chenna for this Rasmalai recipe plays a crucial part in the dessert-making process. Using whole milk or full-fat cow’s milk, ideally organic, with a fat content of at least 4% is the best. Avoid low-fat, 2%, or skimmed milk as it lacks the fat content for properly binding the chenna.

Using low-fat alternatives can compromise the texture, resulting in the hard and crumbly rasmalai instead of the desired soft and creamy dessert. The luscious and decadent quality of the dessert is achieved by the richness of full-fat milk, which is the integral part. 

This recipe is not meant to be vegan  — Please note that this rasmalai recipe is not suitable for ingredient substitutions with vegan alternatives. I haven’t experimented with plant-based milk such as soy or nut milk in this recipe, so I can’t provide any guidance on their effectiveness.

Given the distinctive properties of the plant-based ingredients, creating a vegan version of Rasmalai recipe would require an entirely different set of ingredients and possibly additional instructions, too. 

Preparing the best quality chenna — Preparing quality chenna for this recipe is paramount in creating a soft and delectable dessert, and therefore, careful attention to the chenna-making process will ensure a delightful treat true to its traditional form.

When preparing chenna, do not overheat the milk after adding the lemon juice or vinegar, as this will result in tougher and chewy-textured rasmalai rather than the desired soft and melt-in-mouth texture. 

Avoid store-bought paneer altogether — This recipe calls for freshly prepared paneer, which is necessary to achieve the signature soft and melt-in-mouth texture of Rasmalai; therefore, I would not recommend using the store-bought paneer.

Making the paneer from scratch is imperative, so it is best to stick to the traditional method, which involves boiling full-fat milk, separating it with an acid like lemon juice or vinegar, and then carefully straining and kneading the chenna. 

Removing the lemony taste — Removing the residual lemony or vinegary taste is a critical step in the Rasmalai recipe-making process, as this could adversely affect the flavor of the dessert. Rinse the chenna nicely to eliminate the acidic undertones after the curds have separated from the whey. Allow the water to run freely, and wash the chenna thoroughly using your fingers.

Drain the water well from chenna — Draining the water from chenna is a crucial step when making this delicious dessert. Well-drained chenna allows better kneading and shaping of the cheese/ Rasmalai balls. Ideally, the Rasmalai chenna should be crumbly and slightly dry, retaining a little moisture for a creamy texture.

If the chenna mixture is overly dry, it may cause the rasmalai to become dry, while the wet chenna can result in the rasmalai disintegrating in the syrup. I usually hang chenna in cheesecloth for at least 2 to 3 hours to achieve a balance, ensuring it is perfectly prepared. 

How to make soft and spongy Rasmalai

Kneading the chenna is a vital step — In rasmalai recipe preparation, kneading the chenna is essential as this determines the right texture of the cheese balls. Use fingers and heels of the palm to knead the chenna until you get a smooth, non-sticky dough-like consistency.

As you knead the dough, you should notice the chenna releasing some ghee or fat and then finally coming together as a smooth dough ball, which is neither too hard nor too soft. This makes a perfect texture for shaping the chenna into soft cheese balls. 

Stick to manual kneading — Please refrain from using the food processor as it can lead to overworking of the chenna, which causes excessive release of fat. At this point, the chenna will become extremely greasy and challenging to work with.

Once the fat is released, the chenna becomes unsuitable for making this recipe as the desired texture will not be achieved. Therefore, stick to the manual kneading method that ensures the chenna’s perfect texture.

Do not use the greasy chenna — If your chenna ends up greasy for any reason, it is advisable to restart the entire process all over again. Proceeding with greasy chenna will ruin the recipe; therefore, it should be completely avoided. However, don’t worry about the greasy chenna as it can be used to prepare other delicious dishes, such as malai kofta, Mughlai dishes, or rabdi, where the high-fat content is desirable and enhances the flavor. 

For the dry chenna — Likewise, if the chenna turns out dry and crumbly, adding a few drops of water and kneading it again will do the trick. 

For the right amount of sweetness — Water to sugar ratio is essential to get the right amount of sweetness. I prefer 1 cup of sugar to 3 cups of water, which results in moderately sweet rasmalais. During soaking, the rasmalai balls will absorb some sweetness; therefore, consider keeping the sugar content slightly lower in the syrup. 

Assorted flavors are possible — You can flavor the sugar syrup as you please and enjoy the dessert the way you want. The most loved flavors are cardamom and rose water. You can also use kewara essence, saffron, or rasmalai essence, as you like.

The right consistency of the sugar syrup — Maintaining the right consistency of the sugar syrup is essential for achieving the desired round and soft-textured rasmalai. So, ensure that the syrup is not too thick, which may result in irregularly shaped rasmalai.

When the water comes to a boil, and you see bubbles in the water, gently add the rasmalai balls/ dumplings to the syrup. 

Are Chenna balls not doubling in size? Well, there could be many reasons for the Chenna balls not doubling in size. If the sugar syrup is too concentrated, the chenna balls will have difficulty soaking, and they will not puff up. In this case, dilute the sugar syrup and try again.

Another reason could be that the chenna is not kneaded correctly. Further, when boiling the syrup, ensure that you use a tight-fitted lid to cover the pan and that the syrup is boiling well. Why? A tight-fitted glass lid helps trap the required heat and pressure during cooking, and the rasmalai turns out soft and well-puffed.

But if the rasmalai comes in contact with the air during cooking, it will shrink and result in chewy rasmalais. 

Rasmalai Troubleshooting Disintegrating chenna- causes and solution — One of the probable reasons for the chenna balls breaking in the syrup while boiling is because of the excess moisture present in them. Although you cannot proceed with this chenna anymore, do not get disheartened because you can still put your chenna to better use.

Prepare another batch of chenna for this recipe and save this deformed chenna from the syrup to make rabdi out of it!

Checking the doneness of the chenna — Once the chenna is cooked, it is time to check the doneness. Remove it from the syrup and drop a rasmalai ball in a water bowl. If it sinks, it indicates that it is cooked. But if it floats, you need to boil them for a few more minutes. 

Chenna balls in milk syrup

Let me know what you think!

Every bite of this delicious Rasmalai takes you on an instant journey to a dessert paradise that is hard to resist. If you are ready to savor this sweet ambrosia, join me on this culinary journey to the heavenly deliciousness.

Should you make this Rasmalai recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. 

And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.


Follow the step-by-step instructions below to make the best Rasmalai Recipe

Rasmalai in a bowl garnished with rose petals

Step by Step Rasmalai Recipe

4.44 from 23 votes
Step by Step Easy Rasmalai Recipe is a delicious and lip-smacking dessert made with homemade cottage cheese (paneer). It’s super yummy and has an incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture that will leave you craving for more! It’s egg-free and gluten-free too.
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Calories: 222 kcal
Servings: 10



  • 2 Litres Full cream milk
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice or vinegar


  • cups Full cream milk
  • cups Milk Powder
  • cup Sugar
  • 3 tablespoon Thinly sliced dry nuts (almonds,pistachios)
  • teaspoon Saffron strands
  • ½ teaspoon Elaichi Powder (Cardamon Powder)


  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Rose water or Kewra essence



  • Add whole milk to a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Keep stirring the milk at regular intervals.
    Tip — Full-fat milk produces the best chenna (paneer); therefore, I highly recommend using whole-fat dairy. Low-fat milk can be used, but you must compromise with the result.
  • When the milk becomes frothy and bubbles start to form on top, that's the time to add vinegar/lemon juice.
  • Pour in vinegar/lemon juice.
    Tip — Wait for the milk to get bubbly before adding the acid. This will result in perfect Chenna/paneer.
  • Slowly mix vinegar/lemon juice in the milk, and the milk will curdle.
  • When the whey/liquid in curdle milk turns to a lime-colored liquid. The milk has separated, and you can progress to the next step. Take the pan off the flame.
  • Line a strainer with muslin cloth.
  • Quickly strain paneer.
    Tip — Letting it sit will result in hard and chewy rasmalai.
  • Wash the paneer under cold water to eliminate the vinegar/lemon juice taste.
    Tip — This will wash away all the flavor of acid from the paneer.
  • Squeeze the paneer and allow the water to drain.
  • You can also hang paneer/chenna for 20- 30 minutes until the water stops dripping.
    Tip — This step is important. If water is not drained well from the paneer, rasmalai pieces will start to disintegrate in sugar syrup.
  • Remove the paneer from the cloth. The paneer should feel crumbly but moist. Moist chenna is preferred for soft and spongy Rasmalai.


  • Start kneading the paneer like a dough.
  • Kneading with patience yields smooth cheese balls that ensure the desirable texture of your rasmalai. Knead the chenna for about 10- 15 minutes on a clean surface using the heels of your palm until smooth-textured dough is prepared with no cracks.
    Tip — This step is non-negotiable and has no shortcuts, so resist the urge to rush through it. Take your time to get it just right for the best result.  I have tried kneading it in a food processor, but the result was unsatisfactory.
  • Take the paneer dough in your hand. Squeeze it tight. It should not feel sticky at all. It should feel creamy and roll smoothly in between your palms.
  • Squeeze and press between your palms a couple of times before rolling it like a ball. This will prevent cracks.
  • Gently press in between your palms and flatten the balls. Set it aside and repeat the process with the rest of the paneer.
    The flexibility of shape — You want the rasmalai balls to be big or small, round or disc-shaped; deciding the shape and size is entirely up to you! However, remember that they double in size when boiled in the hot syrup, so decide the size accordingly.
  • Combine water and sugar in a pan. Add the essence of your choice. Bring it to a boil.
  • Slowly add flattened paneer pieces to the syrup. Reduce the flame to MEDIUM LOW and allow it to boil. When boiling, the rasmalai balls need plenty of space in the pan to expand and puff up. Therefore, use a wide pan that allows the rasmalais to float and expand freely in size. 
  • Slowly, the pieces will start to float up.
    Tip — Avoid overcrowding the pan to help the rasmalai to breathe; otherwise, they may turn out flat and chewy. Boiling the rasmalais in batches will be a great idea, though. Also, ensure the pan has a tight-fitted lid to cover, which helps maintain the heat and pressure inside the pan when boiling. 
  • When all the pieces float to the surface.
  • Cover the pan with the lid and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes on a medium-low flame.
  • Flatten paneer pieces will swell in size. Take it off the flame and allow it to cool.
  • When comfortable to touch, take a flattened paneer piece and squeeze out all the syrup. Press gently.
  • When all the syrup is pressed out, paneer pieces will come back to their original shape. Set it aside.


  • In a heavy-bottomed pan, add milk and bring it to a boil. Add in sugar, saffron strands, and milk powder.
  • Whisk until well blended.
  • Continue boiling at a medium flame, stirring continuously. Stir in thinly sliced nuts and mix. Keep stirring and boil the milk for 20-25 minutes. Milk will thicken to a desired consistency – neither too thick nor too liquidy.
  • Carefully drop in flattened paneer balls.
  • Allow the flattened paneer balls to simmer in hot syrup for 1-2 minutes.
  • Take it off the flame, cover and let the paneer pieces soak in the syrup.
  • Transfer it to a big bowl and allow it to chill. Tastes better when chilled.




Frequently asked questions

How can I best serve this dessert?
To serve this delicious dessert, chill it for 8- 10 hours in an airtight container in a refrigerator. This will allow the flavors to mingle well, and the rasmalai patties will absorb the richly flavored milk all this while.
When it is time to indulge, you can serve it directly from the fridge. Garnish it with dry nuts and saffron to add a delightful touch to this irresistible sweet treat.
Can I store this Rasmalai for later consumption?
Yes, this Rasmalai keeps perfectly well for a week in the refrigerator if stored properly. Remember to keep it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing other food odors from the fridge. Also, do not stack all balls/ dumplings closely, but allow some space between each piece to prevent them from sticking together.
Also, remember, Rasmalai should be consumed within a week because, beyond this time, the texture and flavor may begin to deteriorate.
Can I freeze Rasmalai?
Yes, this sweet dish stays good for up to 2 months in the freezer, so you can conveniently freeze it in a freezer-safe container to enjoy it later. However, remember to thaw it in the fridge overnight because only then it will be ready to be devoured and chilled the next day.
Please note that this dessert is best enjoyed chilled, so there is no need to reheat it when serving.


Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 216mg | Iron: 1mg
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided above is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. These numbers should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.
Author: Ruchi
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian

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  1. Amrita says:

    Very nice ! I like the presentation and would definitely give this a try . A small question though , assuming you are in US what brand if milk have you used in the pictures ? It looks so creamy . Is it raw milk ?

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks Amrita!
      I have used ‘Land ‘o’ lakes whole milk to make this recipe. But any full fat milk would work for this recipe.