August 15, 2011

Cream Chop / Malai Chop, Raksha Bandhan Celebrations and BlogAdda Notable Newbie Award

The seasons of Indian festivals have started, beginning with Raksha Bandhan. It is day to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters. It was a big day for us during our childhood days, when  all of us siblings were still  living together. Having grown up in a small town which didn't have an English medium school after 10th, we had to leave the town one by one as we passed our 10th class , for further studies. It became increasingly difficult to gather together on the Raksha bandhan day and now we just manage to celebrate the day by sending rakhis to our brother by post. Anyway to mark this special day, I wanted to make an Indian sweet. 

And I have another big reason to celebrate too . Last Week BlogAdda annouced the notable newbies for the month, And my blog was also conferred this award. Thanks a lot to the BlogAdda team for giving my blog this recognition.

This mithai / Indian sweet is easily available in sweet shops , but I wanted to give it a different shape and look ,so decided to make it at home. In my town it was called  Cream Chop / Malai Chop . I don't know what it is called at other places , but it is from the same family of chum chum  and Rasgullas . Their Sibling :))

Usually this sweet is a round or rectangular shape. The sweet is sliced into two and filled with sweetened reduced milk / Rabdi .Since I wanted to make a flower shape, I thought slicing would be difficult, so I made them thinner. This way, I could put two pieces together instead of slicing one.

[For 6 -8 sweets]

For Homemade Paneer
1 litre whole milk [about 5 cups]
2 tsp vinegar/lemon juice

For Sugur Syrup
1 cup sugar
3 cups Water

For Malai/Rabdi

1/2 litre whole milk
 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

For Homemade Paneer
  1. Bring milk to a boil. When it comes to a boil,  add  Vinegar or lemon juice. Stir until milk  separates into curds and whey completely. Add some more vinegar/lemon juice it it doesn't seem to separate.
  2. Pour this paneer on a muslin cloth or cheesecloth lined colander. Drain all water and then wash it with cold water to remove the sourness. Gather all sides of the  muslin cloth and twist and squeeze to drain all water. Put a heavy pan on top of this wrapped paneer for an hour to drain any remaining water.
  3. After an hour, knead the paneer well to make a smooth dough for about 4 minutes. If you are making flower shape, make 12-16 small balls and flatten it and cut the shape using a cookie cutter. If you are making a round or rectangle shape, make  only 8 balls and shape them accordingly. 
For the Sugar Syrup
  1.  In a pan, bring water and sugar to boil till all the sugar dissolves. 
  2. Add the paneer balls/flowers and cover the pan with a lid and cook for 25 minutes.  The balls will get double in size. 
  3. Turn the heat off and let the balls remain in the sugar syrup for 4-5 hours.
For the Malai /Rabdi
  1. Heat milk in a wok/ kadhai . When a cream layer forms on the top, remove the layer with a spatula and spread it on to the sides of the wok. Repeat this process till  the milk reduces to 1/3rd. 
  2. Scratch the cream layer that you have collected on the sides of the wok and mix in with the reduced milk. You can add some food colour if you wish.
  3. Add sugar little by little and when it is sweet enough for your taste stop, and add cardamom powder . Stir for a minute or two and turn off the heat. Let it cool and then refrigerate it.
  When the paneer balls are ready after having been in the syrup for several hours, take it out from syrup and slice it horizontally. Fill in the malai /rabdi between the two slices of the paneer balls/flowers.Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Garnish with chopped pistachios/

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