They say there’s no sincerer love than the love of food. I would like to add that there’s no better way to demonstrate your love for someone than serving them their favourite food. Food is the fastest way to reach someone’s heart, and stay there. Rasmalai, with all its sweetness and glory, has achieved that for me. I cannot fill the void created by Mom’s absence but the bonding I’ve developed with Dad due to it over time is beyond precious. Who better than his princess to pamper him the way he likes, right?
Rasmalai is a beautiful and luxurious sweet dish made from paneer/cottage cheese. Flattened and cooked paneer discs are soaked in sweet thickened milk and garnished with dry fruits. This dish emphasizes on bringing out the taste of milk and can be gently flavoured with cardamom. The sumptuousness of this dish defies its minimalist look and is sure to settle on your tongue forever. Yes, it is that good! 🙂
It was my first visit home after Mom left us. Standing in her meticulous kitchen made me feel a hollow in my heart that I cannot even come to describe now. We have a maid who cooks and does all domestic chores for Dad, so that part was taken care of. (In case you’re wondering, Dad had unambiguously refused to relocate with us.) However, when I was home I could feel Dad’s unspoken wish to have proper homemade food.
I hadn’t tried my hand at rasmalai till then but Dad gladly offered himself as a guinea pig. Out came Mom’s recipe books and we both set out together on the making-rasmalai mission! While I read out the list of ingredients Dad pranced around eagerly, fetching them one by one and heaping them on the kitchen table. Our maid had dropped in by then and looked completely entertained with this rare scene. Dad looked extremely pleased when she pointed out lovingly that ‘daughters and their love are truly special’. 🙂
Dad declined to take a call on whether he wanted them white or yellow (with saffron) reiterating that he was only interested in gobbling them up. Rasmalai tastes better when chilled but I held back when he enthusiastically wanted to dig in as soon as they were ready. As I joined him and my debut attempt dissolved delicately on my tongue, I despaired that it was almost bland. It needed atleast a third of the amount of sugar I had added.
“Isn’t it tasteless? There’s no sugar in it.” I said sadly while he gulped down spoonfuls, completely engrossed. ‘Are we not eating the same rasmalai?’ I wondered. Dad however seemed to register nothing beyond the fact that his daughter had cooked for him. Imagine my horror when he proudly parcelled a dish to our neighbours without my knowledge! Aunty was apparently too polite to point out the obvious as well. Dads and their daughter-love, could God be any more kind to us? 🙂
I’ve made dal baati, ghotwa khichdi, besan fafda and many of his favourite dishes for him since then but rasmalai is the one he still remembers the most. Did he see a glimpse of Mom in me in her absence? Did food bring about an emotional connect we didn’t realise we had before? Can my cooking remind him of Mom’s influence and yet not make him miss her? Too many questions, I know, and I’m not sure if I want any answers.
Rasmalai is ideal for all age groups and is a great source of protein and calcium. Replace your kids’ milk once in a week with it and see them polish it off in no time. You don’t have to wait for cheat days to feast on it either, just have a couple of them for a meal. Also, family and friends will love you a tad more for it. Good deal, yes? 🙂
Do you like rasmalai too? Which sweets do you like to make at home? Please tell me.
This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge for April 2019