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A recipe for ‘rasmalai’, one of the world’s top rated cheese desserts

Rasmalai ranked second on the list of world’s best cheese desserts by the food encyclopedia, Taste Atlas. Here’s how you can make this indulgent sweet at home

A screenshot of rasmalai prepared by chef Kunal Kapur.
A screenshot of rasmalai prepared by chef Kunal Kapur.

Rasmalai combines two words—ras means juice and malai is cream. The milky, juicy and creamy dessert has secured the second rank on a recent list of World’s Best Cheese Desserts by the food encyclopedia, Taste Atlas. The traditional Polish cheesecake, named sernik, ranked first, and Greece’s cheese and honey pie, called sfakianopita, was placed second. On a list of 33 items, there are two other Indian cheese-based desserts: Odisha's chhena poda ranked 28, and kalakand ranked 32.

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Indian food items have consistently topped the food ranking released by Taste Atlas. Recently, filter coffee secured the second spot among world’s best coffees; and vada pav got the 19th rank in the list of world’s best sandwiches. The rankings of the world’s best cheese desserts misses out the rasagulla which is an OG cheese-based mithai. It is the predecessor of rasmalai, and nothing can beat a soft rasgulla dripping with sugar syrup. The list on Taste Atlas has names of places that serve the tastiest rasmalai. The names are crowd-sourced, and not all of them are accurate. For instance, the list says Delhi’s Farzi Cafe has an iconic rasmalai which is debatable. Nothing can beat the quality and freshness of rasmalai served in mishti stores of Kolkara. It has names of some places, like Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar and Tamarind, from Kolkata, but misses out on landmark mishti places, such as Balaram Mullick and Radharam Mullick.

The rasmalai has earned fans because of its flavours and textures. The spongy sweet ball is soaked in cardamom and saffron-infused milk, and is served cold topped with almond slivers. This video by celebrity chef Kunal Kapur shows how to make the perfect rasmalai at home. As he says, the best rasmalais are pillowy soft and should melt in the mouth. Watch and learn.

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