8 cups whole milk (divided)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
5 cups (in a pressure cooker) water
1 cup sugar
pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
2 Tbsp pistachios and almonds, roughly chopped
Sugar for the Ras – to taste
Boil 4 cups milk in a steel pan and boil the remaining 4 cups milk in a non-stick pan (The milk in the non-stick pan needs to be reduced to half the quantity so once it comes to a boil, keep the flame low and keep cooking while stirring occasionally. Grind saffron with a small amount of sugar and add it to the milk while boiling).
Once the milk in the steel pan comes to a rolling boil, slowly add lemon juice.
When the milk curdles (paneer), switch off the stove and strain the paneer in a cheese cloth.
Pour a little cold water over the paneer and hang the cheese cloth on the tap for approx 30 minutes to remove all of the liquid.
Remove the paneer from the cheese cloth and run it through a food processor to smooth it out. You can knead the paneer by hand but it will take a long time to make it smooth.
Divide the paneer into 12 equal portions a little smaller than the size of a ping pong ball.
Roll the portions in your hands until a smooth ball is formed. Lightly press the ball until it flattens out.
In the pressure cooker with water, dissolve 1 cup sugar and add the flattened paneer.
Close pressure cooker lid and cook until one whistle sounds. Immediately switch off the stove and set the timer for exactly 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, carefully take the pressure cooker to the sink and pour cold water over the lid to remove the pressure.
Remove the cooked paneer with a slotted spoon into a bowl and allow it to cool.
Meanwhile, the milk in the non-stick pan should have reduced to half. Add sugar to taste, cardamom powder and nuts. Switch off the stove and keep milk aside.
Once the paneer is cool enough to handle with your hands, gently squeeze out the sugar syrup from the paneer and place the paneer into a serving dish.
Pour the prepared reduced milk over the paneer and chill in the refrigerator.
Garnish with additional chopped nuts.
Photo Credits: Umme Kulsum