When I saw this link for Raw, Vegan 'Rasmalai' on my friend P's facebook profile yesterday, I was consumed by the desire to immediately attempt it. One just can't have the words VEGAN and RASMALAI jumping out from the same sentence and resist its pull. Any plans I'd had to laze around after lunch went right out the window. I prepared and gobbled up the chapati and tofu/capsicum curry in a big, fat hurry and lunged for my mixie, all the while showering a thousand blessings upon the heads of Rohit and Rishi of Roshi's who came up with this ingenious, raw concoction.
I tweaked the original recipe a wee bit. Here's the version I followed.
Cardamom and Saffron Flavored Cashew Mylk Base:
1/2 C Cashews
2-3 T Agave Nectar
4 Green Cardamom Seeds (crushed)
1 generous pinch Saffron Strands
1 3/4 C Water
Add all ingredients, except water, into a grinder jar and powder well. Add water a little at a time and make a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend well to form a creamy vegan mylk. Keep aside.
1 C Cashews
1 C Almonds
1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds (optional ingredient for added calcium)
5 Soft Dates (chopped)
In a dry jar, grind 1/2 C cashews and 1/2 C almonds into a fine powder. Separately grind the rest of the cashews and almonds along with the sesame seeds into small granules.
In a large bowl, mix everything with dates by hand until evenly distributed. Add 2 tablespoons of the cashew mylk and knead. Shape into 1 inch balls and lightly flatten them into saucers.
Place in a wide bowl and pour the prepared cashew mylk over them. Sprinkle sliced pistachios and a small pinch of saffron on top. Cover and keep aside for 7-8 hours for the balls to soak up the mylk and soften (this is the hardest part!!).
Tastes best when served cold.
Note: This is a rich, healthy and extremely delicious dessert but it didn't turn out exactly like normal Rasmalai. The mylk did taste like the kind used in Rasmalai but the texture of the balls was not soft and creamy like Rasgulla should be. They were more like a rich, dry fruits barfi/ball soaked in decadent saffron mylk.
I will be redoing this recipe again and next time I will eliminate the dates and also lightly mix and shape the 'dough' rather than kneading.
But in the end, even if it doesn't turn out like Rasmalai, I don't really care because it tastes absolutely heavenly!! Plus it's easy to make, raw and healthy (not a single bad ingredient in there!). I even guiltlessly ate it for breakfast just now. :D
I have a feeling that this will be a staple dessert at our home. :)