Dive into Amruta Deshpande’s recipe on how to prepare the richest and lushest of Indian milk desserts, a Shahi Malai Bhog.
I love to experiment with new recipes and improvise on the old ones, bringing in my own twist. Born and raised in Kolhapur, India, I am a former lawyer from Maharashtra, the state Kolhapur is in, though my husband and I now live in Virginia.
There is a Marathi phrase I like a lot: ‘Sukhacha ghas.” It means a morsel of bliss. I like people around me to have that experience with every bite of the food I prepare.
Shahi Malai Bhog is a perfect dessert – ideal for Mother’s Day.
The effort to prepare this dessert is more than compensated for by the sensory satisfaction it provides. I feel that food prepared during the festive season should complement the energy of the time, and indulge our senses of vision, smell and taste all at once. While planning one such sweet dish during an Indian festival, I came up with a recipe that ticks all the right boxes: the Shahi malai bhog.
About Shahi Malai Bhog
Like most of Indian desserts, this sweet dish is predominantly made from milk. It has a hint of cinnamon and rose water to tickle our sense of smell. Rose petals, pistachio garnishing and gold leaf makes this dish visually appealing. And the rich and creamy texture soothes our taste buds. That is why this dessert ranks high among my guilty pleasures.
Another reason I love this recipe is because all the ingredients can be found in a standard Indian kitchen.
The dish has two components – the shahi rabdi and the paneer gola. Rabdi is a sweet dish that can be consumed on its own but also goes well with gulab jamun and jalebis.
I decorate this dessert with gold leaf when I make it on festive or special occasions, such as Mother’s Day. That gives the dish a rich, formal look.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Calories: 343.6 kcal
For the Rabdi
- 4 cups (1 liter) whole milk
- 4 tbsp condensed milk (90g)
- 1/4 tsp rose water
For the Paneer Gola
- 2 cups (1/2 liter) whole milk
- cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp milk powder
- Ghee for frying
- 1 1/2 tbsp breadcrumbs
For the Garnishing
- Dried rose petals
- Chopped pistachios
- Sliced almonds
- Gold leaf
- Boil 4 cups of milk in a big vessel at medium and high level. Boil for 25-30 minutes stirring continuously. Later when the milk thickens turn off the heat and keep it aside to cool.
- Once the thickened milk cools down, refrigerate for 2 hours
- After refrigeration, take out the thickened milk and add 4 tbsp condensed milk and rose water and mix it well.
Your shahi rabdi is ready.
- Boil 2 cups of milk in a pan.
- Add the cinnamon stick and sugar. Let milk simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon stick.
- Add the simmering milk to a bowl where the vinegar and water have already been mixed.
Note: When you add vinegar to milk the milk curdles, separating water from curd. Drain with a strainer.
- Allow the water to fully drain, leaving the curds behind. This takes about an hour. This is the sweetened fresh paneer.
- Mix the milk powder and paneer with your hands. They should be well mixed.
- Freeze the paneer mix for 2 hours.
- Roll the paneer mix into even-sized balls.
- Roll the balls in breadcrumbs and keep on in a plate.
- Freeze them for ½ to 1 hour.
- In a pan, add ghee and fry the resulting paneer golas.
- Your paneer gola is ready.
Assembling the Shahi Malai Bhog
- Pour rabdi in a glass or bowl.
- Place dried rose petals and pistachio in the middle.
- Place paneer gola and decorate it with gold leaf. Your shahi malai bhog is ready to serve.
Check out more of the desserts on SEEMA, like Tina Naidu’s Thandai Chia Pudding