Raj Bhog – A delicacy from the Royal table of Bengal
- 4 liters whole milk
- 6 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 level teaspoons self-rising flour
- 2 level teaspoons fine semolina
- 2 level teaspoons castor sugar
- 10-12 cups water
- 3 cups of sugar
- 1-2 open green cardamom pods
- Milk if needed
Ingredients for filling
- 3 heaped tablespoons powder milk
- 5 -6 generous tablespoons fresh milk
- 14 ground almonds
- 14 ground pistachios
- Seeds of 5 cardamoms finely crushed
- 2 heaped tablespoons castor sugar
- Bring the milk to a boil and switch off the heat.
- Add in the vinegar and stir, the milk will curdle and separate into a cottage cheese-like consistency.
- Line a sieve with a muslin cloth and strain the cottage cheese or paneer reserving the cheese and whey separately.
- Gather the edges of the muslin together and make a poultice. Run this bag of paneer under flowing water to dispel all the sourness of the vinegar.
- Squeeze out all the liquid and lay this paneer onto a large tray or thali.
- Rub and lead this paneer well.
- Add the self-rising flour, semolina, and 2 teaspoons of sugar and knead further.
- If you feel the paneer is too dry and crumbly you may add a wee bit of milk to give it a softer texture.
- Roll this paneer into 1.5-inch diameter balls.
- Put the cups of water into a large pressure cooker and add the three cups of sugar and open cardamom pods.
- Heat this on a low flame until all the sugar fully dissolves.
- Bring this liquid to a full boil then lower the flame to a gentle simmer.
- Switch off the flame.
For the filling
- In a small pan heat the milk and the powder milk, add nuts, cardamom and sugar, and stir on a low flame till a dough-like consistency is formed.
- Allow this halva to cook, and once cooled roll into small marble-sized balls.
- Take one ball of paneer (previously prepared) flatten it and lay the halva ball in the middle. Cover this ball with the paneer and roll into a nice round shape
- Do this with all the halva and paneer.
- You should have approximately 8-12 balls all in all
- Now bring the light sugar syrup to a boil and gently lower the stuffed paneer balls into the boiling syrup.
- Cover without the whistle and cook till the paneer balls swell up and are fully cooked (around) 8-12 minutes.
- Cool and take each ball out of the syrup cut in half and serve.
Picture Credit : Kailash Kumar from Freepik