I don’t remember having malai laddus while I was growing up or may be this had a different name in bengali. The first time I got a chance to relish this amazing sweet, I loved it so much that I had to learn making it. I mean the taste was phenomenal, for me it was the best. The taste of mashed chenna(crumbled paneer) is blended so well into malai/fresh cream that it melts into your mouth as soon as you bite it. These lemon sized balls are loaded with flavours of kesar(saffron strands) and cardamom, they captivate your mouth for a while and you will be drooling over its taste.
I had malai laddus in mind for a long time now and had saved it for Diwali so here I am with the recipe. Its Kali puja today and Diwali tomorrow, so to celebrate the festivals these laddus prove to be the best choice. Apt for offering the Goddess if you plan to offer homemade sweets plus this will also be an amazing dish to serve at your Diwali get together or potluck.
A lot of people use crumbled paneer but I suggest you to use fresh chenna to get the best taste. If in a hurry, go ahead, use paneer but crumble it well. I generally mash the chenna with my hands, dont like to use your hands? just blend it in a mixer. Kesar is an all time favourite so I prefer kesar malai laddus over regular malai laddus. You can skip kesar if you want and go ahead with the recipe in the same way. For dry fruits you can use any dry fruits of choice, I like using almonds for everything. Last but not the least, for today’s recipe I used Amul fresh cream because my mother had used up the stored fresh malai to make clarified butter/ghee, if you have fresh stored malai lying in the fridge,nothing can beat it. Try these laddus at least once and I promise you will make them again. For now, lets get started with the recipe.
- Chenna/Crumbled paneer - 1 cup
- Fresh cream/Stored malai - ½ cup
- Powdered Sugar - ½ cup
- Milk powder/Dairy whitener - 2 to 3 tbsp (optional)
- Kesar/Saffron strands - 10 to 12 + few to garnish
- Yellow liquid food colour - 2 to 3 drops
- Crushed cardamom seeds - ¼ tsp
- Dry fruits (of choice) - 3 tbsp (chopped) + few to garnish
- Soak kesar/saffron strands in 2 tbsp warm milk and keep aside.
- Clean the work surface, and mash chenna well using your hands for few minutes until chenna is smooth. If you do not want to use your hand, crumble chenna in mixer. If using paneer, crumble it in mixer as well.
- Now in a thick bottomed pan, pour fresh cream/malai and start heating it over low flame, cook the cream till it reduces a little bit. Keep stirring.
- Add in the mashed/crumbled chenna and mix well using a spatula.
- Just then add powdered sugar and dairy whitener (optional), mix well nicely.
- Let it cook on low flame for few minutes and then add the kesar soaked in milk and yellow food color, mix it well.
- When you see the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan and starts coming together, add the crushed cardamom and mix well. The mixture should not look liquidy anymore.
- Switch off the flame and add dry fruits, blend well with a spatula.
- Let the mixture cool down fully.
- Once cooled down completely, grease your palm with little oil/ghee and start making round balls out of the mixture.
- Garnish with more dry fruits and saffron strands.
- Store in a airtight container. Its a dairy product so I prefer storing laddus in fridge.