Delhi

Rasmalai

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Rasmalai from Haldiram's in Delhi, India.

What: Its origins lie in eastern India, but this simple dairy-lovers’ dessert is very popular all over the north, including Delhi. It’s made of soft balls of sweetened chenna (like a crumbly paneer, India’s cottage cheese) soaked in malai, or clotted cream, flavored with cardamom, topped with nuts or dried fruit, and served chilled. It won’t win points for color, but it’s delicious, with delicate sweetness. 

Where: We wound up at a South Delhi branch of the excellent Haldiram’s (multiple locations including 45, Ring Rd., Lajpat Nagar-III, map), a perfect place to try rasmalai and other sweets.

When: Daily, 9am-11pm

Order: One order yields two pieces of rasmalai (56 rupees), which here is topped with saffron, almond, and pistachio. Cut through the slightly spongy balls with a spoon, and scoop up some of that soupy milky sweetness—or make like a local and drink it up. This is a nicely cooling, palate-cleansing dessert to follow some tangy-spicy chaat here, like raj kachori or papri chaat.

Alternatively: You’ll find rasmalai at most sweetshops or restaurants with sweets counters, like Anupama (2924-3311; HS-12, Kailash Colony Market, map) in South Delhi, both Bengali Sweet House and Nathu’s Sweets in Bengali Market (map), and Bikanervala (multiple locations including 382, Kucha Gachi Ram, Fateh Puri, Chandni Chowk, map), in Old Delhi and elsewhere.