Bengali milk pastry in cardamom syrup.
1 litre milk
1 large lemon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup extra milk
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
a dozen raisins
1 tsp ghee
additional ghee for frying
a pinch of baking soda
1. Boil the milk briskly, gradually adding the lemon juice until the milk starts to curdle. Add 1 or 2 more drops of lemon juice, and allow to boil once more. Turn off the heat and allow the paneer that has formed to remain for 10-15 minutes. When sufficiently cool, strain the whey and tie the resulting paneer block in a thick muslin cloth. Hang this cloth for a few hours until not a trace of water is left.
2. Transfer the paneer onto a plate and divide it into 3 equal portions. To one portion, add an equal quantity (by volume) of sugar. To the second portion, add an equal quantity of flour. To the third portion, add 1 tsp of ghee, a pinch of baking soda, and the cardamom powder.
3. Mix all the portions together, and knead the dough gently until it is very soft and forms a round smooth ball. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Knead each piece into a ball, and then form it back into a cup. Place a raisin in the centre of each cup, close and smoothen the ball.
4. Prepare the sugar syrup by boiling the sugar with 1 cup of water until a thick syrup is obtained. Add 1/4 cup of milk and boil further until a thick layer coats the surface. Remove the syrup from the fire, strain and put back in the vessel. Continue to boil until the syrup is of a one thread consistency. Keep the syrup warm.
5. Deep fry the balls from step 3, 3-4 at a time on a very slow flame, stirring constantly. Fry to a golden colour and while still hot, soak them in the syrup. Allow them to soak for at least a hour before serving.