Vegan Ras Malai


This post is a long time coming! Ras malai is a dessert I had growing up – flattened balls of milk solids in cream (Malai) flavored with cardamom and saffron. I remember thinking when I became vegan – there’s no way to make this vegan. But actually there is!!!

It’s usually made by boiling milk and a bit of lime/lemon juice is added to curdle it. The whey is then discarded and the milk solids are drained, cooled, and then you roll it into a dough. The dough is divided into small balls, and the balls are cooked in boiling water. The balls are then cooked in saffron infused milk. But you can use soy milk instead of regular milk and veganize most ras malai recipes! I wish someone told me early on!

I have made vegan ras malai before that way using soy milk, and it turned out pretty good then! This time I used extra firm tofu mixed with cornstarch, and it also worked well! The flavors were so spot on! The texture isn’t exactly the same, but it was pretty close! But be careful about the tofu! If it’s too wet the dough/ balls won’t form as easily and you won’t be able to make a dough! So you have to squeeze the crap out of that tofu block and make sure it’s super dry! Happy dessert making, and please do let me know how it turns out!

Vegan Ras Malai

Recipe by Sara N.Course: DessertCuisine: PakistaniDifficulty: Moderate


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Ras (tofu balls)

    1 box extra-firm tofu (pressed, grated, and dried out)
    2.5 teaspoons cornstarch

  • Malai (saffron-infused milk)
    4 cups plant milk (I used oat)
    1 cup organic cane sugar or other substitute
    1/2 tsp ground cardamom
    10-12 saffron strands
    Chopped pistachios and sliced almonds


  • First make the saffron infused milk.
    Heat your 4 cups plant milk and bring to boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder and stir, then add 1 cup of organic cane sugar or sweetener alternative (or less if you prefer).
    Once the sugar is completely dissolved, and the mixture starts boiling, add saffron threads to the milk, which really makes the flavor of the milk!
    Let the concoction simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes
    Then add chopped unsalted pistachio and almonds as a last step. Give it a mix and switch off the heat.
  • Next make the ras (tofu balls!)
    Make sure you press the block of tofu before hand to release all liquid.
    Grate the block of tofu. If there is still excess water after the grating, make sure you absorb as much of the liquid as possible so it is dry.
    Add 2.5 teaspoons of cornstarch and mix well.
    Start kneading the mixture until it’s smooth and it becomes pliable like a dough with little moisture
    Shape the ras balls (create balls and then flatten them)
  • Next boil the ras balls in sweetened water
    Heat water in a broad pan, and add 1/2 cup sugar until it’s dissolved and boiling
    Next add the ras balls to the boiling water.
    Cook it for 5 minutes and then cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat.
    Then remove the cover, cook for another 5 min, and flip the flattened balls and cook for another 10 minutes.
    Then switch off the heat, and drain the excess water by lightly pressing the flattened balls. This process will also help them to absorb the saffron milk easily.
  • Place them in a bowl and add the saffron milk to it. Add additional chopped nuts and saffron threads as garnish. Refrigerate overnight for the best taste and so the flattened balls absorbs the flavors of the milk!

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