I was introduced to Ricotta cheese by my aunt. When I first bought this cheese from the local Trader Joe's store, I was not sure how I could use it in dishes other than pasta. After following some interesting recipes on the web, I decided to make sweet munchies with this cheese. The recipe is really simple. No baking required, however, some patience is needed because you have to cook the cheese until all its water content is evaporated.
1 box of Ricotta cheese: I like the one at Trader Joe's the best.
Few treads of saffron immersed in 1/8 cup warm milk: This releases the color and flavor of the saffron into the milk.
1/4 cup honey
Powdered cardamom seeds.
Jaggery or Brown Sugar as per taste.
Empty the Ricotta cheese into a heavy bottomed stainless steel pan and cook on medium heat until the water evaporates and a crumbly, dry cheese is left behind. To this, add, the honey, milk and saffron mixture, cardamom powder and jaggery. Mix thoroughly until any traces of milk are all gone. The mixture should be dry. Now, use your hands to shape small portions of the cheese into any form you like. I typically make "modak" shapes with this cheese. This shape can be easily obtained by gently shaping a ball of this mixture with all five fingers to form a tower like structure! You could also roll the cheese on saran wrap into a 1/2'' thick slab and cut pieces with cookie cutters. Store each piece in separate chocolate cups and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey! The texture of the cooked and dry ricotta goes very well with the honey, saffron and cardamom. These sweet treats store well in the refrigerator and are so easy to make.