Rasmalai is a popular Indian sweet made of paneer (cottage cheese) balls soaked in sweetened, flavored milk. It is a delicious dessert that is often served at celebrations and festivals across India. But like many rich, creamy desserts, rasmalai is high in calories and fat. So how many calories are actually in 100 grams of this sweet treat?
What is Rasmalai?
Rasmalai consists of small pieces of paneer that have been boiled in milk and shaped into balls. These paneer balls are then soaked in rabri, which is thickened, sweetened milk flavored with saffron and cardamom. The whole dessert is garnished with dried fruits and pistachios.
There are many variations of rasmalai across different regions of India. Some versions use khoya (milk solids) instead of paneer. Others may flavor the rabri with rose water instead of saffron. But the basic components are the same – paneer balls soaked in sweet, thickened milk.
Rasmalai has a soft, spongy texture and a rich, creamy taste. The paneer balls soak up the flavors of the rabri, making each bite sweet and decadent. The contrast between the soft paneer and the liquid rabri is part of what makes rasmalai so enjoyable.
Nutrition Facts of Rasmalai
The main ingredients in rasmalai are milk, paneer, sugar, and nuts. This combination makes it a high-calorie dessert. Let’s look at the nutrition information in 100 grams of rasmalai:1
As you can see, a 100 gram serving of rasmalai contains 334 calories. The majority of those calories come from fat (17g total fat, 10.3g saturated fat per serving).
Rasmalai also provides 16.5g of protein and 28.3g of carbohydrates per 100 gram amount. Along with the calories, you get high amounts of calcium (624mg) as it is made with milk. But there is also a considerable amount of cholesterol at 60mg per serving.
To understand where all those calories are coming from, let’s take a detailed look at the calorie composition of rasmalai:2
- Fat: 153 calories
- Saturated Fat: 92 calories
- Trans Fat: 2 calories
- Carbohydrates: 113 calories
- Protein: 66 calories
Fat accounts for over 45% of the total calories in rasmalai. The saturated fat content is quite high at 10.3g per 100g serving. No wonder rasmalai tastes so rich and creamy!
Carbohydrates make up about 34% of the calories. Most of these carbs come from the sugar added to the milk to make the rabri sweet.
Proteins account for 20% of the calorie content. The protein comes from the milk and paneer used to make rasmalai.
Calorie Density of Rasmalai
Calorie density looks at the number of calories in a food relative to its weight. Foods with a high calorie density provide more calories per gram. Rasmalai has a calorie density of 3.34 calories per gram. This makes it a very calorie-dense food.
For comparison, the average calorie density of common categories of food is:3
- Fruits & Vegetables: 0.5 – 1 calories/gram
- Grains: 3 – 4 calories/gram
- Cheese: 3.89 calories/gram
- Desserts: 2.5 – 4.5 calories/gram
Since rasmalai is made of cheese and double cream, its calorie density is on the higher side, similar to other desserts. It has a higher caloric density than grains but lower than pure cheese.
Around 51% of the calories in rasmalai come from fat. Let’s see how the amount of fat in rasmalai compares to other foods:
|Total fat (g)
|Saturated fat (g)
|100g Cheddar cheese
|100g Plain yogurt
Rasmalai contains more total fat and saturated fat compared to yogurt and fruit. However, it has about half the amount of fat as regular cheddar cheese. So while rasmalai is high in fat for a dessert, it is not as fatty as pure cheese.
Rasmalai contains 28.3g of carbohydrates per 100g serving. Here is how this carb count compares to other foods:
|Total carbs (g)
|100g Brown rice
The carbohydrate content of rasmalai is moderately high. Almost all the carbs come from sugar, unlike fruits and grains where some carbs are from starch and fiber. The high sugar content is what gives rasmalai its sweet taste.
Rasmalai versus Other Desserts
Let’s see how rasmalai compares to some other popular Indian desserts in terms of calories and fat:
|Total Fat (g)
Rasmalai has fewer calories and carbs compared to other traditional Indian sweets like gulab jamun, jalebi and ladoo. However, it has a similar fat content. So if you are looking for a slightly lower calorie dessert option, rasmalai is a better choice.
Ways to Make Rasmalai Healthier
Here are some tips to make your rasmalai a little healthier while still keeping its great taste:
Use Low-fat Milk
The rabri is what gives rasmalai most of its calories. Make the rabri with low-fat or skim milk instead of full-cream milk to reduce the fat and calorie content.
Cut down on the amount of sugar used in the rabri. You can also try using a natural sweetener like stevia instead of sugar.
Use Healthy Oils for Frying
Rasmalai is often served with a drizzle of rabdi over the top. Fried cashews and raisins are also sometimes used as a garnish. Fry these in healthy oils like olive oil or avocado oil instead of hydrogenated oils.
Rasmalai is a high calorie dessert. Watch your portion sizes when indulging. Stick to enjoying one or two pieces at a time rather than having a very large serving.
Balance with Other Foods
Enjoy rasmalai as part of an otherwise well-balanced diet filled with vegetables, proteins and fiber. This can help balance out the calories when you eat this sweet occasionally.
Here are some useful cooking tips to help make perfect, delicious rasmalai at home:
Use Good Quality Milk
The taste and texture of the rasmalai depends greatly on the quality of milk used. Always use good, fresh, whole milk preferably from an Indian grocery store.
Get the Paneer Right
Making paneer with the right consistency is key. It should be firm but also soft enough to absorb the milk. An easy trick is to boil it in water first before cutting into balls.
Flavor the Rabri
The rabri should have a rich, creamy taste. Boil it well and flavor with saffron strands, green cardamom and rose water. Let it simmer till thick.
Soak the paneer balls in the rabdi for at least half an hour for them to absorb all the flavors and become soft and spongy.
Refrigerate before Serving
Rasmalai tastes best well chilled. Refrigerate it for 2-3 hours after soaking to let the flavors set before serving.
To summarize, a 100 gram serving of rasmalai contains approximately:
- 334 calories
- 17 grams fat
- 28 grams carbs
- 16.5 grams protein
The high calorie and fat content come from the whole milk, cream and cheese used to make rasmalai. It is higher in calories compared to other desserts like gulab jamun or jalebi.
Enjoy rasmalai in moderation along with regular exercise. Making small tweaks like using low fat milk, less sugar and healthier oils can also help lighten it up a bit. But a few pieces of this heavenly dessert are certainly worth the indulgence occasionally!