Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rabdi ~ A Creamy Indian Dessert

Rabdi ~ a creamy, delectable dessert, a spoonful of which transports you instantly into a heavenly odyssey. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a simple fact that my husband and I are both fans of milk based desserts. Hence, Kheer, Basundi make a quick appearance on the menu especially the festive ones. The thing which I like about this recipe is it required very less pampering; I can just bring the milk to a gentle boil and get myself busy with occasional chores here and there, give a quick stir in between and again continue. My previous attempt at making Rabdi got stalled at the Basundi stage due to paucity of time and hungry growls begging for food. I added Condensed milk for that extra flavour. I jazzed up the dessert with a dash of Silver Leaf also called as Chandi Ka Varq available in Indian groceries and specialty stores. There are some concerns about the usage of these in desserts, but I believe for occasional treats they are much better than food color and trans fats laden food items which we inadvertently consume many a times.

Its advised to use full fat whole mlk for Rabdi else you will miss out on the rich flavour. If making a fruity dessert like Mango Rabdi, Strawberry Rabdi, mix the fruit (diced) at the final stage while serving. This dessert cannot me made in a hurry, so its advisable to have atleast 30-45 minutes on your hand while you plan. The best way to serve them would be in a earthen mini pots also known as Kulhad, I did not have them handy so passed it off. There is a strange chemistry when Rabdi gets stored in the earthen pots, the dessert gets a soothing earthy flavour. Rabdi is served in traditional sweet shops in India in muddy brown Kulhads; I for one leave no unturned to savour and enjoy these traditional sweets when I visit India.

Happy Gudi Padwa To All Those Who Celebrate!!

~ Rabdi ~

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30-45 minutes

Serves: 4 servings


Whole Milk (full fat OK) - 3 cups

Condensed milk (sweetened) - 1 can

Saffron - a pinch of strands

Pistachio (roughly chopped) - 2 tablespoon

Almonds (slivered) - 4 tablespoon

Cardamom powder - 1 teaspoon

Silver Leaf (Chandi Ka Varq) - 4 leaves


Thaw desired quantity on milk at room temperature. Heat the milk on medium flame in a deep bottomed non-stick vessel. Keep a close watch as milk has a tendency to boil very fast and stick to the bottom. Keep stirring with a wooden spatula preferably. Bring to a gentle boil and not a roaring one. Turn the flame to a low and simmer till the milk thickens to 1/4 of the consistency. Toast the dry fruits lightly for couple of minutes separately. Allow to cool completely. Now, stir occasionally to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the vessel. Add Cardamom powder now and adjust sugar if required. Add dry fruits and Saffron now and half of Almonds. The color of the consistency changes from white to light brown to creamy brown hue. Time and again scrape off the milk solids from the sides of the vessel. They add lot of character and texture to the final flavour. This whole process takes 45 minutes, so do not rush through. One done, the dessert will be thick, gooey and creamy. Turn off the flame. Serve hot with Puri. Else, allow to cool completely. Transfer to earthen pots, Kulhad. Refrigerate for 2-5 hours. Garnish with toasted Almonds (slivered) and Silver leaf.

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