My introduction to rabri was over jalebi. The chunky, creamy topping contrasting with the bright orange. I grew seeing the rabriwala patiently stirring giant vessels of milk in the market gully. And then, I had rabri neat. Unaccompanied.
Rabri swings both ways. It is equally at home in the company of other showstoppers, as it is solo. So let’s get to know it a little better.
A Close Cousin of Khoya
In one of my previous posts, we explored the the heavenly nature of khoya, thanks to Surbhi!
This time we invited Amolika to Farmery's kitchen. A lovely cook, she won our hearts with Rabri.
The visible difference between Khoya and Rabri is consistency. Rabri is not reduced as much as khoya, and is pleasantly firm yet creamy. Often you’ll see the lumpiness of malai when you scoop the rabri. Khoya on the other hand is firm, dry and crumbly.
Amolika's secret- Reduce, Reduce, Reduce!
Rabri involves reducing full fat milk to a fraction (third or fourth) of its volume. It needs to be reduced slowly over a medium flame. It is recommended to periodically scrape away the milk solids that form to the side of the vessel.
A few may crumble in some khoya, a few prefer to mix in paneer, others put in both. One thing’s for sure, all three approaches lend an extra layer of allure and satisfaction. Amolika recommends that rabri be prepared in a thick bottomed, shallow, broad kadai to hasten evaporation and to prevent the milk from burning.
- 1 litre farm fresh milk
- Pinch of kesar (saffron)
- 1 small bowl breadcrumbs
- Sugar (to taste)
- Sprinkling of dried fruits
- Cardamom powder (to taste)
- Pour farm fresh milk (1 litre) into a container.
2. Bring it to a boil.
3. Once milk comes to boil reduce the flame.
4. Allow milk to reduce to 3/4th quantity.
5. In the meantime, prepare a small bowl of kesar milk:
Take 2 tbsp of hot milk and kesar in a bowl.
Give it a stir.
6. Pour the bowl of kesar milk into the main vessel of milk.
7. Add one bowl of breadcrumbs.
8. Mix it well into the milk with a spoon.
9. Keep stirring till the mixture becomes relatively thick.
10. Add 2 tbsp of sugar.
11. Add a sprinkling of dried fruits (save some for garnishing)
12. Finally, while still stirring, add a pinch of cardamom powder.
13. Pour into the serving bowl. Garnish with dried fruits.
14. Serve warm or chilled.