Rabri is a condensed, sweet milk based dessert known in Pakistan and India. A cousin to the popular rice pudding dish called Kheer, it is made by cooking milk in sugar and spices on low heat for hours to reduce until the sweet milk turns a reddish tint and turns almost into a milky cream pudding. It is then chilled and served with an assortment of nuts in ceramic clay pots.
Ceramic clay pots were and still are the traditional way to cool desserts, homemade yogurt, and even water in extreme heat temperatures overseas. Ceramic clay pots are known to help with evaporative cooling. Which basically means, it helps increase the air flow around the pot to cool it faster and keep it cool for a longer period of time.
If you have the time to cook Rabri for hours it's definitely worth it and even more satisfying when cooled in a ceramic pot. But if you're on a crunch, here's a great quick way to make this delicious, traditional sweet milk dessert, to satisfy your sweet craving.
So let's get started (Printable Recipe at the bottom)...
I start with some heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, ricotta cheese, and fresh coconut meat (pureed). I just scooped out the flesh of a young Thai coconut and pureed it in my food processor until it was finely ground.
Just add all your ingredients into a sauce pan with 2 cardamom pods (be sure to crack them open). Mix everything really well and bring it to a boil. Stir every few minutes with a wooden spoon to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom. After about 20 mins the mixture will start to thicken (be careful, it may splatter). Continue to cook the Rabri until its thick like pudding, about 30 to 40 mins. Be sure to leave it slightly runny because it thickens as it sets.
*Awesome TIP thanks to my Mother-in-law (May God always grant her health and protect her, Ameen): Lay a mixing spoon over your sauce pan if you walk away, to avoid your milk from boiling over.
Remove from heat and add a splash of Rose Water. Mix well to incorporate the flavoring throughout.
**Always add rose water at the end of the cooking period, off the stove to avoid bitterness.
**If you do not like rose water, you may omit it.
Pour your cooked, thickened Rabri into a ceramic serving tray or ramekins. Garnish with sliced almonds, ground pistachios and edible dried rose petals. Bring the Rabri to room temperature and chill it in the refrigerator for AT LEAST 2 hours before serving.
Make this for your next dinner party and I promise you'll have your guests raving for more!
Want to turn it into a fusion?! How about Qatayif Rabri! A pancake stuffed cream filled rabri with rose syrup overtop!