Rabri recipe | Rabdi recipe | how to make rabdi at home

Make a sweet shop-style traditional rabri recipe at home with step-by-step pictures. Rabri aka rabdi is a thick cream layer (lachchedar malai) dunked in a thick & sweetened condensed milk flavored with cardamom powder. Traditional sweet shop style rabri required only two ingredients to make i.e., milk, and sugar. Cardamom powder is also used to bring that authentic flavor of rabri. Rabri was originally invented in India’s Mughal era when milk or malai-based sweets were regularly made in the Royal Mughlai kitchen.

Rabdi is generally served with Indian sweets recipes like Malpua, Gulab jamun, Jalebi, Shahi Tukda, Falooda, Ghevar, or Imarti on special occasions in India. Though rabri is one of the most popular sweets in the North Indian region. But this dessert is also popular in other parts of India too, such as Benaras, Patna, and West Bengal. My today’s post is mainly about Kolkata’s most sensational Bengali rabri or rabdi recipe which I learned from my mom.

Rabri sweet rabdi is served in earthen bowlRabri sweet rabdi is served in earthen bowl

Rabdi is easy to make homemade sweet only it is a little time-consuming recipe. Continuous effort is required from start to end while making the sweet in a traditional way. Rabri or rabdi is very delicate, need to prepare it on a low flame with continuous stirring. More heat can make these cream layers too hard and chewy even have a chance of getting burnt from the bottom.

Easy trick to make rabdi

For making this sweet, waving a hand fan over the boiling milk forms thin layers of cream on top of the milk. I came to know this trick from my mom. My mom says this method is common in making traditional rabri that all the Bengali confectioners follow while making this sweet. And she collected this information by seeing the confectioner doing this method staying in the neighborhood. I kept it in my mind and applied it when I first made this sweet at home. Since then I’m following the same method while making this bengali rabri. Rabdi is actually a recipe of sweet kheer or doodh er sor in our bengali language (not kheer in hindi).

Story of rabri sweet from Gangpur Village, West Bengal

Did you ever hear about rabri gram, a village in Gangpur (near Kolkata) for making the best Bengali rabri recipe in West Bengal? In this village, most of the villagers engaged themselves in making this sweet at home as their profession. For their traditional delicious sweet “rabri”, the original name of this village has been changed to “rabri gram”. You may visit that village to experience the wonderful making process of their rabdi recipe. Their traditional homemade rabdi is actually the best recipe of bengali lachchedar rabdi, which is very popular in Kolkata aka Paschim Bangla or West Bengal. And apart from cardamom powder, these bengali confectioners don’t use rose water and dry fruits in this milk or doodh based rabri or rabdi recipe and I’ve followed the same here. 

Two methods of making instant rabri sweet

Do you know, except for the traditional way, rabdi sweet can a made in an instant way? Instant rabdi, can be made with roti or phulka (Indian bread) and with store-bought bread. For making easy instant rabri, roti or phulka must tear into small pieces first. Then soak the pieces in little water for 4-5 mins. Then add the bread pieces into the condensed milk added cardamom flavored thick milk and cook it for some time. In a Bengali television cooking show, Bengali Chef Rongon Neyogi once shared this instant roti rabdi recipe. Which he made to manage the shortage of rabri sweet in a bengali marriage. His bread rabdi was so close to the original milk rabdi that no body can recognize the difference as he said.

Even this instant rabri also can be made with store-bought bread too. Then must remove brown-colored sides of the bread. Afterward, make the bread flat by using a rolling pin as we do the same for making bread malai roll. Then cut the flat bread into small pieces. Soak it in little water then again press it down. Then put them in thicken cardamom flavored sweetened milk and cook it for a while until instant bread rabri is ready. This instant bread rabdi is also close to the original rabri and also easy to make and perfect for quickly serving to your guests.

Make this traditional rabri at home, hope my step by step guide will help to make this sweet perfectly. Let me know your valuable feedback about this sweet dish by writing it down in the comment section below.

You may try other Indian sweet recipes from my website

How to make rabdi recipe with step by step pictures

Instructions

  • For making this sweet, first, take a thick bottom deep and wide pan with 1 lit of milk (full-fat milk), and place it on medium flame. Bring it to a boil.
milk is in a thick bottom deep and wide pan, about to boil
  • The milk froth started to rise up with a thick layer of cream or malai on its top.
a thick layer of malai or cream is rising up with the froth of milk
  • Then immediately slow down the heat to its minimum.
  • At that moment you can see the froth with cream or malai is moving towards one side of the pan. As shown in the pic.
milk cream or malai is going towards one side of the pan while slow down the heat
  • At this moment, by using a spatula gently take the cream and start to stick the layer of malai on the inner wall of the pan, as shown in the pic.
after gently taking the layer of cram or malai, sticking it on the inner wall of the pan to make this rabdi ki recipe
  • Stick the malai or milk cream layer all over the inner wall of the pan.
  • This means, try to cover the whole wall of the pan by sticking the layer of the cream. As shown in the pic.
For making rabdi cover the whole inner wall of the pan by sticking up the layer of cream or malai on it as shown in the pic
  • This way collect the thin layers of cream and stick to the side wall of the pan during the cooking. As shown in the pic.
sticking the thin layer of cream or malai on the inner wall of the pan for making this shahi rabri recipe
  • Here, I’ve used my trick of using a hand fan (or even you can use a newspaper).
  • Hold the hand fan (or newspaper) as shown in the pic and start waving it over the surface of the milk. As shown in the pic.
using my trick of waving the hand fan over the the milk for making this bengali rabri recipe
  • After every 3-4 times of waving the hand fan over the milk. And the thin layer of cream will form or appear immediately on the milk surface.
  • Then collect that thin cream layer from the milk and stick it to the side wall of the pan as before.
sticking the thin layer of cream which was quickly formed by waving the hand fan on the surface of the milk
  • Keep collecting the layers this way and keep sticking it all over(all over the inner wall or sides) the pan. As shown in the pic.
showing how using that trick, continuously collected and sticked up the layers of cream on the inner wall or side of the pan for making this indian sweet rabri
  • When the milk will reach 300-350 ml or 1/3 portion of its original quantity, then stop making the layers.
  • This means when the remaining milk looks close to condensed milk then do not need to make more cream layers for rabdi.
 rabdi sweet lachha not need any more in this stage
  • Then add 4-5 tbsp of sugar to the pan and mix it nicely with the milk remaining in the center of the pan.
sugar is added to the dudh of rabdisugar is added to the dudh of rabdi
  • Stir the milk continuously to quickly melt down the sugar in it.
  • Should not keep the thick cream layers in the pan for a long time, then the cream will get hard.
cook the milk with continuous stirring for quickly melt down the sugar in milk to prevent the cream layer from getting hard, is the basic trick for making rabdi recipe
  • After 1 or 2 mins, when tiny bubbles start appearing on the surface of the milk, immediately turn off the heat. 
tiny bubbles started appearing over the rabdi milk indicates the sweet is done
  • For me, this whole process takes 1 hrs 10 mins on low heat.
  • Then add 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder to the milk and mix it nicely.
cardamom powder is added with the evaporated rabdi milkcardamom powder is added with the evaporated rabdi milk
  • Rabdi is almost ready, remove the pan from the oven and bring it at room temperature.
removed the rabdi pan from the heat to bring it at room temperature
  • After some time when the milk totally cools down, then separate the layers of the cream from the side wall of the pan by using a spatula.
after cooling down the milk, separate the malai lachha from the inner wall of the pan by using a spatula
  • As I’ve used a nonstick pan, the layer easily comes out of the pan, as shown in the pic.
lachha of rabdilachha of rabdi
  • After removing all the layers from the sides of the pan, put it in the thick evaporated milk that remains in the center of the pan. As shown in the pic.
putting all the solid cream layer or malai lachha in the thick milk for making bengali rabri gram like rabri recipe
  • Even scrape the sides of the pan if some small portion of that layer is left.
scraping the the sides of the pan for collecting the extra small portion of that layer which was left on the inner side of the pan
  • Now you should cut the solid cream layers into pieces. I personally prefer to cut the layers into small pieces. Even you can cut or break them into medium pieces too. 
cutting the malai layers into small pieces to mix with sweet rabdi milk
  • Let’s soak the cream layers or lachcha into the thick evaporated milk for 2-3 hrs and rabdi will be ready.
recipe lachchedar rabdi is readyrecipe lachchedar rabdi is ready
  • After 2-3 hours sweet shop-style traditional rabri or rabdi will be ready.
  • Then you can put it in the refrigerator (in a steel tiffin box or in a food graded plastic container) for some time before serving.  
  • Serve this chilled sweet lachchedar rabdi by garnishing with some chopped almonds or pistachios sleeves or powder and rose petals from the top to give it a shahi touch.

Recipe card of Rabri recipe | Rabdi recipe | how to make rabdi at home

Rabri recipe | Rabdi recipe | how to make rabdi at home

Recipe by Moumita PaulCourse: Sweet, DessertCuisine: North Indian, BengaliDifficulty: Moderate
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

50

minutes
Calories

300

kcal
Total time

55

minutes

Rabri or rabdi is a most delectable milk-based sweet where thick layers of milk cream (or lachchedar malai) are dunked in thick sweetened cardamom-flavored condensed milk. Popular in North Indian states, West Bengal (Kolkata) & Bangladesh. Rabdi is best served with Malpua, Gulab jamun, Jalebi, Shahi Tukda, Falooda, Ghevar, or Imarti on special occasions in India.

Ingredients

  • 1-liter Full cream Milk

  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder

  • 4-5 tbsp Sugar(as per taste)

  • Equipment requires
  • Deep bottom pan

  • A hand fan

  • A spatula

Method

  • For making rabdi, first, take a thick and deep bottom pan with 1 lit of full-fat milk, and place it on medium flame. Bring it to a boil.
  • When the milk froth started to rise up, a thick layer of cream or malai will be clearly visible on its surface.
  • Then immediately slow down the heat to its minimum.
  • At that moment you can see the froth with cream or malai is moving towards one side of the pan.
  • At this moment, by using a spatula gently take the cream and start to stick the layer of malai on the inner wall of the pan.
  • Stick the malai or milk cream layer all over the inner wall of the pan.
  • This means, try to cover (as much as possible) the whole wall of the pan by sticking the layer of the cream on it.
  • This way we need to collect the thin layers of the cream and stick them to the side wall of the pan during the cooking process.
  • As per my trick, I use a hand fan or newspaper and start waving it over the boiling milk to get quick thin layers of malai (dudh er sor).
  • After 3-4 times of waving the hand fan over the milk, the thin layers of cream or malai will easily form on the milk surface.
  • Collect that cream layer and stick it to the wall of the pan as before.
  • Keep collecting the layers in the same way and sticking them to the wall of the pan.
  • When the milk will reach 300-350 ml or 1/3 portion of its original quantity, then stop making the layers.
  • This means when the remaining milk looks close to condensed milk then do not need to make more cream layers for rabdi sweet.
  • Add 4-5 tbsp of sugar to the remaining milk in the pan and mix it nicely with the milk and stir the milk continuously to quickly melt down the sugar.
  • After 1 or 2 mins, when tiny bubbles start appearing on its surface, immediately turn off the heat.
  • Add 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder to the milk and mix it nicely. Rabdi is almost ready, remove the pan from the oven, and bring it at room temperature.
  • Separate the solid cream or malai layers from the inner wall of the pan by scraping the pan’s wall with a spatula.
  • Now you should cut the solid cream layers (lachchedar malai) into pieces. I personally prefer to cut the layers into small pieces. Even you can cut or break them into medium pieces too. 
  • Let’s soak the cream layers or lachha into the thick evaporated milk for 2-3 hrs and rabdi will be ready.
  • After 2-3 hours sweet shop-style traditional rabdi will be ready.
  • Then you can put the rabri in the refrigerator (in a steel tiffin box or in a food-grade plastic container) for some time before serving.  
  • Serve this chilled sweet lachchedar rabdi by garnishing with some chopped almonds or pistachios sleeves or powder and rose petals from the top to give it a shahi touch.

Important tips about this recipe

  • In the beginning, you may not be able to stick the layer all over the pan. Sometimes the layers will be slipped down from the side, but don’t be afraid of it, it happens to me too. It may take some more time but during this process, slowly you will be able to stick the malai on the pan.
  • Always maintain the heat, up to medium, and don’t leave it unattended once after starting the preparation.
  • Keep stirring the bottom of the pan along with making the cream layers, to avoid burning. Especially after adding the sugar to that thicken the milk, it should be more careful as sugar has a tendency to quickly stick to the bottom.
  • Never ever put the dried cream layers into the thickened milk when it is hot. Let the milk completely cool down, otherwise, the cream layers or lachha will be hard and chewy.
  • Let the dried cream layers soak the sugar-added milk to get it sweet in taste, as we don’t add sugar to the milk from the beginning. 
  • Minimum of 300 ml of milk should be left in the pan otherwise the layers will completely soak the milk and make it so dry. 
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