Rabri is the quintessential Indian dessert that makes it appearance in every festival and celebration across the country. Rabdi is arguably the most popular sweet in India and best enjoyed in the holy cities of Banaras and Prayagraj.
The sweetmakers of both these cities still adopt the traditional methods to churn out these sinfully delicious desserts. The superior quality of rabri is largely attributed to the excellent quality of milk available in abundance in this belt.
Creamy milk is boiled in wide heavy-bottomed pans on wood fire. It is stirred continuously on low flame. The appropriate measure of sugar and cardamom is added to the milk.
As it simmers gently, a layer of cream forms over it. The layer formed is pushed away from the centre to the sides. The milk is stirred carefully without disturbing the creamy layer on the sides.
This process is repeated till the milk reduces to one-third of its volume, becomes thick and turns beige cream in colour. The cream that has been pushed aside begins to form distinctive layers. The creamy layers on the sides are mixed into the thickened mixture and allowed to cool.
It is served cold with a generous topping of chopped almonds, pistachios and dried fruits. This signature dish of Prayagraj is unbelievably soft, thick and creamy in texture and mildly sweet.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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