A visit to the holy city of Kashi is deemed complete only if one samples their signature dish, the delicious, creamy and mildly sweet rabdi. This quintessential dessert makes it appearance in every festival and celebration across the country.
Arguably the most preferred sweet of North India, rabri is prepared using traditional methods even today. 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.
Rabdi is available only after sunset and is served warm in a kulhad.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian