Rabri- Serves 5

“Rabri” is a rich Indian dessert made with milk, sugar and Kewra essence. Kewra is an extract distilled from Pandanus flowers. The essence has a strong aroma and so just a dash of it is perfect to flavor Indian sweets. The preparation time required for making “rabri” is about 5 minutes but the cooking time is very long – at 4 hours and 15 minutes!  While it is time consuming, the end result will have your guests fighting for the last bite.

“Rabri”is made by boiling down the milk to less than half its quantity. It is basically a mixture of thick cream sweetened with sugar and flavored with “kewra” essence and served chilled. Since it is such a rich dessert, I highly recommend you portion it out. I usually serve it in small glasses (approximately 3 1/2 ounces) and garnish it with a few chopped almonds and pistachios. Cold “rabri” can also be served with hot “Gulab-Jamun” or “Jalebi”.


10 cups whole milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon kewra essence

handful of chopped almonds and pistachios

“Varq” or edible silver paper ( easily available at your local Indian grocery store, sold in sheets. Costs approximately $1 a sheet)


Take a heavy bottomed vessel like a dutch oven. Pour the milk and and bring to a boil on medium heat. After the milk has boiled, keep on low flame and stir every 5 mintes till the milk gets reduced to about 2 2/1 cups. This entire process took me 4 hours and fifteen minutes.

Cream that starts to collect on top is to be gently pushed to one side and make sure to gently scrape the edges of the pan and incorporate in the milk mixture. Once the mixture is thick and reduced to 2 1/2 cups, add sugar and keep stirring for another 5 minutes till all the sugar is dissolved.

Off the heat, add the kewra essence and mix well. Cool completely. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. At the time of serving, I pour the rabri in these small glasses, cover with “varq” and chopped nuts. Enjoy!

Note: After the first boil, keep on low flame all throughout and stir every 5 minutes. Gently push the cream that gets formed on the top to one side. In order to get the right consistency, boil the 10 cups of milk to 2 1/2 cups. It’s going to be rich, creamy and simply divine!

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