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This instant shahi rabdi (rabri) is a quick and easy spin on the classic Indian dessert that takes hours to make! Check out this 15-minute recipe that you’ll want to make over and over again.
Table of contents
Traditional way to make rabri
If you never had rabdi (or rabri as some people refer to it), imagine a sweet, creamy milk-based dessert infused with saffron and topped with nuts. You can savor rabdi as is or you can pair it with gulab jamun, jalebis, and malpuas.
Rabri finds its origins in Mathura but was apparently perfected in Varanasi. You’ll find many different versions of it across India but the most popular one is Basundi which is a thinner, less creamy type of rabdi.
Traditionally rabdi is made by boiling milk on low heat while continuously stirring it. As the milk cooks, the water content reduces and the cream starts collecting on top. The cream is gathered with a spatula on the side. The stirring and cooking process is continued till you are left with a creamy, caramelized mixture.
This process can take over an hour with constant stirring involved. It is certainly not my cup of tea! That’s why I came up with this instant recipe where you need just about 15 minutes and this dish is ready before you know it!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Perfect for potlucks!
- Makes a perfect pairing with most Indian desserts.
- Use it as a topping!
- You can make and enjoy your favorite dessert in 15 minutes!
How to make rabri instantly
- Sweetened condensed milk is nothing but milk from which water has been evaporated. This key ingredient is what helps cut short the cooking time so much when compared to the traditional method.
- Ricotta cheese – Adds texture to the rabdi. Finely grated paneer can also be used as a substitute – I haven’t tried it but Richa does in her rabdi recipe.
- Whole milk – to dilute the mixture and for taste.
- Flavoring agents – saffron, cardamom powder, kewra or rose essence
- Garnishes – chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios or nuts of your choice) and rose petals.
Step by step instructions
Recipe notes / tips
The condensed milk-ricotta cheese mixture will stick to the base and get burnt off in no time. That’s why make sure you follow these recommendations –
- Use a thick bottom pan
- Continuously stir and lastly,
- Cook on medium-low heat.
As a rule of thumb, consume any milk-based desserts within 2-3 days. Always keep it refrigerated until it is ready to consume.
Serve it with
Other easy Indian desserts to try
Instant Shahi Rabdi (Rabri)
- 7-8 saffron strands
- 1 cup whole milk, divided
- 14 oz condensed milk
- 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon rose or kewra essence optional
- ¼ cup chopped nuts almonds or pistachios
- rose petals optional
- Soak saffron in 2 tablespoons of warm milk. Set it aside.
- To a heavy-bottomed pan kept over medium-low heat, add ricotta cheese and condensed milk.
- Use a spatula and mix them till they are well combined and no lumps remain. Add milk and mix well.
- While stirring continuously, let the mixture come to a boil (will take around 8-10 minutes). The mixture should have thickened. If it has not thickened, let it cook for anouther 5-6 minutes. Note: It will continue to thicken as it cools down.
- Turn off the heat. Add soaked saffron strands with milk, cardamom powder, rose or kewra essence (if using). Mix well.
- Let the mixture cool down before refrigerating.
- Serve it cold or at room temperature topped with finely chopped nuts, crushed rose petals.
Recipe notes/tipsThe condensed milk-ricotta cheese mixture will stick to the base and get burnt off in no time. That’s why make sure you follow these recommendations –
- Use a thick bottom pan
- Continuously stir and
- Cook on low heat
Storage instructionsAs a rule of thumb, consume any milk-based desserts within 2-3 days. Always keep it refrigerated until it is ready to consume.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.