Rabri recipe (rabdi recipe) – Swasthi’s Recipes

Rabri also known as rabdi is a North Indian traditional sweet dish made with full fat milk, sugar, cardamoms and nuts. It is served as a dessert or along with malpua, gulab jamun, jalebi and puri. Rabri tastes very delicious, creamy & is full of flavors from the cardamoms and saffron. Making rabri at home does take some time & needs patience but the end results are worth the effort.

rabri recipe

What is rabri?

Rabri is a dessert made by simmering full fat milk until it turns thick and layers of cream are formed. It is then sweetened and flavored with cardamoms, rose water & saffron.

The process of making rabri is similar to Basundi, however rabri is more thicker and condensed for longer than it is done for basundi.

How is it made?

There are 2 ways of making rabri. The first method is to simmer milk until it reduces to 1/3 of the original quantity. During the process of simmering, layers of milk cream formed on top is moved to the sides of the pot & stuck.

These layers are lastly loosened and added back to the pot which gives a great texture to rabdi. It is then flavored & garnished with blanched nuts.

The other method of making rabri is to simply keep simmering the milk and keep stirring without sticking the cream to the sides. Depending on the kind of milk, you will get smooth to slightly grainy texture in your rabri.

The first picture in this post is made following this second method. I made a large batch of rabri a few months ago, to serve with malpua. I also poured some to moulds and froze to make kulfi.

You can also make rabri in a much simpler way by just adding some nut powder, thandai masala powder, almond paste, condensed milk or even milk powder. These are less common ways but these methods cut down the cooking time a lot & rabri made this way tastes delicious too.

Sometimes I make it following the short cut method with nuts. I have shown this method in my shahi tukda post.

What to eat with rabri?

Rabri can be eaten on its own as a chilled dessert with lots of nuts garnished over it. It is also served with jalebi, gulab jamun, malpua & even with puri.

Step-by-step photos


1. Rinse or grease a wide heavy bottom pot. Pour milk & bring it to a boil on a medium flame. Greasing helps to prevent the milk fats being scorched at the bottom of the pot. A wide pot quickens the process of condensing the milk.

boil milk in a heavy bottom pot

2. While the milk heats up, bring 1 to 2 cups of water to a boil. Switch off the stove and add nuts. Leave them in the water for 10 minutes.

blanch nuts in hot water

3. Later rinse them and peel the skin. Chop them to desired sizes.

chop nuts

4. When the milk turns hot, transfer 2 to 3 tbsps hot milk to a small bowl. Add saffron to it and soak . You can also add it directly to the pot of milk later.

soak saffron in milk

How to make rabri

5. Keep checking the milk. Every time a layer of cream forms, gently move it towards the sides of the pot.

simmering milk to make rabri

6. Stick it to the sides of the pot.

sticking cream to the sides to make rabri

7. Stir the milk at the bottom to prevent the fats getting scorched. This 2 step process of sticking the layers of cream to the sides of the pot and then stirring milk at the bottom should continue till the milk reduces to half the original quantity.

stir the milk

8. After simmering the milk for about 30 minutes, 6 cups of milk reduced to 3 cups. The timing may vary depending on the kind of utensil used and the stove or the intensity of heat.

stir milk and simmer to make rabri

9. Add sugar. You can add as little or more as you want.

adding sugar

10. Then add saffron soaked milk, cardamom powder & rose water (optional).

adding saffron and cardamom to flavor rabri

11. Begin to scrape the sides with the help of a wooden spoon. If the cream has dried up, pour some hot milk (from the pot) over the cream so it softens and comes off quickly.

scraping off the layers of cream

12. Continue to simmer stirring until the milk reduces to 1/3 of the original quantity or until it thickens a bit more. At this stage you can also see the color of the milk changes and a nice aroma begins to waft.

thickened condensed milk in pot

13. Add nuts and turn off the heat.

14. Chill rabri & then garnish with nuts. Serve with malpua, gulab jamun or jalebi.

We personally love to rest rabri in clay pots for a few hours for that unique flavor.

rabri rabdi recipe


1. Buffalo milk is best for making rabri as they are high in fat and thick layers of milk are formed easily. If you live in a place where it is not available, you can use cow milk just like the way I did it.

2. Avoid using cast iron pots to make rabdi as there is a high chance of the milk getting scorched at the bottom. A heavy bottom steel pot works well.

3. After making this for several years, I have found a wide steel pot to be the best. If you have a steel pressure pan, you can use that as well (without the lid).

4. If you want to make rabri with layers, then avoid non-stick pot as the layers won’t stick to the sides.

5. Follow the second method to make rabri without layers of cream. For the ingredients use the same as mentioned in the recipe.

More sweets recipes,
Gulab jamun
kaju katli
Gajar ka halwa


rabri rabdi

Rabri recipe

Rabdi is a traditional North Indian dessert made by simmering full fat milk until it reaches a thick consistency. It is sweetened with sugar & flavored with saffron and cardamoms. It can be eaten on its own or serve with gulab jamun, jalebi or malpua.

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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )


NUTRITION (estimation only)

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 636IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 437mg | Iron: 1mg


  • You can bring milk to a boil on a medium to medium high flame. But once it turns hot, ensure the milk boils at low flame until the last step. 
  • If you do not want layers in your rabdi, then you may skip sticking the cream to the sides of the pot.
  • Use a heavy bottom pot and avoid cast iron pots as milk will scorch very fast. 

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.


Rabri recipe originally published in 2016 Dec. Republished in 2020 October.

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