Easy Rabdi – Instant Rabdi

Quick and easy rabdi made with Ricotta Cheese! This Instant Rabdi requires a handful of ingredients and can be made in less than 30 minutes!
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Make this easy Instant Rabdi for the festive season with only few ingredients and in less than 30 minutes! This makes a great dessert on it’s own and also pairs well lots of Indian sweets!

6 copper bowls arranged on a tray, filled with rabdi and topped with nuts and rose petals

Festive season is the busiest time of the year for a lot of people. I know I am super busy with work and it’s also extremely busy in the kitchen with lots of events and parties lined up.

While I love making extensive desserts from scratch like this kala jamun, sometimes I also like to keep things simple and fuss-free. And talking about easy desserts, it can’t get easier than this Instant Rabdi.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I love making Diwali desserts which are low on efforts and big on flavors and presentation. For example these Gulab Jamun Shrikhand Jars are so incredibly easy to make with store bought gulab jamuns but look so fancy and festive.

And continuing with the same thought process, I am sharing this easy Rabdi recipe with you guys made using ricotta cheese. Just few ingredients, less than 30 minutes and you have got yourself a pretty looking and delicious dessert.

Traditional Rabdi v/s Instant Rabdi

I love the traditional rabdi, honestly there’s nothing like it. The flavor that you get from cooking the milk slowly for hours in unmatched. But making a classic rabdi takes time and there’s nothing easy about it.

The ingredients are simple but the whole process can take hours (depending on how much milk you are reducing) and it’s also a very involved process where you are constantly checking the milk and stirring it for hours making sure it doesn’t burn.

This Instant Rabdi is an easier version of rabdi and tastes quite similar to the classic version. I will not say that it tastes same as the classic rabdi because like I said the flavor that you get from slow cooking the milk cannot be replaced. But this does the job and it comes pretty close.

We use ricotta cheese in this instant rabdi which gives it that grainy texture that we associate with rabdi.

Ingredients

ingredients for instant rabdi arranged on a board

Ricotta cheese: this is the ingredient which gives the rabdi it’s characteristic texture. I prefer using whole milk ricotta. A substitute that can be used is fresh paneer. I haven’t tried this recipe with fresh paneer but in theory it should work.

Half & half: the rabdi gets it’s creaminess from combination of whole milk and heavy cream. You can use 12 oz of half & half from store or use 6 oz each of whole milk and heavy cream. I would not recommend using whole milk only here but evaporated milk (which is type of milk from which 60% water has been reduced) can be used.

Nuts: I love adding nuts to rabdi for texture and flavor. Use nuts of your choice and a good idea is to chop them using food processor. I used a manual food chopper that I have and gave it few whirls. You don’t want a powder here but small pieces of nuts so a chopper works perfectly.

Flavoring agents: like most Indian desserts, rabdi can be flavored with saffron, cardamom. You can also use rose water, kewar water for extra flavor.

Step by Step Instructions

1- Heat whole milk and heavy cream in a small pan on medium heat. No need to boil it but just heat it up. Then add to it saffron strands (crush them with your hands before adding to the pan). Stir, remove pan from heat and set this aside. The saffron will release it’s beautiful color and flavor in warm milk while you work on rest of the recipe.

2- To a heavy pan, add 2 teaspoons ghee on medium heat. Then add ricotta cheese to it.

3- Cook the ricotta for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.

4- Then add to it the milk-cream-saffron mixture.

step by step picture collage for making instant rabdi

5- Stir well until it’s all combined.

6- Then add the chopped nuts and stir.

7- Cook on medium-low heat for 4 minutes, stirring often.

8- Now add the sugar.

step by step picture collage for making instant rabdi

9- Stir it well, cover and cook on medium-low heat for 5 more minutes. Stir in between.

10- The mixture will thicken quite a bit towards the end of this time. Keep in mind that this continues to become thicker as it cools down so do not reduce it too much.

11- Add in the cardamom powder and stir.

12- The rabdi is now done. Add to serving bowls and serve warm or chilled.

step by step picture collage for making instant rabdi

Serving Suggestions

This rabdi can be served either warm or chilled. It’s a personal preference. If you want to serve it cold, refrigerate for 4 hours in the fridge then serve.

Here are some fabulous pairings that go so well with rabdi!

Re-heating & Storage

This instant rabdi really thickens as it cools down. So if you want to make this in advance, keep it refrigerated. When you plan to serve it, re-heat in your microwave or stove-top. Add some milk (1 tablespoon at a time) while re-heating and adjust to your desired consistency. Once the desired consistency is reached, then transfer the rabdi into serving bowls and serve.

a copper bowl filled with rabdi, topped with nuts and rose petals. A copper spoon is also placed into the bowl from the side

Making It In Advance

If you are making this instant rabdi for your Diwali party and want to make this in advance, I would recommend making it 48 hours beforehand and not beyond that.

The rabdi should keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge but ideally I don’t like to make this more than 2 days in advance.

Tips & Notes

  • This rabdi continues to thicken as it cool down so do not reduce it a lot. It should be a thick consistency but not super thick when you stop cooking.
  • If you don’t like nuts or making this for people with nut allergy, you can skip the nuts. I definitely prefer the rabdi with nuts though.
  • Stir often when making the rabdi, you don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pan. For the same reason, use a thick bottom pan so that the rabdi doesn’t stick.
  • The sweetness can be adjusted to taste. This works for me but if you prefer sweeter rabdi (or less sweet), adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.

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Instant Rabdi

6 copper bowls arranged on a tray, filled with rabdi and topped with nuts and rose petals
Manali
Quick and easy rabdi made with Ricotta Cheese! This Instant Rabdi requires a handful of ingredients and can be made in less than 30 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8
Calories 291 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole milk 6 oz
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream 6 oz
  • generous pinch saffron strands
  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts use nuts of choice, I used cashews and almonds
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar 100 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Instructions
 

  • Heat whole milk and heavy cream in a small pan on medium heat. No need to boil it but just heat it up. Then add to it saffron strands (crush them with your hands before adding to the pan). Stir, remove pan from heat and set this aside. The saffron will release it's beautiful color and flavor in warm milk while you work on rest of the recipe.
  • To a heavy pan, add 2 teaspoons ghee on medium heat. Then add ricotta cheese to it. Cook the ricotta for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.
  • Then add to it the milk-cream-saffron mixture. Stir well until it's all combined.
  • Then add the chopped nuts and stir. Cook on medium-low heat for 4 minutes, stirring often.
  • Now add the sugar. Stir it well, cover and cook on medium-low heat for 5 more minutes. Stir in between.
  • The mixture will thicken quite a bit towards the end of this time. Keep in mind that this continues to become thicker as it cools down so do not reduce it too much. Add in the cardamom powder and stir.
  • The rabdi is now done. Add to serving bowls and serve warm or chilled. You can serve the rabdi as such or pair with jalebi, gulab jamun etc.

Notes

  • This rabdi continues to thicken as it cool down so do not reduce it a lot. It should be a thick consistency but not super thick when you stop cooking.
  • If you don’t like nuts or making this for people with nut allergy, you can skip the nuts. I definitely prefer the rabdi with nuts though.
  • Stir often when making the rabdi, you don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pan. For the same reason, use a thick bottom pan so that the rabdi doesn’t stick.
  • Evaporated milk can be used in place of whole milk and heavy cream. 
  • The sweetness can be adjusted to taste. This works for me but if you prefer sweeter rabdi (or less sweet), adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
  • This recipes serves 8 to 10. It can serve more if you serve in smaller containers for a party. 

Nutrition

Calories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 8gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 63mgPotassium: 137mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 603IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 158mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

7 thoughts on “Easy Rabdi – Instant Rabdi

    1. yes, sorry I can’t help with the exact amount since I didn’t use condensed milk. My guess is you would still need some evaporated milk/or milk + cream even if use condensed milk

  1. I’ve tried it with ricotta and the desserts get a salty taste but with paneer this is a winner all the way! I make paneer ki rabri for navratri all the time and it’s a super hit !
    I also loved your plating👌

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