Milk Cake and Rabri (Amar D. Gupta | Siliconeer)
Chef Sanjay Patel presents a desi mithai recipe to sweeten the festivities as we wish you a very happy Diwali.
For Milk Cake:
- 6 cups of whole milk
- approximately 3 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp crushed cardamom
- 2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
- approximately 1 tbsp sliced pistachios for garnish
- 2 liters Full cream milk
- ¼ cup sugar (for a sweeter taste, add another 1-2 tbsps)
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 7-8 strands saffron (soaked in 2 tbsp of warm milk)
- fistful of pistachios
- 7-8 almonds, blanched and peeled
- kewra essence or rose water, few drops (optional)
MILK CAKE: Grease a 6-inch plate and set aside. In a large, wide and heavy saucepan bring the milk to a boil over medium high heat. And let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
Add lemon juice to the milk, it will begin to curdle. Use minimum amount of lemon juice to just start the curdling process and prevent the whey (milky water) from completely separating immediately.
Boil for 5 minutes and remove approx. 1 ½ cups of the whey. This will help reduce the tartness from the cake.
Continue to cook and stir occasionally until the milk is a grainy consistency and the whey is evaporated. This will take an additional 15-20 minutes.
Add sugar and cardamom and keep stirring until the mixture starts coming together. This should take approximately 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes until mixture changes to a slightly golden brown color.
Transfer mixture to the greased plate and press firmly into a square shape, approximately 1 inch high. As an option, sprinkle sliced pistachios on top.
Let sit for at least an hour before slicing into individual pieces.
RABRI: Sliver the blanched almonds, chop the pistachios and set aside. Boil milk in a large heavy bottomed wide vessel on high flame. Once it comes to a boil, reduce flame to low and allow to simmer. Every 3 to 4 minutes, push the top layer of malai (top of milk) that forms on the top towards the sides of the vessel. Continue to do this till the milk is reduced to less than half of the original quantity.
Keep scraping the sides of the vessel and combine it with the thickening milk.
After about 1½ hours, the milk would have reduced considerably to a thick mass. Add sugar and half of the chopped nuts and mix. Allow the sugar to dissolve and continue to simmer the mixture till it reaches a third of the original quantity. Add cardamom powder, rose water and saffron and mix well.
Turn off flame and allow to cool to room temperature. Remove to a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining chopped nuts and saffron strands.
Ladle into serving bowls and serve warm. You can even chill the rabri and serve it chilled.