guest post: rabdi with fresh summer berries

I’m out of town right now, spending some time with a friend in need. While I’m away, someone quite talented is filling in for me for a day. I think you’ll like her.

Occasionally I’ll read a blog and immediately get sucked in for one reason or another. Prerna’s blog, Indian Simmer, is in that special group. Prerna founded her site in February 2010, the same month this one was born. In that amount of time, she’s established herself as a great writer and storyteller. But, one look at any of her posts, and it’s clear that her passion lies in photography. Her photos are simply beautiful, and they speak volumes without saying a word. I’m honored that she’s sharing some of her talents here with you today. In addition to her blog, you can find Perna on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Thanks so much Merry Jennifer for letting me take your place for a day. It is an honor to be writing for a blog like the merry gourmet!

A couple months back we moved to this town in the suburbs of San Francisco. California was the first place we called home after I and the husband got married. We started with a small one bedroom apartment that had these huge windows with tall sheer white curtains and a stream running outside, just a few feet away from our patio. We made so many memories with this place and so many friends here before moving to a different part of the country. We lived there longer than we did in California but I always felt this place was home and I knew I will come back. And I did!

Now we are here again, closer to the places we loved and also discovering new places that we never knew existed. One such place that I discovered and I am so glad I did is this cute little farm blocks away from our new place. It’s a tiny little farm, nothing fancy, run by a cute little family. They grow seasonal fruits and vegetables and sell it right outside their gate by the street under a small shade. And that fruit stand is like a godsend to me. I mean where else can you just drive up, ask the fruit seller for cherries and he steps into the farm, picks some straight off the tree and hands them to you? Taste of the produce increases manifold when it is still warm with the hot sun falling on the tree. To be honest, I never knew that peaches can be so juicy, plum and peachy!

These days the farm is loaded with fresh berries and so is my refrigerator and fruit basket. Bonus, the little one is crazy about them too. She can have them all day long seven days a week and still won’t get bored. So the perks of trying something new and just throwing berries in it are even more. And I have come to realize that berries make everything taste good. And when you add it to something as good as a rabdi then I can’t even tell you how good the result is!

When you cook sweetened milk at low temperature until it thickens to a creamy and rich texture, it becomes rabdi. To step it up a notch and to add another layer of flavor and aroma, cardamom powder or saffron is added. This is a hugely popular dessert in India and is usually accompanied with rasgulla (cheese balls cooked in a sugar syrup), jalebi or eaten as is.  A friend once told me how they add clementine wedges to it. So I started adding any fruit that had a bit of a tang to it and I have to say berries work best. It is rich and creamy, and saffron gives it the perfect warmth. The best part is that its super easy to make.

Yield: Serves 6.

Rabdi with Fresh Summer Berries

This recipe calls for raspberries and blueberries, but you can use just about any fresh berry you like.

Ingredients:

½ gallon (1.69 liters) milk
1 cup condensed milk
1 pinch saffron
½ cup raspberries
½ cup blueberries

Directions:

Cook milk in a thick bottom pan with a wide mouth. If a deep pan or pot is used to cook a lot of milk, the bottom layer sticks to the base while the top layer is still not hot enough. Bring milk to a quick boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer stirring occasionally. Using a plastic or wooden spatula scrape the bottom occasionally, not allowing it to stick to the bottom. Cook it until milk starts to thicken and then add condensed milk.

While continuously stirring, add saffron strands and cook it until it reduces to a thick consistency. I personally like a pancake batter consistency.

Let the rabdi cool down and then you can either chill it or pour it mildly warm over fresh berries.

Prerna Singh of Indian Simmer.

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12 Responses to “guest post: rabdi with fresh summer berries”

  1. 1
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    Kimmie — August 11, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

    What a lovely recipe! Such a light and delicious use of the gorgeous Summer berries available.

    Safe travels, MJ. My heart is with you and your sweet friend this week.

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    sweetsugarbelle — August 13, 2011 @ 2:19 am

    Prerna, this may very well be the perfect dessert. I have always been partial to panna cotta but this could very well replace it. Its easier but still captures the same effect. Thank you for sharing. As for you Merry my heart is heavy. Thoughts with you and the family. Travel safely.

  3. 3
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    Macaroni Mama — August 13, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Your photography is gorgeous, scrumptions, delicious!

  4. 4
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    Brian @ A Thought For Food — August 14, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    Prerna is just doing some amazing guest posts and this is yet another stunning one!

  5. 5
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    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — August 14, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    Love rabdi, love Prerna and Love you ! What a great combo 🙂

  6. 6
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    Liren — August 16, 2011 @ 4:43 am

    MJ, so glad you were able to comfort Jennie. This was a perfect choice for a guest post – Prerna brings beauty…and the rabdi sounds so silky and comforting as well.

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    marla — August 16, 2011 @ 9:34 am

    I love seeing miss Prerna over here. She is a great inspiration in so many ways. This berry dessert is stunning.

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    [email protected] — August 16, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    Thanks so much MJ for having me over! Its an honor to be guest posting for you.
    Guys thanks so much for your kinds words! I am blushing here 🙂 @Liren- SILKY is the word I was looking for 😀

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    kamran siddiqi — August 16, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    Prerna, beautifully written post, my friend! I’ve never thought of adding berries to rabdi, which I think is absolutely genius- the flavors definitely must go beautifully together.

  10. 10
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    What an easy and elegant dessert, just beautiful!

  11. 11
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    Magic of Spice — August 31, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    Such a beautiful recipe…just delightful!

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