There are times when you don’t feel like doing anything. You just want to be in a state of limbo. Binge watch everything that you have missed out on TV and Netflix, eat whatever junk comes your way and in general, enjoy the status of doing nothing except for the occasional phone calls from office. I have been going through this for the past week or so. Although, I have been giving in to my food cravings by frequent trips to the kitchen and cooking up the necessary with the help of my Man Friday- Ashok (sometimes I wonder what I would do without him). And while I am in this un-earthly and peculiar situation, Anindya has been literally pushing me up the wall for writing a post for Diwali.
Everytime someone comes home to visit Ma, they usually bring in fruits and sweets and the fruits would inevitably be apples and pomegranates. Sadly, Ma cannot eat apples since she has weak teeth and no one in the house, other than moi, eats fruits (banana being the exception). I have to find interesting ways to feed apples to both the father and son. The son spent his entire two years since the time he started on solids, by eating apple sauce every single day. Perhaps, that’s the reason he detests apples now. So, in one of my such culinary adventure to create something new for the son, I made apple rabdi. Fairly simple recipe, doesn’t take too long, not overladen with sugar and yet, simply delicious. Everyone loved it. The best part was, Ma got to eat it too.
Why call it Apple Rabdi and not Kheer?
Both are made with thickened milk but the consistency is quite different. In case of rabdi, the milk is seriously condensed and simmered over a long period of time to develop layers of cream (skin of milk). While in shops they do it for hours and remove the cream each time, continuing the process untill all the milk has been converted into cream; at home it is simply not possible to do it for so long. However, what I was happy with the consistency that the apple rabdi had reached. The milk was thickened enough. Due to the use of full cream milk, the evaporation process generated plenty of cream or milk skin. Coupled with the texture of grated apples, it felt just like rabdi.
Did you know that in 1965, milk sweets, including the loved Calcutta rabdi and all other channa based sweets were banned in Calcutta? This ban was imposed by then Congress Chief Minister Prafulla Chandra Sen, who went against the sentiment of the people and imposed this ban to prevent the scarcity of milk. And even though his intent was correct, it did not go well with the state in General and amongst many other reasons, this sweet ban was also a reason for the downfall of congress in the state.
You can know more from https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/onmyplate/the-bitterest-ban-the-improbable-story-of-how-bengal-tried-to-ban-bengali-sweets/
Anindya thought it was a great recipe to share and would be perfect for the Diwali post. He is the story teller, hence I assumed that he would be writing the post. However, I could sense his reluctance and finally he shared that he did not have a story to tell for this particular recipe; which is strange since it never happens to him. And then started the ordeal. From once a day to twice a day and then hourly reminder to write this post (he can be a super nag if he choses to), he finally made me open my laptop in the midst of watching the latest on Vikings and Feud- Bette and Joan and start typing. Perhaps now you get why this post is purely a banter on my state of mind. I am no story teller. But who cares!! Buy some apples and make this apple rabdi for Diwali and I promise your guests will be delighted.
Here is the Apple Rabdi recipe
- 1 1/2 litre full fat milk
- 2 large red apples
- 1/2 cup Sugar you can even use less than 1/2 cup depending on your taste
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder alternately, you can use cardamom or even cinnamon powder
- 1/2 cup chopped dry fruits I used almonds and pistachio
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, boil the milk and then let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Keep the heat to low and if you wish to speed up the process of thickening of the milk, then you may increase the heat. In that case you need to be more vigilant and constantly stirring the pot so that the milk doesn't spill. However, if you keep the heat at low, then you can do away with stirring the pot once in a while and watch the milk thicken. The objective is to reduce the quantity by half.
- When the milk has thickened, add the sugar and the nutmeg powder.
- Stir for a couple of minutes for the sugar to dissolve.
- Peel the apples, de seed them and finally grate them. Immediately drop the grated apples in the milk and let it simmer for about two minutes and then turn off the heat. Do not grate the apples in advance and keep since it will turn brown.
- Pour out the contents in another bowl and once it has cooled down, refrigerate it.
- Serve the apple rabdi chilled by garnishing with dry fruits.