Basundi – Creamy Dessert

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“Sweet Thickened milk” flavored with “Cardamom powder-Saffron” and garnished with “Dry Fruits” is Basundi. This yummy sweet is a hit and most relished on my dessert menu, it can be served hot, warm or chilled. . There are many variations to this dessert in terms of the consistency, dry fruits added. This dessert needs to be cooked on low flame, requires some time, patience and lots of love for that extra sweetness :p. Trust me, it’s worth it.

My mom was a Maharashtrian, this dessert was made very often in combination with poori whenever we visited our maternal relatives and at our home as well. I tasted different variations of this dessert and my mom made the best Basundi, she would soak some rice grains with dry fruits, blend it and add to the milk which makes it more creamy…Here is the recipe…

Serves: 3, Ingredients:

  • Milk: 1 Litre + 1 tbsp (Full Cream milk preferred)
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
  • Saffron: 4 to 6 strands
  • Cashew or Kaju: 4 to 6
  • Almonds or Badam: 4 to 6
  • Mixed dry fruits for garnishing: Cashew, Almond, Pistachios (Choose according to your preference)
  • Raw rice: 1 tsp

Things to prepare or set up before we start :

  • Soak Cashew, Almonds and raw rice in some water for about half an hour. Post that blend it into smooth paste by adding little milk if required.
  • Soak saffron strands in 1 tbsp of milk.

Let’s Get Started:

  1. Boil milk in a thick bottomed pan or wide vessel on a medium flame.
  2. Lower the flame and boil the milk until it reduces by quarter. Keep stirring often from the bottom of the vessel making sure that the cream does not stick to the bottom or get burnt, this might alter the taste of the sweet. Scrape the cream on the sides and add it to the boiling milk.
  3. Place a laddle or spoon in the vessel as seen in the recipe pictures to prevent milk from boiling over and spilling.
  4. Once the milk is reduced by quarter, add the paste made from raw rice, cashew and almonds. Keep stirring while adding the paste, to avoid lumps being formed. Let it simmer for two minutes, the milk starts thickening.
  5. Add sugar, cardamom powder and mix well.
  6. Add saffron mixture, mix well and let it simmer for five minutes. The consistency should be thick yet flowing.
  7. Turn off the flame and we are all set. Garnish with your favorite dry fruits or leave it plain, can be served hot, warm or chilled according to your preference. Personally, I love to have basundhi with toasted bread or bread fried in ghee

My Take on the dish:

  • The authentic Basundi is made with whole milk, you can skip adding the paste. Just boil the milk till it reduces to half or until the milk thickens and follow steps 5 to 7 of the recipe.
  • You can use more of Almonds and less cashew for the paste. Kids will surely relish it.
  • Make sure that the consistency of the sweet is thick yet flowing, it thickens further on cooling.
  • Just in case, you miss the flowing consistency and the sweet becomes very thick…. Not a problem at all, it tastes similar to Rabri. At times, I make the thicker version a day prior and use it for making Shahi Tukda. However, If you do not prefer the thicker version, just add some milk and give it a mix and we are all set 🙂

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