Indian desserts popularly have a name for being decadently sweet, deliciously spiced and overall time-consuming. It is that part of being slow and cooking that bring about the flavours and the aroma characteristic to it.
One of the most delicious yet heartwarming desserts I dont mind stirring the pot for is the basundi.
This characteristic Gujarathi milk based dessert is really a work of love. I love to make a bowl of basundi on a cold day, when the smell of the cardamom and saffron invade my house. Stirring the pot for a long time on that day is a pleasure, it works to keep warm too.
I have seen basundi always served cold topped with chironji nuts. The roasted nuts on top add a tiny bit of crunch to the mouthfeel. Then it feels complete as an Indian dessert. Served with a deep-fried puffed poori, basundi is total decadence.
The work takes around an hour of stirring the pot and extra time to chill. But definitely is a beautiful outcome. Often I make double the quantity of what I need and freeze half the portion in ice moulds. This gives me a quick kulfi on the days I hate to see the stove.
Very often, I have heard to add a can of condensed milk to the pot of milk. I would strongly discourage that as it really takes away the delicious creamy taste of the milk solids and the sweetness from the original lactose. Some desserts are better off the way they are meant to be.
Check out some more of traditional Indian desserts which really are a work of love
And scroll down for the details of basundi.
Don’t miss to tag a friend who just loves this dessert, after all, it is a to have and to hold kind of dessert.
I am submitting this recipe to this month’s Cooking from a Cookbook Challenge. This recipe is one I have learnt and adapted from Tarla Dalal, the queen of Indian Cookbooks. She has inspired me early on with her beautiful pics and simple effective recipes. I own a collection of her cookbooks and added many more miniature recipes into those little handy booklets when I had not begun my blogging space. Now I find those had written notes fun and so useful.
If you have such cherished books do share, will love to read and adapt.
See you next week.
Delicious thickened and spiced milk dessert.
- 1 litre low fat/ full cream milk
- 5-7 strands saffron
- 3 pods cardamom seeds, powdered.
- 1 pinch nutmeg grated
- 1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used stevia )
- 2 tsp chironji (Charoli, Saara parippu)
- Soak the strands of saffron in two tbsp of milk and set aside
- Pour the milk in a wide bottomed thick saucepan.
- Set it on medium heat and bring to a boil
- Reduce the heat, and allow the milk to simmer.
- As the milk thickens the solids and the fat that accumulate on the sides should be scraped and added back into the simmering milk.
- In about 30 minutes the milk would have come to nearly half the quantity.
- Now add the sugar, cardamom powder, nutmeg and saffron soaked.
- Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, heat a pan and gently roast the Chironji seeds.
- Add this to the simmering basundi.
- Serve it warm or cold depending on your desire.
Chrionji is a nut with an almond-like taste. you can swap this for almonds or pistachios. If using low-fat milk, it will not be extremely creamy. I have used full-fat milk here. If Using stevia using about half the quantity of the sugar mentioned.
Serving: 200gSodium: 110mgSugar: 28gFiber: 0.2gPotassium: 386mgCholesterol: 12mgCalories: 164kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 2gFat: 3gProtein: 9gCarbohydrates: 28g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!