B for Basundi – A to Z Maharashtrian Sweets
For B, I had some options like Besan Ladoo, Besan Rava Ladoo, Besan Burfi, all of which were already done. I was left with Basundi, which is supposed to be a popular Maharashtrian dessert. However, as with all Indian Sweets, this is popular in all states.
When we walk down a busy marketplace, one is sure to come across a stall that’s making hot Basundi in a huge pan, where the milk is boiled on low flame and the vendor keeps stirring it all the time, the finely chopped nuts decorating the top.
I remember our trips to Tirumala, you walk around the place to find a good eatery. As you walk down the streets, you will find Basundi pans almost in most of the joints. As you dig in your Gobi Fried Rice, you can smell the heavenly aroma of the simmering Basundi and you can complete the meal with a piping hot Basundi. I can’t actually decide which I like best, hot or chilled. So you can take your pick!
I was only too happy that I am yet to post this on the blog. I have a delicious dessert to offer. Basundi is prepared by boiling milk on low heat over a long duration until the milk is reduced considerably and is sweetened to taste. This is then served either chilled or hot. When you evaporate basundi even more, it results in thicker texture. Thicker version is referred as Rabri, which is again consumed as such or served on top of other desserts like Jalebi.
I make quick Basundi with Condensed milk as well. However since this is supposed to be a traditional post, I wanted to go all the way and made it by reducing milk, and then chilling it. I served it for Sunday afternoon dessert and Konda was in love with it. She kept asking me to make it again.
How to make Basundi
Making of Basundi with Step by Step pictures
B for Basundi
1 liter Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Chopped Nuts (I used almonds, pista, and cashews)
Few Saffron Strands
A Pinch Cardamom Powder
How to make the Basundi
Soak the saffron in warm milk, keep it aside. Finely chop the dry fruits and keep it ready.
Take the milk in a heavy bottomed pan and cook on medium flame.
Continue to stir and let the pan be on low flame for over an hour, by which time the milk would have reduced to half its quantity.
Strain the milk to remove the whey. I pulsed the whey along with milk to make it smooth. Add this back to the milk and boil again.
Add the sugar and cook on a slow flame till the milk thickens, you keep stirring continuously
Finally, add the saffron milk, add the cardamom powder and cook on a slow flame for another 20 minutes.
Serve warm or chilled, garnished with nuts.
This dessert is essentially a liquid drink as it’s served in glass tumblers. However, you can enjoy this in a bowl as well if you had made it a wee bit thicker.