Basundi ~ Thickened Milk Dessert

Sweet Fantasy Club was one group I joined some time back but I have never been able to participate in any of the challenges since Preeti was busy with a lot of other commitments. This month, she decided to start the challenge. Every month, she gives two sweet dishes - a desi one and a fusion one which the group members are supposed to try and post within the month. Being a total sweet tooth, I took a plunge into this group. I keep trying fusion sweet dishes since they are more easier to make but making Indian sweets always freaks me out, mainly because the length and the complication of the procedures. I wanted to get rid of that fear mainly.

This month, she had given us Basundi as the Indian dessert and Eggless Chocolate Pancakes as the fusion one. Since she declared the recipes a bit delayed, she gave us an option to try one of them for the month. I have already posted a pancake recipe earlier. I was thinking of not participating this month due to the lack of time, but Basundi has been on my to-do list for so long, so I couldn't resist the temptation of trying it immediately. OK, now what is Basundi? It is basically a Gujarati dessert, where milk is boiled and reduced to half, and then flavored with some spices, nuts and even fruits. It is very close to Rabri, but I understand that rabri is thickened even more to make it like cream. All I can say is that it is an awesome dessert. Normally, it is chilled, so that it gets thicker, but believe me, it tastes good even if had warm - especially for people who have no patience to wait! Hehe... Off to the way I made it...

Basundi ~ Thickened Milk Dessert
Serves 2




Ingredients:

500 ml milk
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
A pinch nutmeg powder
5-6 strands saffron
2 tbsp chopped or crushed nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews)

Method:

In a heavy saucepan, heat the milk. Cook on medium-low flame till it reduces to half. Keep stirring as much as possible to avoid the milk sticking to the bottom. You may keep scraping the sides of the pan to collect the cream into the milk to make it richer. The process takes around 30 minutes, so be patient! :)

Add in the sugar, saffron and the powders and cook for another 5 minutes or till the saffron's color starts appearing. Add the crushed nuts and switch off. Allow to cool.

Serve either in room temperature or chilled - I bet you will not have the patience to wait till then!

Notes:

1. You can reduce milk and add part condensed milk to fasten the process. Do take care to adjust on the sugar then!
2. I have seen some recipes adding a couple of tablespoons of milk powder to the milk. This would definitely make the basundi creamier.
3. My saffron had a very pale color, hence didn't turn yellowish.

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