Basundi -- Gujarati Food Friday
Updated: May 3, 2021
Basundi is a rich and delicious Gujarati dessert especially popular during the festive season.
As we enter the cool and crisp Autumn weather, Ayurveda advises us to change our eating habits to fit the season. This season is governed by Vata, the elements of air and space. Just as the air becomes cool, dry, and windy in our external environment, the same happens in our inside our body. If imbalanced, we may find ourselves more forgetful, restless, with insomnia, constipation, or dry skin. Adjusting our lifestyle and consuming foods with opposite properties from the cold and dry air can help keep us grounded through the Fall.
This basundi is sweet and moist with warming spices making it a perfect addition to our Fall diet. Traditionally, basundi is made by simmering whole milk for a long period of time until it has thickened and reduced. Warming spices and dried nuts are then added in to create a comforting dessert. This recipe is a quick yet delicious version of the traditional dessert and has the option to be made with no refined sugar.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 5 - 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Recipe by Pooja of Honey Ghee and Tea
1 cup of condensed milk with no refined sugar (refer to Notes for recipe)*
4 cups of whole/full-fat milk
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Pinch of nutmeg powder
2 tbsp raw cashews, chopped
2 tbsp raw almonds, chopped
2 tbsp raw pistachios, chopped
6-7 strands of saffron
1. Add milk and condensed milk to a thick bottomed pan. Heat on high until boiling, then lower heat and continue to simmer stirring frequently.
2. Continue to scrape the sides of the pan as the milk solids help to thicken the milk. Continue cooking for 15-18 minutes after which the milk should be slightly thickened to a creamy soup-like consistency.
3. Add in cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, and chopped nuts (set a little aside for garnish). Continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Pour into serving bowls, garnish with remaining chopped nuts, and serve warm or chilled.
Notes: *Homemade Condensed Milk (with no refined sugar) can be made and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Take 1 can of evaporated milk (12 oz) and heat in a saucepan with ½ cup of maple syrup. Bring mixture to a gentle bowl, then lower heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally until mixture has thickened and reduced in half.
*Can replace homemade condensed milk with the same quantity of store bought condensed milk