Basundi is a traditional Indian sweet drink made with milk, dry fruits, and saffron. This Basundi Recipe is perfect for hot summer days when you need a chilled milk drink to deal with the heat. You can serve Basundi as a summer dessert or an indulgent festive drink; either way, it tastes delicious.
What is ‘Basundi’?
Basundi is a rich, creamy Indian drink made with milk.
The full-fat milk is simmered over low heat to form a thick creamy texture. Later, it is flavored with saffron, cardamom powder, nutmeg, and dry fruits. There is no gluten/starch in Basundi.
It is a widely popular festive drink in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. Basundi is always part of festive thali meals or the grand feasts.
On certain Indian festivals like Holi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, Gudi Padwa, or Teej, it is considered a good omen to make Basundi. Every family has its own version of Basundi recipe.
Difference between Basundi & Rabri
The rabri is a North Indian milk pudding with a thick texture. Whereas Basundi is a Western and South Indian sweet drink cum dessert. The ingredients to make both sweets are the same but the taste and textures are way different.
Reasons to LOVE Basundi:
gluten-free, easy to prepare and serve
a refreshing dessert cum drink
flavorsome and aromatic
make ahead recipe
For this classic Basundi recipe you need a handful of staple ingredients.
Milk: Use full-fat milk for a rich and creamy Basundi.
Sugar: Granulated white sugar is used in this Basundi recipe.
Saffron: It gives a golden color, intense aroma, and sweet taste to the drink. Saffron is an essential ingredient.
Cardamom Powder: Elaichi (green cardamom powder) gives a sweet aroma and taste.
Nutmeg Powder: A dash of it gives an earthy and spicy taste.
Nuts: Almonds and pistachio are the best friends of a Basundi. You can skip adding nuts if you are allergic.
Additional Ingredients: Rosewater, rose petals, chironji, or kewra water are a few optional ingredients you can add to a Basundi.
Watch Basundi Recipe Video
Serving & Storing
A Basundi is best-served chilled in earthen pots (mitti ke kulhad). I prefer making it a day before serving and chilling in the refrigerator overnight.
If you are not keen on serving it chilled. Serve Basundi at room temperature.
Basundi Recipe comes under the category of Indian desserts. But often it is served as a drink with Indian thali meals as well. In a few places, Basundi is enjoyed with piping hot puri as well for breakfast.
Store the leftover Basundi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days. No need to reheat. Serve at room temperature or cold.
More Indian Drink Recipes
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- 1 liter full fat milk
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon saffron (kesar)
- 1 pinch nutmeg (jaiphal)
- ⅓ Cup granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon almond, sliced
- 1 tablespoon pistachio, sliced
- To prepare Basundi, transfer milk to a heavy bottom kadhai or saucepan. Turn on the heat to low – medium.
- Add cardamom powder, saffron strands, nutmeg powder to the milk and stir to combine.
- Heat milk on a low-medium flame and bring to a gentle boil. Keep on stirring at regular intervals so that the milk does not get browned or burnt from bottom. Scrape the milk solids from the sides, the cream layer formed on the top, and add it back to the simmering milk.
- Once the milk reduces to almost half of the original amount, add sugar, stir to combine, and simmer over heat to dissolve the sugar completely.
- Once Basundi reaches a thick yet pouring consistency. Turn off the heat. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Garnish with sliced nuts and keep in the refrigerator to chill for 2 – 3 hours.
- Serve Basundi warm or chilled garnished with dry fruits and rose petals.
- It is best to use full-fat milk for making creamy Indian desserts.
- Stir the milk at regular intervals while simmering to avoid burning and add cream back to the milk.
- Never add sugar before milk is thickened. It prevents milk from thickening.
- Basundi thickens more in texture after cooling down. Hence, do not make it too thick to drink. It should always be of pouring or drinking consistency.