Basundi is a traditional Indian drink with milk, sugar, dry fruits, and saffron. You can serve it as a dessert or an indulgent festive drink. This is a tried and tested Basundi recipe. Be sure to watch the video!
What is ‘Basundi’?
Basundi is a rich, creamy Indian drink.
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 popular festive drink in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. Basundi is always part of festive thali meals or grand feasts.
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 differ.
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 the drink a golden color, intense aroma, and sweet taste. 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 Video
A Basundi is best-served chilled in earthen pots (mitti ke kulhad). I prefer making it a day before serving and chilling it in the refrigerator overnight.
Suppose you are not keen on serving it chilled. Serve Basundi at room temperature.
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.