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  • Writer's pictureShalini Vemuri


Delectable and rich with layers of solidified cream in condensed milk. Hints of cardamom and saffron give this dessert a royal vibe. Perfect for festive occasions.

Basundhi is a milk based dessert that originated in the Western part of India and slowly became one of India's favorite desserts. Whole milk is simmered and condensed to half the quantity and layers of cream formed are gently removed in intervals. This dessert is often confused with Rabri, another sweet dish that also calls for milk to be condensed but the cream is out of the equation.

There are no shortcuts to this recipe. If you are presented with one, please refuse and make it the real way for the best tasting dessert you have ever had! This dessert calls for just a few ingredients with patience being one of them. You also need a relentless steel heart and a delicate hand to make this dish. It is very rich and a few spoons go a long way!

Key ingredients are Full fat milk, Sugar, cardamom, saffron and a few slivers of almonds/pistachios.

Use a thick bottomed pan so the milk doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. And, don't stir the dish, as this will prevent layers of cream forming on top of the milk. Just go ahead and make it for your loved ones and make them feel special!


Serves 6 Total Time 3 hours


8 cups Full fat/ Whole Milk

1/4 cup Water

1/4 cup Almond/ Pistachio slivers

2 tsp Cardamom powder from pods ( 8 pods)

3 tsp Saffron

1/2 cup Sugar


1. Take a heavy bottomed pan and add in the water and the milk.

2. Heat the milk on medium flame until you start noticing a layer of cream on the top.

3. Remove it with a fork gently and take it in a bowl.

4. Don't stir the milk too much. Continue to remove layers of cream until the quantity of milk is reduced to half.

5. At this point you will have a cup of cream.

6. Now gently stir the condensed milk. Add in the sugar, cardamom powder and crushed saffron. The color will now change to a beautiful yellow. You can always add more Sugar based on your preference.

7. Add the layers of cream into the condensed milk and stir gently and simmer for 5 more minutes.

8. You have a wonderful dessert to relish!


Best served cold. The dish tends to thicken a it as it cools down. Garnish with saffron.

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