Basundi: Tried This Classic Maharashtrian-Style Creamy Pudding?
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Basundi is an Indian sweet prepared in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. In Northern India, it goes by the name of Rabri. Traditionally Basundi is a Maharashtrian dessert, using full cream milk and garnished with dry fruits such as pistachios and almonds. It is prepared on festivals such as Kali Chaudas and Bhaubeej (Bhai Dooj) and can be served hot, warm, or chilled. It is often served with puris and can also be prepared using fruits like the custard apple. Another variation is Angoor Basundi which is basundi made with small-sized rasgullas. 

For those running against time, the time taken for condensing milk can be shortened by adding full cream or condensed milk during the boiling process. Once the milk has been halved, one can add green cardamom powder, charoli, and/or saffron strands. Basundi can be refrigerated after sugar is added. If Basundi is prepared using the traditional method by adding sugar, it makes the Basundi fluid as the sugar melts. It has to be stirred continuously so that it remains thick and creamy. Stirring also prevents a layer of cream/malai forming on the top, which makes for equally thick but plain basundi. Basundi often tastes delicious when garnished with generous helping of almonds and pistachios. 

Narsobawadi Basundi is a variant from Narsobawadi, Maharashtra. It is sweetened dense milk made by boiling milk on low heat until the milk has been reduced. The region near Narsobawadi and Sangli is a milk producing region, where the milk is collected from the dairy owners and Basundi is prepared commercially too. 

Here’s the recipe for Basundi.

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 35-40 mins

Servings: 2 


  • 1 litre milk
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of cardamom
  • A few strands of saffron 
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp almonds (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp pistachio (chopped)


  • In a pot, add milk. Use an iron pot for best results. You can also use a thick heavy bottomed pan since the milk takes a long time to reduce. 
  • Grate the nutmeg on the milk. 
  • Add cardamom and saffron strands, and mix well.
  • Stir the milk continuously on high flame till it begins to boil. 
  • This usually takes five to seven minutes. Once it’s boiling, lower the flame to medium.
  • Stir, till the milk is reduced by half.
  • Add sugar, stir till it gets dissolved which will take about 2 minutes.
  • Once done, turn off the heat.
  • In a pan, roast chopped almonds and pistachios, until they are a light brown. 
  • Add them to the basundi and mix well.
  • You can also garnish the basundi with some more roasted dry fruits and saffron strands for extra flavour and colour.
  • Basundi is rich in carbohydrates and fat, and is best avoided by those suffering from diabetes or lactose intolerance.