Sweetened milk(Basundi)

Basundi is a very popular Maharashtrian sweet dish. I have tasted it couple of times when I was a kid. But since I am very intolerant to sweets, I never actually gave any attention to any of the sweets. Though I had seen this recipe a million times in my recipe collections, I never felt like trying it. All changed when Aruna went through recipe request page and sent this recipe. I think my husband saw the mail and he asked for Basundi on his birthday. Anyway I was planning to make it, so I tried it immediately when he asked. This came out really very good.

Aruna said, “Basundi is basically as Maharashtrian sweet and is made by reducing milk to half, it is served with puris. When the milk is reduced to 1/4 it is called Rabadi or rabdi in North India. My mom keeps milk for boiling and reduces the flame when it starts boiling. Once the milk reduces to half add the sugar. I would not be able to tell you the exact qty of sugar, but i use my judgement and then check if sugar is more or less. Then add kesar for color (presoaked in warm milk). Add elachi powder and sliced almonds for garnishing. My mom never adds cashews and even I have not seen it elsewhere. My mom adds sayi (malai) when boiling and her basundi is the best I have eaten. In weddings in Mumbai usually cold basundi is served, but I get a lot of smell of cornflour in that.

In US when I have kept the milk for boiling, even if I have stirred it continuously it touches the base of the pan. Last I made, I used Half and half for that and added some whipped cream. The results were good and it was faster and took less time”.

3 cups milk or half & half
3/4 cup sugar(approx)
3-4 saffron strands
1/4 tea spn cardamom powder
2-3 tbl spn heavy whipping cream
1 tea spn sliced almonds

Sugar needs to be adjusted according to individual taste. Milk in US sticks to bottom, so use half & half instead. This is available in any grocery stores. In India, use normal milk.

Heat milk in a thick bottomed pan. Keep the heat on medium and cook till the milk reduces to half. Add the sugar and cook till the sugar is dissolved. Now add saffron strands diluted in little warm milk (I directly added saffron to the cooking mixture). Add whipping cream and mix well. The consistency of the milk should be very thick.
Take out from heat, add cardamom and almonds. Serve hot or cold.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

46 thoughts on “Sweetened milk(Basundi)”

  1. Hi Shipla,It’s one of my favourite sweets.I add some condensed milk (Nestle or Amul)to it so that it thickens faster and is creamier.good recipe.

  2. Shilpa …..After milk started to touch the base of the pan, i started using half and half. Madhuli, i agree with you to add condensed milk, but i did not like the taste of condensed milk here in US. I feel it is very think compared to Milkmaid in India.

    One of my neighbours told me last week that 2% reduced milk does not touch the base of the pan. But i have so far never used any milk other than wholemilk. Thanks shilpa for posting the recipe.

  3. Looks good Shilpa.It’s my fav dessert with some Ricotta cheese balls in there.You could fat free heavy cream to make it even better.

  4. Shilpa,

    My maharastrian friend’s mom makes it using evaporated milk.. it’s really easy as evaporated milk is reduced milk and you can control the sugar quantity.. I make it in less than 10 mins using my friend’s mom’s recipe.


  5. Shilpa- Looks really pretty with the almonds. I find that using a heat-diffuser between the burner and the pan helps to keep the milk from sticking, plus using a heavy-bottom pan.

    Asha- that sounds like ras malai!! so delicious… 🙂 i’m gaining weight thinking about it!

  6. Hi Shilpa:
    Thanks for the tip about using half and half instead of whole milk. Just wondering if you meant whipping cream or whipped cream? Is it for granish (then that would need whipped cream)…but then the picture has no garnish. Have been lurking her for quite sometime now.

  7. hey now this is a recipe i havent tried yet.Hey this is very famous in south especially in my place.Lovely recipe dear.Thanks for sharing.Will try it at the earliest

  8. Thank you all for the kind words :).

    Aruna, Thanks for sending this recipe.

    Madhuli, Asha, Indian Foodie, A,I will try out your versions sometime. Thanks

    Gauri, thanks for pointing out the mistake. I have updated it.

    Richa, what is Charoli?

    Pelicano, thats a good idea. I have stopped heating milk these days, even I stopped making yogurt at home for same reason. Will try your suggestion next time. Thanks.

    Maneka, where do you want me to send?? Gimme the mail adress :))

    Anyesha, sorry for my ignorance. I didn’t know the difference between whipped and whipping cream :(. I used whipping cream and added it while cooking the milk. I have updated it. Thanks a lot.


    Hi Shilpa,
    Nice recipe. wd surely try it.Lovely photo too. Richa has mentioned charoli which is a form of dry fruit like almond, used in Maharashtra in making of various kheers and for garnishing pedhas, shrikhand etc.It looks like whole masoor. I use it for vermicelli kheer, when in Mumbai.
    Tks..for ur basundi recipe..wd make it when time permits.

  10. HI Shilpa,
    I was searching for this receipe.
    This receipe is really nice.
    Can I use anything else in place of whipping cream?
    Here in India I dont get it easily.
    please suggest.

    Shilpa: Priya, You can use any normal cream that you get. You can even add the cream which stands on top of milk when milk boils. Just make sure there are no lumps. Beat it very well and then add it.

  11. I tried it but the moment i put half and half milk to boil – the milk cuddled 🙁

    Any suggestions?

    Shilpa: Shilpa, are you sure the half and half was not spoiled? Since we are using only milk in this, it should not curdle for any reason (unless the milk is spoiled). You should keep mixing it to avoid sticking to bottom.

  12. Basundi is my favourite dish. I loved your recipe. Good information you have provided about the half & half & the wipped cream.
    I had got the wipped cream to make gulab jamuns but I didnt know what was the other use of wipped cream other than making gulab jamuns.

    Thanks for the good information.

    Shilpa : you can also use it as cake topping.

  13. Hi Shilpa.. I have evaporated milk at home.. Can you please suggest how to make this dish using evaporated milk..?? Thanks

    Shilpa: Suma, If you have non sweet evaporated milk, probably you can heat it up a bit and then add the sugar and nuts

  14. This seems unrelated but I’ve been trying to place the name of a sweet which i get everytime I go back to Mumbai. Basically , this is prepared when the cow of buffalo has just given birth and the milk is extra thick. They add sugar and that’s about it. They boil the milk until it becomes thick , and dense, kinda like tofu. they sell this on the streets in green leaves by the 100 grams . I believed it is called bari, but i cannot find any reference of it whatsoever. Could you help me name this mystery sweet?

    Shilpa: Aashish, what a coincidence…I am posting this recipe today on the site. Its called Posu/ginnu/junnu/kharvas.

  15. Aashish – The dish you have mentioned is called ginnu in kannada and junnu in telugu, try to find it with these names

  16. dat was bad man..real bad! man!…all i wanted 2 kno was howta make whipped cream out of normal milk instead of using cream. well basically i wanted 2 kno if i cud do dat. but NO!!!!! u give me sum foul recipe on how 2 make sum dumb…wat do u call it…oh yea basundi……next time give sumthin useful. k man…gtg

    Shilpa: As far as I remember, I never mentioned anywhere that this is the recipe for whipped cream.

  17. Hae guys

    I want to know hot to preare Half and Half milk and what is cream?

    can any one explain me what is cream in telugu.. is that meegada on the curd or what………..

    pls let me know

    1. hi san meegada is the the cream ur right u can use half amount of meegada and half the amount of milk to prepare this dish……

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  19. Hi Shilpa,
    I prepared Basundi as per ur recipe and it came out absolutely delicious! For the milk, I used equal amounts of Half & Half and 2% milk…The basundi was creamy and perfect.. Thanks a lot..

  20. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes. I have tried many seeing your site. I am planning to make basundi. Can you pls let me know what brand name of whipping cream I should look for, cos there are so many products available her.


    Shilpa: I do not have any particular brand preference. Any whipping cream will do.

  21. hi,
    can any one temme what is “whipping cream” i m not able to find it in the market..

    Shilpa: You can use any milk cream.

  22. hi shilpa this is prathima from bangalore india well the basundi as well as the doodh peda u hv made would taste excellent as i can see the pictures of the peda and i also learnt had u had to sit in front of the stove for 4 hrous to avoid such a long procedure there is a small tip dat u can try the next time i do this whenever i reduce milk at home. though i use the whole milk from KMF nandini orange pack i add about 2 tsps of ghee once the milk is boilde and the milk is creamy. this can help u hasten up the process and gives just the taste u get when u use the commercially availabe khovya/khoya. do try this and let me know about it. hats off to u for such a collection of recipes. Do give us all oppurtunities to share some recipes here…thanks shilpa

  23. Thanks for the basic recipe. Nothing like an original generation passed method of creating dishes against bookish procedure.

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