Basundi is something I have wanting to make for ages, and when I found a beautiful looking basundi recipe, I wasted no time in trying it out.
This is a heavenly milk based dessert, usually flavoured with mango, custard apple, oranges, pineapple or strawberries. To me, the combination of orange with milk sounded particularly appealing and so I made narangi basundi, with a generous dose of saffron, which elevates the most humble dish to something special and exotic.
After going through a number of recipes,I finally found one that did not need condensed milk or cream, none of which I had or was keen on as we wanted an extremely light summer dessert.
I pretty much followed the recipe to the extent that I even modelled my picture on it. I was not sure of how milk and oranges will really taste together so I halved it. Next time I will surely make lots more as it tastes even better the next day, when the flavours have melded beautifully.
3 cups whole milk
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar **
1 orange, peel and remove the pith
1 tsp of saffron
Bring the milk to a boil, and let it simmer till it reduces to 2 cups, you could simmer it down to half of what you started with if you would like it thicker, which as I understand is how it should be.
Meanwhile toast 8 to 10 almonds on 160C for 7 to 8 minutes. Keep checking to ensure that they don't burn.
Dissolve half the saffron in 1 tsp warm milk and add it back to the rest. Keep the other half for garnishing. Just leave the remaining saffron in your still warm oven after the almonds are done for half a minute or so. Warming it intensifies the flavour of saffron.
When the milk is reduced to a thickness you like , add the sugar and leave it to cool. The milk will thicken a bit more after cooling.
Once it cools completely, mix the orange segments, sprinkle toasted almonds and saffron.
**I started with 1/4 cup of sugar, tried it and added a little more. Taste and stop when it reaches the right sweetness. The recipe called for 1/2 cup of sugar for 1 litre of milk.
You can also add half a tsp of cardamom powder, in which case, just halve the amount of saffron.
This Saffron flavoured Basundi is my entry to Sunita's Think Spice, which is celebrating its anniversary this month. Congratulations, Dear Sunita.