Kesar Narangi Basundi

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 **
Roasted almonds
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.


  1. Looks so pretty, love the saffron on top! I'm sure it tastes every bit as good as it looks:)

  2. Basundi look mouth-drooling Rashmi. Very nice recipe and great presentation!!!Keep rocking gal!!!

  3. basundi looks soo lovely rashmi .. feel like having it right now .. pic is sooper

  4. Love picture and Basundi looks very good.

  5. That looks really lovely. You know I would've never paired oranges and milk together either but I will try this out when the Clementines are in season. BTW, never heard of the term "basundi". Is it a regional dessert?My mom usually ppepares rabdi this way but I think the milk gets reduced even further.

  6. Basundhi looks super delicious.... Loved the pic

  7. Looks good ...I'll take the roasted almonds :-)One of my cousins made orange payesh(kheer) once ... but I was not into cooking then never gave it a thought.This must taste great ... the flavour of orange and saffron .. must be a heady mix. :-)

  8. This looks yummy! Love the pic.

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  10. Yummilicious! I've never tried to pair oranges with milk either..but this looks really good espcilaly with saffron.

  11. orange basundi looks very delicious .the recipe reminds me of orange kheer , are they same ?

  12. Though i dont like sweets,but this kesar orange combo sounds rocking....atleast my son who is addicted to sweet wud enjoy yet one more type of KHEER

  13. I'm a huge fan of milky desserts - that basundi looks gorgeous.

  14. The color is so good. Saffron truly is an amazing spice.

  15. Bharti:
    This is a regional dessert of maharashtrian/gujrati origin which I also discovered thru blogging.
    You are right about its similarity to rabdi, except that it is not as thick and rich, and is often flavoured with fresh fruit. Though, I think my version is runnier and lighter than basundi is meant to be.

    yes, it is pretty much like orange kheer, can also be made with mangoes or custard apple.

  16. I'm seeing orange kheer quite often these days. But back in south India or atleast in my house I was told that mixing orange/any other citrus food with milk would upset the stomach. But after coming to US I found that drinking orange juice in the morning after eating cereal with milk is "the" practice.

    But like everybody have mentioned the dessert looks very appealing to the senses.

  17. mouthwatering basundhi.. i am dreaming about it now.