Basundi (Sugar Free) (Kesar, Apricots, Badam aur Kaju ki Basundi)

A Decadent Milk Based Indian Mithai or Dessert loaded with saffron, dry fruits BUT SUGAR FREE!!

Basundi (Sugar Free) (Kesar, Apricots, Badam aur Kaju ki Basundi)

Sugar Free Basundi (Kesar, Apricots, Badam aur Kaju ki Basundi)

And just like that, we have reached 100th Blog Post! And what better way to celebrate than having some sweets. For me, Indian Mithai / Dessert is the number one choice for celebrations. I am somehow not satisfied with a macaron or brownie or cakes when it comes to celebrating a festival or an occasion like this one. With Mithai comes sugar, so, after thinking a lot, I came up with something that usually requires less sweet but I went ahead and made it sugar free. Trust me, when I had the first spoonful, I did not miss the sugar at all. However, if you want to add some sugar, please go ahead and do so, it would taste phenomenal with the amount of dry fruits and kesar, not to mention the goodness of that reduced milk! I cannot wait for Narayan to taste this in the evening and also to witness the expression on his face when I tell him that its sugar free.

Basundi is a very popular milk based Indian dessert or Mithai. It is very popular in Maharashtra and Gujarat especially during Holi, Bhaubheej (Bhai Dooj). In North India, Basundi is popularly known as Rabri that is often eaten with Jalebis or Malpuas during Holi. Since Holi is just around the corner, thought it would be apt for me to post this so that readers can have some ideas for guilt free dessert options.

Basundi close up 9.jpg

Basundi, though an extremely simple dessert to cook, is time consuming. The time taken for the milk to boil, simmer over low heat and further reduce until thick like a condensed milk consistency is honestly painstaking but when the end result means you get to savour sugar free dessert, is completely worth it!

How Sugar Free? Here I have added apricots to bring about a natural sweetness. These apricots are organic, sun dried ones that husband got from one of his travels. I was apprehensive earlier about adding just the puree and no sugar, but when I tasted the final product, I was honestly very happy with the decision I made.

If you are looking to make Basundi with fresh fruits, you might have to add some sugar. Especially citrus fruits like orange, pineapple or strawberries would need a little sugar else you might only taste the sourness of the fruits. However, when adding fruits / fresh fruit puree to the basundi mixture, do it just before serving as the acidic nature of fruits tend to interfere with the milk and it might curdle too or would taste very sour. Also, in case of fruit flavor Basundi, skip the kesar and just allow the puree to colour the basundi.  

Basundi 7.jpg

Lastly, completing 100 blog posts is always special and I seriously didn’t knew that I would survive this far. The journey has been extremely memorable with a lot of hard work put in to create some healthy and simple vegetarian recipes. I have been fortunate enough to reach out to many people via this blog and have made some great relationships during the course which I will cherish, use as a platform to learn and grow.

Thank you for being supportive, encouraging and most important, look forward to my posts and comment on the same. Every comment lifts my spirits up, makes me want to wake up every morning and cook, concot recipes that are healthy and can be had as part of everyday cooking.

Your love and encouragement, dear readers, means a lot! Thank you and Cheers to another milestone!

If you are looking for similar milk based sweets, you can check out the recipes for Modak Icecream, Pal Payasam (South Indian Kheer) and Gajar Ka Halwa too. 

Recipe for Sugar Free Basundi (Kesar, Apricots, Badam aur Kaju ki Basundi)

(Step by step pics below)

Cook Time – 30 to 40 mins

Cool Time – 4 to 5 hours or overnight

Serves – 4 to 5 nos. (Small sized serving)


  • Cow Milk – 1 litre
  • Apricots – 2 nos. soaked in warm water
  • Cashew or Kaju – 8 nos. soaked in warm water
  • Almonds – 10 nos. soaked in warm water
  • Kesar or Saffron – ½ tsp


  • Heat the milk in a thick bottom vessel.
  • Once it comes to a boil, lower the flame, add kesar and allow the milk to simmer until it reduces atleast by half the quantity.
  • Keep stirring the vessel and scrape the malai or the cream from the sides and incorporate into the milk which allows the milk to thicken and get a silky texture.
  • Take half the quantity of almonds, peel the skin and cut them into slivers.
  • Meanwhile, puree the cashews, apricots and half the quantity of almonds in a mixer grinder with just a tsp of water. The puree should be like a thick paste else it will spoil the consistency of the basundi and turn it too liquid. (Note – Completely drain the water that is used to soak the dry fruits). The puree is atleast 2 tblps enough to sweeten the required quantity of basundi. 
  • Once the milk has thickened, switch off the flame and add the slivered almonds.
  • Bring the mixture to room temperature and then add the dry fruit puree. Stir well.
  • Now, allow this to cool in a refrigerator for atleast 4-5 hours before serving or preferably overnight.
  • Serve chilled in shot glasses or Kulhads.

Recipe Notes-

  • You can make Basundi in a similar way by using dates or figs too. Both being naturally sweet, can replace sugar.
  • For people who enjoy their sugar loaded desserts, you can add atleast ¾ cup of sugar for a litre of milk. Add it as soon as the milk thickens slightly and then keep stirring till it reduces further until reduced considerably. 

If you like & appreciate my work, please subscribe to the blog and receive the recipes via email. You may also follow me on social media and encourage my work, links given below. Cheers! 

Vidya Narayan

Views: 2209

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 75 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your 100th post. 😊 Love the malai rich basundi. 😍

  2. hearty congrats on the 100 th …pretty fast ! and i wish you next big milestone sooner..very apt post for the occasion , will try this, as iam a sucker for milk based sweets , beautiful clicks..wishing you happy blogging .

    1. Thank you so much. These words mean a lot to me. You have always encouraged me to start my blog and continue to encourage me with all the posts I share. Hugs and love! Enjoying the process so far and hopefully continue to whip up some healthy recipes in the future.

  3. mouthwatering, it’s one of my favorites , wonderful share indeed and congratulations on the 100th post! keep rocking!

    1. Thank you so much dear for all the kind words today and always!

  4. Vidya,
    Congratulations on your 100th post! Perfect choice of sweet to celebrate too! And sugar free Basundi is such a guilt free treat!

    1. Thanks so much and your wishes mean a lot to me. I agree about the guilt free part, seriously though the sugar free was never planned while making the basundi but once I added the apricot paste, I really didnt need any sugar.

  5. Such a deserving post on your 100th… Congratulations ✌✌ and basundi, it’s one of my most fav desserts and love the shot too Vidya ❤❤

    1. Thank you so much for all the lovely words today and always dear!

  6. Congrats on the centurion post dear!Wishing you many more!Fabulous looking Basundi!

  7. Congratulations on your 100th blog post. What better way than to celebrate it in a healthy way..Great recipe :))

    1. Thanks for the wishes and I agree, celebrations with a healthy twist! Cheers Drashti!

  8. Congrats on your 100th post wish you many more milestones. As for basundi I love it but never get a chance to make it. Will kill for a cup right now.:D

  9. Congratulations on your 100th post. Wish you many many more such milestones.
    Your sugar free basundi sounds absolutely delicious. Love the addition of dried apricots to sweeten it.

  10. First of all Congrats on your 100th blog post 🙂 Keep rocking ! Basundi looks rich and delicious ! Loved the second click, it is so inviting !

  11. Basundi is my mom’s most favourite dessert. I too make it often but never tried this sugar less. Usually I add Dharwad Pedha which gives unique taste.
    Congratulations on your 100th post. Wishing you all the success to reach more numbers.
    Keep it up.
    Lovely presentation.

    1. Thanks so much Nivedita. I loved the idea of adding dharwad pedas, sounds delicious!

  12. I love this recipe! I am going to definitely try this! My daughter has a sweet tooth and I avoid sugar so this is perfect

    1. Thanks so much, we at home are sweet tooths too but loved this!

  13. Really liked your detailed post. Will surely try at home😊

  14. Congratulations on centurion post and yes, when it is festival/ celebration time what pleases us the most is, our very own Indian desserts. Great idea of making it sugar free by adding apricots.

  15. We Gujju love to devour poori and basundi..and right now I am drooling here:) I too make many desserts using natural sweeteners such as dates figs or apricots.BTW congratulations on your 1st century 🙂 Comment is from a cricket premi ..:P

    1. Aha!! Cricket Premi here too but sadly aaj kal nothing worth it like earlier times when I was glued during matches. I love all gujju foods btw, a big fan of the cuisine esp the snack items… my major weakness.

  16. Basundi looks so tempting and has got the gorgeous color. I love the way you presented it in earthen pots.

    1. Thanks dear, the colour is due to the soaked apricots and kesar so beautifully worked together.

  17. Congrats for 100 the post dear…basundi looks divine and loved the fact it’s sugar free

  18. Congrats Vidya and it is indeed a special moment. Thats a lovely post for a 100th. Love this.

  19. I love the fact that you have adapted this recipe to make use of natural sugars. It looks healthy and delicious.

  20. First of all congratulations Vidya for your 100th posts. Mine is also coming very soon :). This sugar free basundi sounds very interesting. Great idea having apricots.

    1. Thanks dear & here’s wishing you all the best too for the soon to be 100 century post!

  21. First of all congratulations on your milestone….and wishing you many more. Kya baat hai…. sugarless dessert. Definitely on my list when I need some dessert. Great idea.

  22. Congratulations on ur 100th post. And better way to celebrate then with chilledbiwl if basudi.

  23. Congratulations on ur 100th post. And better way to celebrate then with chilled bowl of basudi

  24. Beautiful recipe Vidya and I love the fact that you have sweetened it naturally with apricots! Congratulations on 100th post!

  25. Congratulations my dear… Basundi looks so creamy , rich and inviting. Superb share

  26. Definitely going to try this for my parents. Congrats for 100th post👍👍

  27. Wonderful dessert with no added sugar !

  28. Love this recipe, dessert with no sugar.. Congratulations on the 100th post..

  29. Congratulations on your 100th post. Way to go. All the best for future. Basundi looks creamy and delicious. Sugar free dessert is a blessing for diabetic people. Superb share.

    1. thank you so much for the kind wishes. I agree, why lose out on desserts when you can make smart choices?

      1. Welcome dear. Actually my husband is diabetic. So I always try to experiment with sugar free dishes.

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