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