Basundi - as per Wiki - "It is a sweetened dense milk made by boiling milk on low heat until the milk is reduced by half."
Yes True. But they left out many more adjectives like "Its a delicious rich Indian dessert. Creamy, Nutty..and full of goodness". "Heavenly, heart warming, food for your soul..."And much more.
The inspiration behind this post is Madhuram's Easy Basundi. She's got an excellent site with great recipes and this is one of those wonderful things she cooked up for us! Thank You Madhuram for the paneer basundi idea! I changed the recipe a little bit. Used the evaporated milk but left out the condensed milk and used just sugar. It did turn out great. I will be making it again - but will make sure there are no left overs - so I don't sit around and eat it forever - all this richness is good only for the soul, not the body!!
Grate Paneer in a food processor or by hand. Make sure that there are no really long pieces of the paneer. It will also probably help if a little of the paneer is almost powdered finely.
In a wide pan, add 1 cup of regular milk. You could use a non stick if you have one. Helps with the milk not sticking - I have mine but was cooking for a party and something else was basking inside that!
Basundi tastes best with milk that has a high level of milk fat. But, you know how that settles in well..hips and other places! So, I just went with 1% milk. (And made up for it with the evaporated milk! Set your pan in low - medium heat for the entire process.
To the one cup of milk in the pan, add 2 cans of evaporated milk. If you don't get evaporated milk, add another 2-3 cups of regular milk. You'll just cook it for a longer time - but that's what a basundi is all about!
When the milk gets a little hot, add the grated paneer in here. Mix well.
Now, add about 2 1/2 cups of sugar for the whole thing. You could add 2 first and if that is now sweet enough, add a couple of more tbsp's or another 1/2 cup. Upto you and how hungry your sweet tooth is feeling that day!
Cook this for about 45 mins on a low flame. You will see the milk cream forming on top - keep mixing it in and the milk will thicken up well and become very creamy! The paneer adds a ton of texture and flavor to the basundi. When you bite into it, it feels like you're biting into thick cream ..I can't really tell you how that feels - you just have to experience it. So, make it soon.
When the basundi is almost done, add some fresh bits of saffron or a saffron paste like I have. If you're adding fresh bits, make sure your soak them first in a tsp of this warm milk so the color comes out evenly and then mix it with the rest of the basundi.
While that is so happening...roast some chopped nuts in a pan. I caramelize them...I like that word..caramelize..very heartwarming..or exotic.
I added 1 tsp of sugar to the nuts and while they are heating up, the sugar melts and "caramelizes" the nuts. I'm sure my nuts love them too just like me!
My basundi here is almost done. Ready to be moved out of the pan.
Move to a serving dish and cool it well. Once its cooled down a bit and after you've garnished, move this to the refrigerator and chill for a few hours. You can also freeze this and serve like ice cream. No one says basundi icecream is not a good idea. Its actually a great idea..now I have to make another batch to freeze. Well..next time I have skinny guests I'll do that!
Garnish with the gorgeous nuts.
All this delicious Basundi. Eat and sign up to run for a marathon.
Enjoy. Peace Out!