I enjoy cooking simple and no-fuss recipes. That said I also enjoy an occasional challenge involved in cracking a not-so-easy recipe. Desserts are my nemesis – Indian or international. I think a lot of my inhibition comes from the fact that I am not very fond of sweet dishes and as a result, I do not make them very often.
So, I decided to take the bull by its horn and make a popular Indian dessert –Basundi. This is one dish that my husband absolutely loves and I thought would be worth the effort. I researched several recipes for the sweet and it was evident that this required a lot of effort. I figured that khoa was a key ingredient for basundi and making that called for a lot of stirring time. Having tasted unsweetened khoa before, it was apparent that it was very similar to ricotta cheese. Add to that the fact that khoa was not easily accessible in Sydney. So, I decided to do away with khoa and make it with ricotta cheese instead. I was pleased with the results. As a bonus, I ended up making a low fat, no added sugar version of the basundi.
Note: If you can make or buy khoa, use that in place of the ‘khoa’ made from ricotta cheese.
- Low fat milk – 2 Cups
- Low fat condensed milk – 1 can
- Light ricotta cheese – 1 cup
- Almonds – ½ cup (chopped or pounded)
- Saffron -1 pinch
- Cardamom – 3 (powdered)
- Ghee – ½ tbslpn.
For the ‘khoa’:
Heat ghee in a pan and add the ricotta cheese. Keep stirring till it is dehydrated and grainy. Keep the’khoa’ aside.
For the basundi:
- In a small cup, reserve 2 tablespoons of milk and soak the saffron strands. Keep aside.
- Use a thick bottomed saucepan, pour the milk into it. And halfway through the boiling process, add the ‘khoa’ and condensed milk. Stir the mixture well for all ingredients to combine.
- Now add the pounded almonds and cardamom, continue stirring.
- You will have to continue stirring till the desired thickness is achieved.
- This is an important step to get rid of the raw smell of milk, khoya and almonds. And most importantly, it prevents the ingredients from sticking to the pan.
- When you think the basundi has thickened to your liking, add the soaked saffron strands along with the milk it has been soaking in.
- Stir for a few more minutes for the saffron to infuse with the hot basundi. Turn off the stove and serve.
- It tastes good when served hot or cold.