Basundi (Creamy milk dessert)

Basundi is a rich creamy dessert. It goes very well with the rest of the Maharashtrian thali. It is made with milk preferably whole milk. I never buy whole milk so to speed the process along I use a little half and half. If you have whipping cream you can add that too.

Basundi is made on special occasions even weddings. Its rich texture completes the meal. Saffron gives the milk its lovely color and slivered almonds and pistachios add taste and a welcome crunch.

You will need
1/3 cup half and half
1 cup low fat or whole milk
1/4 cup whipping cream (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
3 pods cardamom
3-4 strands saffron

Combine the half and half, milk and whipping cream (if using) in a thick bottomed pan. Bring it to a boil stirring frequently to avoid a layer of cream forming on the top and to avoid burning. When the milk is boiling lower heat and continue to simmer until it thickens and reduces in volume to half of what you started with.

Add the sugar and test for taste. If you like it sweeter add more sugar. Bring it back to a boil and turn off heat. Add the strands of saffron. Shell the cardamom and pound to a powder. Add the powdered cardamom to the milk. Continue stirring occasionally until the milk cools down completely. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple hours. Serve cold.