Monday, August 16, 2010

Reminiscing with Basundi

Whenever we have Satyanarayan puja at my home, it brings back memories. Memories... of my mother in silk saree polishing silver, a big pot of Basundi simmering on the stove, delicious aroma wafting from freshly pounded cardamon, dainty puris puffing up in hot oil, my father arranging bright yellow marigold toran and me listening to my grandmother talk about gratitude and devotion. Never thinking once that in few years I'll be remembering these very moments in a land far far away from home....

This year as I stirred Panchamrut for the puja, it suddenly hit me - here I am making memories for my son. Another generation. He was watching me with bright eyes as I laid out fruits and flowers, he was observing the priest arrange the kaalash, he was curious about his father's orange colored sovaale truly hit me then, that traditions bind old and new generations. These seemingly routine rituals, truly inculcate a deep sense of belonging. It is important for our children to know their roots. How fortunate they are to have ancient knowledge in their heart and progressive thoughts in their mind !!

From traditions to food, typically, basundi is made with milk reduced to half by simmering it for a very LONG time. Not for me. It will take you 15 mins to make Basundi, my way. In the past, when I was feeling super adventerous, I added paneer to make rabbdi thicker. Rabbdi-Basundi, all in the same family, so I added grated paneer to the boiling milk. No, the milk does not curdle. Promise. The paneer melts in the boiling milk and gives a super creamy texture. But don't go all crazy with the paneer, adding small amounts will give you better texture.


5 cans of evaporated unsweetned milk

1/2 cup of grated paneer

2 tbsp of milk powder

crushed roasted nuts, cardamon and saffron

sugar to taste

Method: Boil evaporated milk in thick bottomed pot. When the milk starts to boil, slowly add grated paneer and milk powder. Add sugar. Stir well. You can add more or less sugar per your taste. Let the mixture simmer for few minutes and it will start to thicken. Add crushed nuts like roasted pistachios, cashews and almonds. Or you can use the couple spoonfuls of Badam Feast mix. Refrigerate before serving with pooris.


  1. Neelam, Loved reading it, very nostalgic. Thanks for sharing it...Chithra

  2. Love the way you have introduced the recipe. Well true!! I'm gonna try this recipe out.

  3. @Chithra-Thank you. Good to hear from you.

    @ Poorvi- Please let me know how the recipe worked out for you. Thanks for your comment.