RECIPE: SANTRA BASUNDI/ TANGERINE KHEER
What is Santra Basundi/ Tangerine Kheer?
Basundi is a sweet thickened milk which is generally flavored with cardamom, nutmeg and sometimes saffron. Chopped nuts usually like almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios and charoli are added. In fact, this sweetened milk is quite popular in the western states of India. Traditionally, full fat milk was boiled with sugar till it became thick and creamy. These days we tend to added milk solids – mawa or khoya or condensed milk to hasten the process. Nowadays to make it even more exotic, fresh fruits are added. Santra Basundi/ Tangerine Kheer is one such example.
Santra Basundi was the sweet dish served to guests during my Wedding. Aug 1982 a coup d’état attempt failed. As a result, many restrictions were enforced which included no night weddings. Mine was a day time wedding. The previous night my brothers and their friends were busy decorating the mandap.
And some were busy getting milk by the gallons from Kigwa Farm, Nairobi. Some community women too were busy along with my family members, making the basundi overnight, stirring the milk continuously. Younger members were busy peeling tangerine and separating the pulp from the skin. Back then weddings were a community affair where everyone got together to help. Do I remember how the santra basundi tasted? Well, no as I was just too emotional that I was leaving my family to go away to a another town and start my life with strangers. Mine was an arranged marriage, so barely knew my hubby and his family back then.
My 200th post since I began the blog. I’m pretty pleased as I really didn’t think that I would continue. Since the 200th recipe has fallen around the Diwali period, I have chosen to share my Santra Basundi recipe with you. I have no idea why we traditionally make doodh pak during Kalichaudas day, but I follow the tradition. So instead of doodh pak I decided to make Santra Basundi/ Tangerine Kheer. As basundi can be served hot, warm or chilled, generally fruit is added when it cools down.
Can you serve Basundi without fruit?
Yes, most certainly you can. Add cardamom, nutmeg, saffron if you wish and chopped nuts.
Traditional Method of Making Basundi
As I mentioned above, full fat milk was stirred continuously till it became thick. Basundi consistency is thick, creamy and pourable unlike rabdi which is very thick and not pourable. Milk and sugar are simmered over heat and stirred till its thick. The solid milk that forms around the edges is constantly scrapped with a metal scrapper, spatula or a spoon and added to the simmering milk. The secret to a lovely creamy consistency which takes on the light buttery yellow hue is all due to the quality of milk used. It has to be full fat milk.
Modern Time Basundi
To given the whole process, these days sweetened condensed milk or solid milk – mawa or khoya is added. This reduces the stirring time, saves on gas or power and time too.
What Fruits Can be added to Basundi?
Actually most fruits like grapes, pomegranate, apple, pears, peaches, mango, custard apple, etc.
Some more Milk Desserts or Sweets you may want to check out
Milk Pudding with Jelly – an easy to make delicious pudding
Apple Kheer – a delicious different kind of kheer using apples
Red Rice Kheer – using red rice and jaggery
Carrot Coconut Kheer – not only is the colour of this dessert appealing but also the flavors
Makhana and Dry Fruit Kheer – Fox nut is used to make this kheer
Amaranth Fruity Pudding – amaranth seeds are used to make this pudding
Fruit & Nut Rice Kheer – a little different from the traditional kheer
Samo/ Moriyo Kheer – a pudding using barnyard millet
Sabudana Kheer – a milk pudding using tapioca pearls
Paal Kozhukattai – rice dumplings cooked in milk
Kesar Rasgulla – paneer balls cooked in sugar syrup
Thandai Kulfi – Thandai spice blend is added to a traditional kulfi recipe
Quick Kulfi Recipe – no wasting time in boiling the milk till its reduced
Thandai Chia Pudding – healthy, filling and delicious
Kesar Badam Pista Kulfi – made using khoya/ mawa
Ingredients required for Basundi
- Full Fat Milk – highly recommend using full fat milk for best results
- Sugar – refined sugar
- Mawa – also known as khoya or solid milk.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – if you don’t get mawa
- Tangerine – remove the segments from the skin or membrane. Also remove all the seeds.
- Saffron – kesar, a few strands
- Cardamom Powder – elachi
- Nutmeg Powder – jaiphal
- Almond Flakes or Slivers – or can chop them roughly
- Pistachio Flakes or Slivers – or chop them
SANTRA BASUNDI/ TANGERINE KHEER
- 1 litre full fat milk
- 4 tbsp sugar reduce amount if using condensed milk
- 4 tbsp grated mawa or condensed milk
- 1 cup tangerine segments with the membrane, seeds and white part removed
- ¼ tsp saffron
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
- 2 tbsp almond flakes
- 1 tbsp pistachio flakes
- Put the milk in a deep saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer till its nearly half the quantity. Remember to stir it frequently.
- This will take about 15-20 minutes. At this stage the milk will appear creamish in colour.
- Add the sugar and mawa or condensed milk. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool down a bit. Whisk it with a hand blender to make it into a smooth mixture.
- Add saffron, cardamom and nutmeg powder. Mix and let it become cold.
- Add the tangerine segments.
- Put the basundi in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
- Decorate with the almond and pistachio flakes and serve.
- If you are using sweet condensed milk, reduce the amount of sugar you use.
- For a much creamier consistency add ½ cup fresh cream when the basundi is cold.
- Instead of tangerine, add pomegranate, grapes or berries.
- I prefer using a non stick pan for kheers. The milk does not get burnt easily.