Today is Guru Purnima which is a very auspicious day. A Guru is a person who removes darkness (ignorance), holds our hand and shows us the light (knowledge) at the end of the tunnel. It is a blessing to get the grace of a guru, who guides us through the ups and downs in life. I am grateful to all our guru's that we have been blessed with, I pray for their well being and long life. On this auspicious day to celebrate our Guru, I made Basundi. It is a very delicious milk based dessert very popular in the north of India and is the closest cousin to condensed milk. Very rich and flavorful with the addition of elegant spices like saffron and cardamom. It will take you about an hour, but the end product would be something worth the effort.
Wide Mouth Pan
Whole Milk or 2% - 3 liters or 3/4 of a gallon
Sugar - 3/4 to 1 cup sugar ( add more if you like it sweeter)
Saffron - a few threads
Cardamom - 5 pods powdered finely
Cashew nut or Pistachios or Almonds - a few sliced
1. Place the wide mouth pan on medium high. Add the milk and allow it to come to a boil. Turn to low and allow for the cream layer ( pal aadai) to form. When it starts to form remove it and place in a bowl. Remember to stir so that the milk does not scotch. Keep adding more of the cream to the bowl and soon the bowl will be filled with thick cream.
2. The milk would have reduced, thickened and the color of the thickened milk will appear to be an ivory color with a pinkish ting.
3. Then add the collected cream to the reduced milk. Add sugar, cardamom and saffron. Garnish with nuts of your choice. Allow to cool, place in the fridge until it is chilled and serve it cold on a hot summers day.