Sitaphal Basundi is a delicious twist to the classic basundi recipe. Thickened and mildly sweetened milk is flavored with the sweet and luscious flavor of ripe custard apple.
You need a few ingredients to make this basundi, perfect to be enjoyed during the upcoming festive seasons!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the blog. I’ve been away due to some unforeseen issues, but now that I’m back, I hope I can continue sharing a lot of delicacies in the coming months.
Let me start off with this delicious sitaphal basundi recipe. The basic basundi recipe is made by reducing the milk to half, which is then sweetened with some sugar and flavored with cardamom. That’s about it!
Basundi is great as it is, but it is so much better when it’s infused with the sweet flavor of custard apple.
This dessert is popular in the states of Western India, especially in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Basundi is a lighter version of the North Indian Rabri. The difference between the two is in the texture and consistency.
Basundi is thinner in consistency as opposed to rabri which is quite thick. Rabri is usually lachchedar (layers of milk fat) that offers a bite, while basundi is usually smooth and creamy. Rabri is also more time-consuming because the milk is reduced to almost 1/3rd of 1/4th of its original quantity.
I happened to try this Sitaphal Basundi for the first time at a restaurant that serves Gujarati thali a couple of years ago. I was in love with this version of basundi. I knew I was going to try making it at home.
I realized that I’ve never posted any custard apple dessert on the blog. So, I’m glad I can finally share something related to it on this space. Custard apples lend themselves beautifully in most dessert recipes, be it kulfis, ice creams, rabri, or milkshakes.
Custard apple is also known as sitaphal, sharifa, sugar apple, bull’s heart, and cherimoya. Besides being delicious, they offer numerous health benefits.
The recipe for sitaphal basundi is really simple, but you need to be attentive as is the case with every milk-based dessert. It is delicious, quite addictive, and something that I’m sure you guys will enjoy.
So, let’s see how it’s made!
Table of Contents
Ingredients needed to make custard apple basundi
To make sitaphal basundi, you will need;
Milk: I’ve used full-fat milk and I suggest sticking to the same for best results.
Sugar: To sweeten the basundi. Adjust as per the sweetness of the custard apple.
Custard apple pulp: This is the star ingredient of this basundi that adds a lovely flavor to the basundi.
Other ingredients: Besides, these three ingredients, I’ve also used cardamom to elevate the taste of this basundi. I’ve also added some slivered almonds and pistachios for texture and crunch.
Why must you try this recipe?
✔ Custard apples are currently in season in India, and that is reason enough to whip up this sweet treat
✔ It is an easy dessert that is creamy, rich, and delicious
✔ Delicious dessert to serve at potlucks or gatherings
✔ Needs minimal ingredients
✔ Perfect to be served during the upcoming festivities such as Navratri, Diwali etc
✔ Can be had on days when you observe fasts
How To Make Sitaphal Basundi- Step By Step process
Step 1: Bring milk to a boil
Heat 1-litre full-fat milk in a heavy-bottomed pan or kadai over medium heat, stirring occasionally in between. Bring to a boil. (Photos 1 to 3)
Step 2: Reduce the milk until thickened
Reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking the milk. Scrape the sides of the pan and stir frequently to prevent it from sticking at the bottom of the pan. Cook until the milk reduces to half (2 cups). (Photo 4)
Step 3: Sweeten and flavor the milk
Now, add 1/4 cup sugar, mix well and cook further for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. (Photos 5 and 6)
Add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder, and 1/2 tablespoon each of slivered almonds and pistachios. Mix well, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. (Photos 7 to 10)
Switch off the heat, and transfer the basundi to a heat-proof bowl. Set aside to cool down completely. (Photo 11)
Step 4: Add custard apple pulp
Once the basundi reaches room temperature, add the custard apple pulp, and mix well. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until you are ready to serve. (Photos 12 to 15)
Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon each of slivered almonds and pistachios.
Refrigerate custard apple basundi in an airtight container for up to 2 to 3 days. This tastes best when it is served chilled.
Full-fat milk: For creamy, milk-based desserts, always use full-fat milk. For a richer and creamier basundi, you can also use buffalo’s milk. If you are watching your calories, feel free to use low-fat milk.
Use a wide and thick bottomed vessel: Though not necessary, try and use a wide pan, as it has more surface area, which helps in reducing the milk faster. Whether you choose to use a kadai or a wide pan, make sure that it has a thick base, so that the milk does not scorch and brown at the bottom of the pan.
Remember to keep stirring: This is the most important point with milk-based sweets that need a long time to cook. If you walk away from the stovetop, chances are that the milk will stick to the bottom, and it may also boil, and spill over the pan. Pay attention to the milk, and keep stirring every 1 to 2 minutes.
Use ripe custard apple: Try and use fully ripe custard apples as the flesh tends to be soft and really sweet. It is also much easier to separate the seeds and pulp.
Do not add custard apple pulp to the hot basundi: Doing so might curdle the milk. Always add it once the basundi cools down completely. The pulp will also taste fresh and way better when added once the basundi cools down completely.
Adjust sugar as required: Feel free to adjust the quantity of sugar as per your desired sweetness. Taste the custard apple pulp and check for sweetness. If you end up adding too much sugar and the basundi becomes too sweet for your liking, salvage it by adding some thickened and reduced milk.
Variations of this recipe
With condensed milk: You can use condensed milk here instead of sugar for a richer, creamier, and thicker basundi. Start with 100 grams, taste, and adjust the sweetness as required. Remember to factor in the sweetness from the sitaphal pulp as well.
Saffron: You can add some saffron strands for a light golden-colored basundi. Add the strands after the milk comes to a boil, and follow the rest of the recipe as is. Do not add too much saffron as it can overpower the delicate flavor of the custard apple.
Nutmeg: You can use nutmeg in combination with cardamom, or else you can swap cardamom entirely with nutmeg powder.
Vegan: Use your favorite plant-based milk for a vegan version. If it doesn’t thicken to your liking, then add cornflour/cornstarch slurry (2 teaspoons of cornflour mixed with 1 tablespoon of plant-based milk).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
How to remove the seeds from custard apple?
There are 3 ways in which you can deseed the custard apple;
- Manually: The most time-consuming process. Break apart the fruit in half lengthwise. You have to manually separate the seed from the flesh using your fingers.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve: Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Scoop the custard apple flesh using a spoon into the strainer. Use a spoon, spatula, or whisk to agitate the pulp vigorously to separate the seeds and flesh. Pick the seeds and transfer the flesh to the bowl. Refer recipe video.
- Using a food processor: This is similar to the method above. Transfer the pulp to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Pulse 1-2 times, until the seeds separate from the flesh. Do not overprocess, or you will end up with tiny bits of seeds scattered in the pulp, which is really unpleasant to eat.
Amongst the three methods mentioned above, I prefer using the bowl and strainer method.
If you have any special method of deseeding a custard apple, I would love to know. Please do share in the comments below for the benefit of others too 🙂
Why is my custard apple basundi bitter?
Avoid scraping and scooping out the custard apple flesh that is closest to the skin as it will render a bitter taste and a grainy texture to the basundi.
Are Sitaphal Basundi and Sitaphal cream the same?
The two are not the same. Sitaphal cream is made by folding sitaphal pulp in sweetened whipped cream. It is similar to this mango cream recipe. If you’d like to make it, just swap the mango with sitaphal pulp.
You may also enjoy these Indian milk-based desserts
★ Did you enjoy this easy custard apple dessert recipe? If you happen to try it out, I would love to hear from you! I’d appreciate it if you could rate and leave a review below in the comments. Your reviews help others know the recipe better too. Thanks so much 🙂
Sitaphal Basundi | Custard Apple Basundi
- 1 litre full-fat milk, 4 cups
- 50 grams sugar, approx 1/4 cup
- 200 grams custard apple pulp, about 3/4 cup
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 tablespoon slivered pistachios, divided
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, divided
- dried rose petals, as required for garnishing, optional
- Heat milk in a heavy-bottomed pan or kadai over medium heat, stirring occasionally in between. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking the milk. Scrape the sides of the pan and stir frequently to prevent it from sticking at the bottom of the pan. Cook until the milk reduces to half (2 cups).
- Now, add sugar, mix well and cook further for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar dissolves.
- Add cardamom powder, and half of the slivered almonds and pistachios. Mix well, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Switch off the heat, and transfer the basundi to a heat-proof bowl. Set aside to cool down completely.
- Once the basundi reaches room temperature, add the custard apple pulp, and mix well. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until you are ready to serve.
- Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon each of slivered almonds and pistachios.