Pineapple Basundi is a delicious fruity twist on the classic basundi recipe. Serve it for festivals and special occasions. Here is how to make it (vegetarian, gluten-free).
About Pineapple Basundi
Pineapple Basundi is nothing but classic basundi (an Indian dessert made by reducing milk) flavored with fresh pineapple pulp.
It is perfect to serve for special occasions, festivals, or as a dessert after your everyday meal. You can also enjoy it on your vrat (Hindu fasting days) such as Navratri, Shivratri, or Janmashtami.
Double or triple the recipe if making for a bigger crowd.
For The Pineapple Mixture
To make the pineapple mixture, you will need fresh pineapple pulp and sugar.
To make pineapple pulp, pulse chopped fresh pineapple in a blender until a smooth pulp is made.
Make sure that the pineapple is on the sweeter side, otherwise, it won’t taste great in the basundi.
For The Basundi
You will need whole milk (full-fat milk), saffron strands, sugar, nutmeg powder, ground cardamom, chironji, nuts, and dried rose petals.
To make a vegan version, you can replace dairy milk with plant-based milk like almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk.
Adjust the sugar as per your taste and preference.
Nuts (almonds, cashews, and pistachios) and chironji will add a nice bite to the soft and creamy basundi.
Use good quality saffron for a rich flavor and a beautiful yellow-orangish hue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which reacts with dairy products and makes the milk bitter. If you add pineapple directly to basundi, then it can turn bitter in a few minutes. This can be avoided by cooking the pineapple and my recipe exactly does that.
Canned pineapple also doesn’t turn bitter as they are cooked before canning but I really do not encourage the use of canned pineapple as their taste is very different from the fresh ones and that can result in very unappetizing raita.
Do not use raw pineapples even for garnishing.
Pineapple Basundi will last in the fridge for 3-4 days when stored in a clean and dry air-tight container. It tastes best when served chilled but if you like it warm, then heat it up in a microwave or pan.
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Pineapple Basundi Recipe
For The Pineapple Mixture
- 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple pulp
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For The Basundi
- 1-½ litres whole milk (full fat milk)
- 15-20 saffron strands
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (adjust according to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg (jaiphal powder)
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (hari elaichi)
- 2 tablespoons chironji (charoli)
- 2 tablespoons slivered dried nuts (I used a mix of almonds, cashew nuts and pistachios + more for garnishing)
- ½ teaspoon dried rose petals (for garnishing)
Make The Pineapple Mixture
- Add pineapple pulp and sugar to a pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium tea.
- Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.
Make The Basundi
- Add milk and saffron strands to a non-stick heavy-bottomed and wide pan.
- Note – Choosing a wide pan makes the cooking process a little faster.
- Heat on medium-high heat until the milk comes to a boil. Stir continuously while heating to avoid the milk from scorching at the bottom of the pan.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 30-40 minutes until it is reduced to more than half and is thickened and creamy.
- Stir very frequently while cooking. Don’t let cream (malai) layer form on top of the milk for a creamy basundi.
- Keep scraping the sides of the pan regularly and stir the milk solids back into the pan.
- The consistency of basundi is like a thin custard.
- Tip – I suggest making it while you are doing other cooking. It will cook on the side and you will not have to stand to stir it separately.
- Once the milk is thick and creamy, add sugar, nutmeg, and cardamom to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
- Check for sugar and add more if required. Cook for another minute.
- Stir in chironji and slivered nuts.
- Remove the pan from heat and cover it with a lid to avoid the formation of cream on top.
- Tip – If you like your basundi very creamy and smooth, just pass it through a fine-mesh strainer before adding chironji and nuts.
- Cool the basundi completely.
- Add the cooled pineapple mixture to the cooled and mix well. Chill for a few hours.
- Transfer the basundi in serving cups or bowls and garnish with more slivered nuts and dry rose petals.
- Serve chilled.