Do you like custard apples aka sitaphal? We love them to bits!
Custard apples are in season, this time of the year. They are all over the markets in Bangalore right about now, absolutely gorgeous fruits that fill the air with their unique perfume. While the hubby and I love eating these fruits as is, I also use them in a basundi (rabdi) when in season – one mind-blowing thing it is, let me tell you! Try it out this Navratri, and I’m sure you will love it too!
You may use condensed milk or cream to thicken the Sitaphal Basundi, but I prefer to do it the old-fashioned way – allowing full-fat milk to cook slowly on the gas, till it thickens and gets rich and creamy. I add a lot of custard apple pulp to the basundi, which has a natural sweetness of its own, thus cutting down the amount of sugar you need to a great extent.
I recently made this Sitaphal Basundi on the occasion of my dad’s birthday. He absolutely adored it, with the huge sweet tooth that he has (which he has passed on to me too!).
Want to try out this finger-lickingly delish Sitaphal Basundi? Here’s the recipe!
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 1 litre full-fat milk
- 4 big ripe custard apples
- 4-5 tablespoons of sugar, or as per taste
- 1/2 teaspoon rose essence
- 8-10 whole almonds
- 3-4 threads of saffron
1. Open up the custard apples and scoop out the flesh. Discard all the seeds and retain the flesh. Keep aside.
2. Take the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place on high flame, and allow it to come to a boil.
3. Now, reduce the flame to medium. Let the milk cook on medium flame till it reduces to half its original volume and gets thicker. You will need to stir intermittently. There will be cream forming on the sides of the pan, which you should scrape back down into the pan.
4. In the meanwhile, chop the almonds into slivers. Keep them ready.
5. When the milk has reduced to half and become creamy, add in the sugar, rose essence, the saffron strands and almond slivers. Mix well and cook for a minute more.
6. Now, switch off the gas. Mix in the de-seeded custard apple pulp.
7. Allow the Sitaphal Basundi to cool down completely before placing it, in a covered container, in the refrigerator. Let it chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Using full-fat milk is a must for this recipe. Here, I have used full-cream milk from Nandini.
- A couple of pinches of cardamom powder can be used in place of the rose essence. You can use vanilla essence too, alternatively. Personally, though, I prefer rose essence.
- It is important to let the milk cook on medium flame, stirring intermittently, scraping down the cream that forms on the sides of the pan, adding it back to the pan. This helps the basundi get nice and thick and creamy.
- Use custard apples that are ripe and sweet, but not overly ripe either. You may use more or less custard apples as per personal taste preferences.
- Adjust the quantity of sugar you use, depending upon personal taste preferences. You will need to add only a limited amount of sugar because the custard apple will have a natural sweetness to it too.
- Cashews, chironji aka charoli, dried rose petals, etc can be added to the Sitaphal Basundi as well. Here, I have used only almond slivers.
- You may dry roast the almonds slightly before chopping them into slivers and adding them to the Sitaphal Basundi. I have skipped the roasting part.
- Use good-quality saffron in the Custard Apple Rabdi, for best results.
- You may use condensed milk or fresh cream to thicken the Custard Apple Rabdi, but I haven’t here. I have let the natural sweetness of the custard apple preside, and let only whole milk add thickness to the dish.
- Do not cook the rabdi further after adding the de-seeded custard apple pulp to it.
- This Custard Apple Rabdi tastes best when chilled. However, you may even serve it warm or at room temperature.
Did you like this Custard Apple Rabdi recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!