Dairy-Free Basundi

Prev Next

Recipe by Priyanka Naik

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 35-45 minutes 

Prep Time: 5 minutes 

Total Time: 45-50 minutes  

I am a sucker for traditional dishes that bring me back to my childhood, or really whenever I go home to my parents that is. One of those dishes is Basundi – a thickened milk, flavored with luxurious saffron, rose water, nuts, and cardamom. This is specifically a Maharashtrian Indian dish, which is the specific region I am from. And you guessed it – I make my mom make Basundi for me every time I go home. So, what better way to celebrate my Momma than by showing her what I’ve learned from her, by making some luxurious and delicious plant-based Basundi?! Flavored with saffron and rose, this is the perfect to way to either start or end your Mother’s Day!   



3 cups Califia Original Almond Milk

1 cup Califia Unsweetened Oat Creamer 

1 pinch saffron threads 

¼ - 1/3 cup sugar 

1/4 cup almond flour 

4-5 whole green cardamom pods 

1 tbsp rose water

¼ cup unsalted slivered almond 

¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted pistachios 

Chopped strawberries for serving 

Pomegranate kernels for serving 




  1. Start off with a heavy bottom pot. Pour in the Califia Original Almond Milk and Califia Unsweetened Oat Creamer. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil – this will take 6-8 minutes and ensure to consistently mix it with a wooden spoon, so it doesn’t burn or scald at the bottom. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, just until the mixture is simmering.  Place the saffron threads in a small bowl and add in 1 tablespoon of the hot milk mixture into the bowl, mix and set aside allowing the saffron to bloom and color the milk. 
  2. Continue mixing the mixture and if it seems like it’s boiling too rapidly, reduce the heat. After about another 8-10 minutes of boiling, the mixture should have slightly reduced. Add in the cardamom pods, sugar (if the preference is sweet add in 1/3 cup of sugar, otherwise add in ¼ cup) and almond flour. Stir until completely incorporated. After another 10 minutes of slowly simmering and add in the rose water and saffron slurry. Stir to incorporate and simmer for another 8-10 minutes or until mixture has slightly thickened and has reduced in half. 
  3. Add in the slivered almonds and chopped pistachios and simmer for another 2 minutes and remove from the heat to cool slightly. Basundi should be reduced by almost half, slightly thicker, pale yellow in color (from the saffron) and very fragrant. 
  4. Once the basundi has cooled to room temperature, divide among glass bowls/cups and top with strawberries and pomegranate. Enjoy at hot, at room temperature or cold!