Burfi is a traditional sweet made for almost all Indian festivals, especially Diwali.The name has its origin in the Persian word 'Barf' (snow) as most burfis are similar in appearance to ice or snow.Plain burfi is usually made with mava (khoya) or condensed milk and sugar with almonds and pistachios for decoration. Nowadays you will find burfi's in all colors, flavors and shapes.... most loved shapes being diamond, squares or rectangles.My friend Isvarya gave me the original recipe from a cook book she had referred to.I looked it up online and found one using lesser sugar.I must admit though that the burfi I made was way less in ghee and different in texture than the badam and kaju burfi's made by my mother-in- law.MIL is an expert in making these...so much so that I usually call her kaju burfi, 'ghee' burfi as she uses tonnes of ghee to lovingly make them :) This recipe is so easy to make....its almost a cinch! The badam burfi I made were really delicious...hmmm, never thought I would be able to make such delightful burfi. And this is a good way to get picky toddlers to eat nuts, if they are not allergic to them, that is!
Badam(Almonds) - 3/4 cup
Cashew nuts- 1/4 cup (I used cashew nuts as I did not have enough badam)
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Cardamom - 1 pod (grind to fine powder)
1) Soak the badam in water for more than an hour, to remove the skin.I soaked the cashew with the badam as I was not too sure if I was to powder them separately.You could microwave the soaked badam for a minute to speed up the process.Peel the skin off and grind the badam and cashew to a fine paste in the blender.I added the 1/2 cup milk to this paste as it was very sticky and ground it some more.This way I could get the fine paste to come out of the blender.You could maybe try grinding the badam, milk and sugar all together, like my friend did.Just use a large jar while grinding, keeping in mind the quantity of paste you will get.
2) Grease a flat plate or thali with little ghee to pour the burfi into.Set aside.
3) Put the badam and milk paste into a kadai or heavy bottomed saucepan.Add sugar to this and stir continuously on slightly medium to low heat.After about 5 minutes add the 2 tablespoons of ghee and continue stirring on low heat, till the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan.This entire process takes about 15 to 20 minutes.You will know when to switch off the gas as the mixture would have changed to a slightly creamish color by then. Take care not to burn the burfi mixture. I do wish there was a way to avoid the stirring as my arm did slightly ache as it was my first time.But entirely worth the effort!
4) Remove from the stove.Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Transfer to the greased plate and flatten the mixture with a flat spoon or ladle.Allow it to cool sometime and cut into diamond shaped burfi. You can add a pinch of saffron while adding the cardamom powder.Garnish with silver foil (varki) if you like.
Note: This recipe will make about 30 burfi.