Coconut Burfi and Laddoos, A Quick Condensed Milk Method
Narial Barfi aur Laddoo
Burfi is a flat sweet, either square or diamond shaped. The word Laddoo in Hindi means a ball or a round. This is a quick and easy sweet to make, takes literally minutes. This amount makes approximately 20 squares of 4 cm. each. Number of laddoos depends upon the size you make, 15 to 20 or more.
Edited February 2016
250 gm. packet of desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cup fresh milk
10-12 green pistachios (optional)
5-6 almonds (optional)
425-450gm. tin of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
A few strands of saffron or a few drops of yellow colour (optional). If using powdered colour, dissolve in 1 tsp. of cool milk
1/4-1/2 tsp. green cardamom seeds, crushed (optional)
A Swiss Roll tray
1/2 tsp. ghee or butter for greasing the tray or line tray with grease proof paper
Soak saffron in a couple of spoons of warm water.
Place desiccated coconut in a bowl and soak in 1 1/2 cup of milk, just enough to soak, not leaving any loose milk in the bowl. Cook in microwave on full for 1 1/2-2 minutes. If you don't have a microwave, leave soaking for an hour so. This just softens and refreshes the desiccated coconut.
Soak pistachios and almonds in a cup of hot water and leave aside for an hour or two for the skin to soften. Peel and shred/chop finely. A garlic slicer is very good for making almond/pistachio slivers. This has obviously kept only for this purpose and not used for garlic!
Grease a flat tray, like a Swiss Roll tray, with a thin film of butter or ghee and keep aside. You can line it instead with a grease proof paper.
Heat a wok or karahi and pour the condensed milk in it, along with the saffron/food colour. Mix.
Heat gently for a few minutes, until condensed milk 'melts' a bit. Turn heat down to medium.
Add coconut and stir fry continuously, until the whole mass begins to come off the sides of the wok, approximately 10 minutes. Do not make it too stiff, otherwise your burfi will not be soft and will taste like chewy toffee. It should pour in a sheet.
Turn the heat off and transfer the mix to the tray. Spread it out evenly using a flat palette knife. If you are an experienced cook, with asbestos hands like mine, you can do this with the flat of your wetted fingers. Make sure that the surface is even and the margins are straight.
Sprinkle pistachios, cardamoms and almonds. Press them gently into the surface.
Leave to cool for an hour.
Slice into squares or diamond shapes. Any left-over corner pieces can be moulded into small balls or laddoos. Store in an airtight box in the fridge.
Serve with tea and coffee or after meals.
You can omit the nuts and cardamoms if you like.
If you want to make Laddoos (balls), and not burfies (diamond squares), simply allow the solids to cool a little after step 6, until they are hand warm. Then shape 1 tablespoon at a time, into balls by rolling between palms and fingers of both hands.