Gram Flour (Besan) Burfi (Fudge)
Besan ki Barfi
This is an old Indian fashioned sweet, one of my favourites. It was one of the most common home made burfi in the days of my childhood. These days, there are so many ready made burfi varieties available in Indian sweet shops that hardly anyone bothers making this one, which is a shame in my opinion. It is very simple to make, yet tasty. Give it a try. It tastes a little bit like a nutty fudge.
Makes approximately 1/2 kilogram.
250 gm. besan/chickpea flour
250 gm. sugar*
175 gm. ghee or clarified butter
100 ml. water
15-16 blanched almonds, thinly sliced or chopped
1 level tsp. green cardamom powder
A couple of varak or beaten silver sheets, available from Indian shops (optional). Remember that silver is probably beaten between 2 layers of leather to make it thin, so it may not be suitable for vegetarians.
A greased or wax paper lined metal tray or flat thali (plate)
Grease a tray or flat thaali with ghee and keep aside.
*You can reduce sugar by 50 gm., but remember to reduce water too.
Heat ghee in a kadhai or wok.
Sieve/sift besan flour to remove any lumps. I sift it directly into the hot ghee.
Stir-fry on moderate heat. To start with, it is a bit stiff. As it heats, it becomes light and fluffy, even runny. Continue stirring it until it becomess light orange...ish in colour and has the aroma of roast flour coming out. At this point, the ghee separates from the mass a little. You have to stir it almost continuously during frying. This takes approximately 12-15 minutes.
Add cardamom powder and half the almonds and stir them in. I sometimes add all the almonds to the mix, not saving any for the garnish. They taste nicer mixed up, but look nicer with a garnish.
Turn heat off and keep aside.
In another pan, boil water and sugar together, to make a syrup of one wire/thread consistency. Turn the heat off immediately.
Add syrup to the besan, mix quickly and thoroughly. Be careful to stand a little away, the hot syrup sometimes splashes. It is very hot and can cause deep burn. I usually wrap a thin towel around my hand.
Spread evenly on the prepared tray and flatten with a wetted spatula. If you have it on a greaseproof paper or foil, you can shape it by holding the paper and straightening the edges.
Spread almonds as a garnish and then cover with silver sheets or varak on top. I donâ€™t very often use silver varak, especially if I am not sure of its authenticity.
Allow to cool. The best burfi should be set, but not rock hard.
When it is set, make diamond or square shaped cuts of 1 1/2-2 inch (3 1/2-5 cm.) size, using a sharp knife. I use the largest I have, less chance of the burfies crumbing
Store in an airtight box. Serve as required