Burfi and Variations - A Quick Condensed Milk Version
Barfi ki Varieties, Tinned Condensed Milk se
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Burfi is a diamond shaped, one of the most popular, sweet in India. It comes in scores of different varieties and flavours. Traditional burfies are made from Khoya or Mawa, a condensed milk solid. Here in this recipe, I have used tinned condensed milk, making it one of the easiest sweets to make. Basic Burfi can be flavoured to your choice, see below. Makes 25-30 pieces.
For basic burfi:
400 gm. tin of sweetened condensed milk
A few strands of saffron (kesar), soaked in a teaspoon of warm water
For other burfies, see individual section of this recipe.
A flat metal tray/plate (like Swiss roll tray)
Other ingredients are listed under each variation
Grease a flat tray with a very thin layer of ghee or butter.
Place Condensed milk and saffron in a wok/karahi and cook stirring all the time until it begins to come off the edges in a whole mass. This takes only a couple of minutes.
Turn it out onto the greased tray and spread evenly. Smooth out any irregular bits with your wetted fingers or a flat spatula.
Allow to cool completely.
Cut into diamond shapes or squares. To do this, make horizontal cuts, about 1 inch or 2.54 cm. apart, through the whole lot. Now make diagonal cuts across the horizontal cuts. This will give you diamond shapes.
Now gently lift each burfi out with the help of a spatula or knife and keep in an airtight box, separating each layer of burfies with waxed paper or foil. Otherwise, they may stick together.
Almond or Cashew Burfi
You need a tin of condensed milk, 200-250 gm. ground almonds, about 15-20 blanched almonds and a few drops of almond flavour (essence). If you do not have blanched almonds, soak almonds in hot water for 1/2 hour or heat in microwave for 1 minutes and peel the skins off. Chop them in a nut chopper or by hand.
Place condensed milk, ground almonds and chopped almonds in a wok or karahi and mix well. Turn the heat on and cook, stirring all the time, until the whole mass begins to come off the wok.
Follow step 4 to 7 as above.
You will need approximately 500 gm. desiccated, unsweetened coconut or roughly 2 fresh coconuts, grated. If using desiccated coconut, soak in enough milk to just cover it. Leave for 30 minutes or longer. This will make the desiccated coconut taste almost like fresh coconut.
Place condensed milk and soaked coconut in a wok or karahi and mix well. Turn heat on and cook stirring all the time, until the whole mass begins to come off the wok.
Follow step 4-7.
Bi-colour or Tricolour Burfi; Below is a tricolour burfi.
Dissolve orange and green colours of Indian flag in a teaspoon of water each according to the instructions on packet/bottle (unless using liquid colour) and keep aside separately.
Divide the condensed milk into three portions. Cook one portion at a time.
Add the base colour to the first portion, cook stirring all the time until it begins to come off the edges. Place it at the base of greased flat tray and flatten it evenly. Let it cool.
For white, no colour is required. Cook as before and then spread it on top of the first colour and flatten it evenly.
Add third colour to the third portion of the condensed milk and cook as above. Spread it on top of the second layer of the condensed milk. Flatten it evenly.
Allow to cool and cut into shapes as given in basic Burfi.
Dissolve 3-4 tsp. cocoa powder in 1 tsp. of milk. Mix it evenly so no lumps remain.
Add the chocolate to the condensed milk, whisk well to mix it properly. Follow steps 4-7 of the basic recipe.
Note:You can add dark Chocolate bar instead of cocoa powder.
You will need 50-70 gm. raw, unsalted pistachios. Use more if you can, they are rather expensive nuts.
Blanch as almonds, chop 10-12 and keep a few of these aside for garnish.
Grind the remainder to a paste, adding a little water, only if necessary.
Add the ground pistachios to the condensed milk in a wok or karahi and mix well.
Turn the heat on and cook stirring all the time, until the whole mass begins to come off the wok.
Sprinkle the saved pistachios on top and press gently. Allow to cool completely.
Follow step 4-7.
Note: You can cover all burfies with silver leaf before cutting. Burfies are often covered with edible silver leaf* or varak in India. These are very thin sheets of beaten silver which are edible. They are available from good Indian stores in UK. Beware of the imitation silver leaves!
You can make many other varieties using this same recipe.
*Bear in mind that silver leaves (varak) are sometimes made by beating the silver placed between two layers of leather, making it unsuitable for vegetarians. Vegetarian silver leaves have become available recently (2007), you might like to look for them.