A stop at any of the sweet shops that line the busy bazaars of India warrants an encounter with this burfee, a fudge made with roasted chickpea flour, ghee and sugar. It is funny how a routine Tuesday trip to the temple would result in us carrying small brown paper bags of this fudge – a popular offering to Lord Hanuman, home. Simple pleasures of life! You don’t appreciate small things in your life until you don’t have them anymore. After moving to the States, and not having an Indian grocery store or sweet shop nearby, access to this burfee, or any other Indian sweet, became a luxury. And what do you do when you are craving it? You make it at home. My father-in-law often jokes about how I have become a hulwaii – a sweet monger..:P after moving to the United States. To that I say:
“Necessity is the mother of taking chances – Mark Twain”
So one Diwali, which is a festival very special to our family, I took that chance – and made besan burfee at home. I have, since, fine tuned and dare I say – perfected the recipe to the taste and liking of my family. So here it goes:
Besan/Chickpea/Gram flour – 1 cup
Ghee/ Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon
Milk – 1 tablespoon
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Green cardamoms – 2
Sliced almonds – 1/4 cup
Method: But first few notes:
Note 1: If you find ladoo besan at a store, feel free to use it and skip step 1 and 2 below.
Note 2: Ghee or butter can be used. The use of butter, however, makes a difference in the texture of the burfee. Burfee made with butter will be less “nutty” in flavor. If left at room temperature, it might become soft and loose it’s shape (just like butter would). I store burfee made with butter in the refrigerator. Dr. A actually prefers the one made with butter instead of ghee..:)
Step 1: In a small bowl, warm up milk and 1 teaspoon ghee/butter in the microwave.
Step 2: Add the warmed milk and ghee mixture to besan and rub with with your fingers till mixed through. Keep aside for a few minutes. Set a fine stainless steel mesh sieve over a deep bowl. Run the prepared besan through the sieve into the bowl. Using a wooden spoon might help. This might take some elbow grease but this extra step is worth it to give burfee some grainy texture, which might otherwise be ‘pasty’.
Step 3: Take out the seeds from the green cardamom pods and grind them into a powder.
Step 4: Set a deep, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat and add ghee or butter into it. Wait till ghee melts. If using butter, let it melt and let it heat up for a minute. If you are a fan of non-stick pans, feel free to use one.
Step 5: Add besan to the pan and lower the heat to medium. Start roasting the besan and stir it continuously to avoid burning. After about 5-6 minutes, the besan will start changing its color to a deeper golden and your kitchen will be filled with a beautiful toasty aroma.
Step 6: At this point, turn the heat off and add sugar and cardamom powder. Mix thoroughly. Let the besan burfee mixture cool in the pan.
Step 7: While the besan mixture is cooling, line a small cookie sheet with parchment/wax paper. Spread the cooled besan mixture on this cookie sheet to get about a 1/4 inch thickness. Spread the sliced almonds on the surface and press them lightly into the burfee.
Step 8: Let the burfee set in the refrigerator for about one hour. After which, take it out and using a sharp knife, cut into squares or diamonds of desired size. Enjoy!
This burfee stores well in the refrigerator. Best served at room temperature.
Love – Vaishali.
Mortar and pestle
Wide, Heavy bottomed pan