‘’Oh it’s really delicious mom!!!!’’ Those are the words my little boy said when he tasted this burfi for the first time. Burfi is an addictive sweet. It is not ideal for people like me; who don’t want to put on weight, but don’t work out either. It is therefore something which I don’t prepare often. I only make it occasionally, mainly for festivals.
- 2 ½ cup of carrot, finely shredded
- 1 cup of granulated sugar powder
- ½ teaspoon of green cardamom powder
- 1 cup of milk powder
- 1 cup of almond powder
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 1 serving spoon of olive oil, or 2 tablespoons of butter
- ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, roughly crushed
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add oil, carrots and ½ cup of water. Cook until the carrots become soft and tender.
- Add ½ of the sugar and half of the cardamom powder (keep the remaining cardamom powder for the almond and milk layer). Mix everything well and keep stirring, until the mixture absorbs all the water. Once that is done, turn off the flame .
- Transfer the mixture into a rectangular or square shape baking tray. Press down gently on the mixture with a spatula to make a smooth surface, then leave the tray aside.
- Pour one cup of water into a pan and bring it to a boil. Add milk powder to the boiling water and stir well on a low flame. Add almond powder, cardamom powder and the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Mix well until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
- Pour the paste on top of the carrot mixture and make a smooth layer.
- Sprinkle the crushed pumpkin seeds on top and place the whole thing in the feezer for 1 hour.
- Once it is properly set, cut the burfi into any shape you want.
There is no doubt that home-made energy bars are much better than store bought ones. This is because the home made bars are less sweet, cheaper, fresher and tastier. They can be eaten with morning or afternoon tea, after a workout, or while travelling. They also go well as an after school snack for kids. I sometimes include one as a surprise snack in my son’s lunch box. This is a vegan friendly bar which anybody can prepare in a short time.
- 2 ½ cups of dates, deseeded
- ½ cup of dark raisins
- 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup of dry shredded coconut
- ½ cup of walnuts
- Put the pumpkin seeds, shredded coconuts and walnuts in a food processor and grind them until they turn into a rough powder. Add raisins and dates, then blend all the ingredients together in the food processor until everything combines and sticks together.
- Remove the mixture with your hand or a spatula, placing it all on a rectangular or square baking pan. Press down on the mixture with your hand or the spatula to create a smooth surface.
- Place it in the freeze for 1 hr.
- Then cut the bar into your desired shape.
As October arrives, the cold, windy days here in the southern hemisphere are replaced with warm sunny days. Wild flowers have started popping up around the garden. The warmer weather brings the perfect time to start preparing popsicles, best enjoyed under a tree or at poolside on warm days.
As spring and summer arrive, strawberries become plentiful in supermarkets at reasonable prices. That is why I bought a few packets for making strawberry popsicles. Kids love strawberry in any kind of cold dessert; especially popsicles. This is a very simple recipe with few ingredients. Because of it’s simplicity, this is one dessert which older kids like to prepare by themselves.
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons of sugar (increase the amount of sugar if you like it more sweet)
- ½ cup of chopped strawberry
- Few drops of vanilla essence (optional)
- Whisk the yogurt, vanilla essence and two spoons of sugar and put the mixture aside.
- Put two spoons of sugar and the strawberry in a blender and blend until the mixture becomes a smooth puree.
- Fill the popsicle moulds with a mixture of the whisked yogurt and blended strawberry. Cover each mould with a strip of aluminium foil. Poke a wooden popsicle stick through the centre of the foil into each popsicle.
- Let the popsicles set in the freezer for 6 hours.
- To remove the popsicles from the mould, run warm water over the popsicles for about 4-5 seconds.
- Enjoy on the warm spring and summer days to come. (Sorry to those in the northern hemisphere, but you will have to wait several months yet!)
Although I don’t have a sweet tooth, I still like to prepare sweets at home for my family, friends and guests. Besan barfi is one of the easiest Indian sweet to prepare. It is made from very few ingredients. It is versatile and is often eaten by Indians during festive seasons.
The best thing about this sweet is the aromatic smell; which comes from roasted ghee (Indian clarified butter) and besan (chickpea flour). This is a sweet which most people cannot finish eating in just one or two days. However it will remain fresh for almost fourteen days when stored in a jar.
- 2 cups of chickpea flour (coarsely grounded is ideal because it will give a good grainy texture).
- 1 cup of ghee
- ½ teaspoon of green cardamom powder
- 1 cup of sugar powder
- 150ml water
- 1 serving spoon of sunflower seeds (it is also OK to use any available chopped or flack dry fruits like almonds, cashew nuts, pistachews and light green sultanas)
- Warm the ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Add besan and fry on a low flame, continuously stirring the mixture. Fry for about 20 minutes, until the besan becomes light golden brown. If you do not continuously stir the besan while frying, the besan will burn and ruin the taste of the entire sweet. Once this is done, turn off the flame and immediately pour the fried besan onto a plate. If the besan is left on the hot pan after the flame is turned off, the bottom part of the besan will burn.
- Pour 150ml of water in a saucepan and add the sugar. Stir well and heat the mixture on a medium flame until it comes to boiling point. Keep boiling until the mixture turns into a slightly thick syrup. The syrup must have proper foam thread consistency.
- Add the fried besan and half of the sunflower seeds to the syrup and mix well. Heat the mixture on a low flame for one more minute, continuously stirring the mixture.
- Place a non stick baking paper on a tray. If you do not have non stick bake paper, just grease the tray with a little ghee. Pour the mixture onto the tray and spread it well.
- Sprinkle the remaining sunflower seeds onto the surface of the mixture and let it set in the freezer for almost 1 ½ hours. Once this is done, cut the burfi into any shape you like and serve.
Kulfi is one of the most aromatic classic desserts in India. It is made from dairy products, spices and nuts. This particular dish is called matka kulfi because the kulfi mixture is set in small matka pots or cups (“Matka” in Hindi means “earthen”; which describes pots and cups that are made of compressed earth). Kulfi is popular in India among people of all ages. But it is particularly popular among children. It is very similar to ice cream; the only difference being that kulfi has it’s own unique spice. People particularly enjoy the taste of green cardamom and creamy milk along with the nuts.
It has been almost a week since I last prepared this dessert. It was one day before Naw Ruz; which is the Baha’i new year celebration. I served it in the afternoon, when my son was playing with the other children. It was very satisfying to watch the kids eat this dessert. Jiya, one of my son’s playmates, licked the spoon as she finished her kulfi and asked: “Aunty, when will you make it again?” Before I could give an answer, my son said: “Mummy will make it again when the guests come. I will let you know”. They finished the kulfi very quickly. Luckily I took some pictures of it before the kids came!!
I must say that the best part about this recipe is that I don’t need to remember a dozen ingredients.
- 1 ½ litres of full cream milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon of green cardamom powder
- 8-10 almonds, sliced or chopped
- 1 tablespoon of pistachio, sliced or chopped
- 1 pinch of saffron threads for garnishing (optional)
- Boil the milk in a heavy based pot on a medium flame. Stir frequently until the milk is reduced to about 500ml. This will make the milk slightly thick and creamy. It is important to stir frequently as the milk is boiling, because full cream milk has a tendency to burn at the bottom and on the sides. Once the milk has become thick, add sugar, pistachios, almonds and cardamom powder and mix well. Boil the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely. Turn off the flame and pour the kulfi mixture into the matka pots and garnish with few slices of almond, pistachio and saffron. Place them in the freezer and let them set for 6 to 7 hours before serving. Enjoy.
- Sometimes I add saffron in this dessert, because it gives an extra tang to the flavour. If you want to add saffron, soak 2 to 3 fairly large pinches of saffron threads in a tablespoon of milk for about 6 or 7 minutes before adding it to the kulfi mixture. Be sure to mix the saffron well with the rest of the kulfi.
I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I often make sweet desserts for my family and close friends. Kulfi is a popular Indian dessert made from dairy products and dry fruits. In India, everybody loves kulfi in summer. When my son comes back from school during mid summer in India, this is the best cold dessert I can offer him. It always brings a smile to his face.
It’s easy and simple to prepare. When preparing this dessert, you need to be near the stove the whole time and stir the mixture regularly. This is because the milk has the tendency to spill or burn at the bottom if not stirred. You can also add any dry fruit you like to this dessert during or after preparation. I only use saffron occasionally with this dish, because saffron is very expensive.
- 1 ½ litres full cream milk (1500ml)
- ½ cup condensed milk (almost 150ml)
- 10 - 12 pistachios, roughly crushed
- 10 - 12 almonds, roughly crushed
- 2 to 3 pinches of saffron strands
- 1 serving spoon of khoya (khoya is a thickened milk which is widely used in India)
- Boil the milk in a heavy deep pot on a medium flame. Reduce the heat as soon as the milk starts boiling. Continue boiling until the amount of milk is reduced almost by half. This is done to make the milk thick. Don’t forget to keep stirring the milk often during the whole time. Make sure you keep scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to prevent residue milk from building up. If residue milk builds up, it has a tendency to burn.
- Add condensed milk, saffron and dry fruits. Mix well and boil for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn of the flame and let the mixture cool down to room temperature. Add khoya and mix well.
- Pour the mixture in a popsicle mould or a kulfi mould of your choice. Place it in the freezer for at least 5 - 6hrs. Serve in frozen form.
This Indian dessert, which is one of my favourites, is one which people in India normally prepare during festive seasons. I don’t make it very often, because saffron is a very expensive spice. I cook it occasionally; either when I have special guests, or on the occasion of Naw-Ruz (Baha’i new year festival)
No matter how many times I cook this dish, I fall in love with the taste of it every time. This dessert tastes soft and flavoursome and has a very vibrant colour. Once you learn to cook it well, you can regularly prepare it for your loved ones.
When roasting semolina, use a low flame, because it burns quickly. Even if it is over roasted, you will not get the right taste. It is a good idea to turn off the flame as soon as you smell the scent of roasted. Then pour the semolina on a separate plate.
Indian people traditionally use ghee (Indian clarified butter) for cooking halwa. I sometimes use vegetable oil or butter instead of ghee.
SERVES – 4
PREPARATION TIME – 5 minutes
COOKING TIME – 20 minutes
1 cup of semolina (suji)
2 ½ cups of milk
1 tablespoon of Indian clarified butter (ghee)
½ cup of sugar
2 pinches of salt
1 drop of lemon yellow food colour (optional)
3-4 pinches of saffron
1 green cardamom skin, crushed
½ serving spoon of sultanas
½ serving spoon of sliced almond or cashew nuts
1. Heat a frying pan on a low flame. Pour semolina on the pan and roast for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir continuously to prevent burning the semolina from the bottom.
2. Heat the milk in a deep pan along with sugar. Once it is boiled, turn off the heat and keep aside.
3. Place 1 serving spoon of milk in a small bowl and soak the saffron in it.
4. Melt the ghee in a frying pan. Add sultanas and half of the almonds (keep the rest of the almonds for garnishing). Fry for 30 seconds.
5. Add the roasted semolina and the crushed green cardamom skin into the ghee. Mix well and roast the mixture for 6 to 7 minutes on a low flame.
6. Pour the warm milk and saffron soaked milk slowly into the mixture. Stir while adding the milk to make sure no lumps are formed. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes and stir continuously. Turn off the flame and cover the halwa with a lid for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with the rest of the sliced almonds. Serve hot.