Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane
Kesar Burfi

I admit it readily...I have a sweet tooth...doesnt mean that I hog down every morsel of sucrose in the neighbourhood...anyway...I grew up in Pune...and there was an abundance of sweet shops in the area that we lived in...apparently Puneites and I have something in common :D:D ..A visit to any of these shops..(especially Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale and Karachi sweetmart) was like a visit to sugary paradise ! Every wall in the shop was adorned with shelves, sagging with the weight of delicious looking sweetmeats..from simple pedhas to exotic looking burfis...from melt-in-the-mouth sonpapdis to succulent gulab jamuns...from creamy rasmalai to crispy jalebis..the list is endless: there was something to please every palate..
As far as I remember, the place was always packed ...I am sure that everybody had a tough decision to make...not about what to buy...but about what to leave out !!! I was always impressed with the immaculate cleanliness of the place, the precise order in which business was carried out ...and the polite service that was provided..One went in full of anticipation and always came out full satisfied and loaded with bags too :-)
That trip down memory lane is sufficient, me thinks, as far as an introduction to my liking of sweets goes ! As I have mentioned in my previous tryst with cooking has begun only since I have been experimenting and trying out new recipes every once in a while..I came across a recipe for kesar burfi while browsing through Neelam Batra's 1000 recipes. The recipe caught my eye because the ingredient list was short and simple and sweet (pun intended !)
So I decided to try it out for Krishna Janmashtami (not that I need any excuse for preparing sweets, mind you )..The burfi turned out amazingly well and the husband was very pleased too ! The recipe is a keeper and can be modified with different flavourings to get different varieties of burfis !

Kesar Burfi

Yields:25 - 30 pieces


6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 lbs ricotta cheese (can use low fat or skim milk)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 strands saffron
1/2 cup roasted cashews


1. Place the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and melt it on medium heat.
2.Soak the saffron strands in two tbsps of milk for about 20 -25 minutes.
3. Add the ricotta cheese and mix well. Stir the mixture well, for about 25 minutes,until the mixture loses most of its liquid.
4. Add the sugar and mix well.
5. Continue to heat for the next 30 - 35 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
6. You will know that the mixture is thick enough when it forms a thick ball around the stirring spoon.
7. Add the saffron milk, vanilla flavouring and the roasted cashews at this stage and mix thoroughly.
8. Pour out the mixture onto a steel plate or a baking sheet and pat it until it forms a layer of uniform thickness.
9. Allow it to cool a little and then place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to harden.

Ready to eat !!

The burfi is a little on the softer side, but utterly delicious.
This is just a basic recipe and can be adapted by changing the flavourings.
I am sure I will make this again.
This recipe yielded about 30 medium sized pieces.

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