I have written before, about my fond childhood memories associated with Deepavali. And one of the best memories that fortunately continues to this day is the eating of many different kinds of sweets.
Cashewnut Burfi, Soan Papdi and Chocolate Pedha were my favourites amongst the boxed versions. And as a ritual, I make sure that these sweets are there during Lakshmi Pooja at our place. And I cannot forget the home made Chivdas, Chaklis and Besan Laddus.
I also have fond memories of eating Coconut Burfi as a child. Two of my aunts, Indira and Rekha indulged us with homemade coconut burfi. Those were the days when grandmothers, mothers and aunts indulged everyone with home made treats, a tradition that we must not allow to wither away as time, generations and decades take a leap.
I already have a Coconut Burfi made with Jaggery in this space. I love coconut and I love jaggery and when these two marry each other, there is bound to be a heavenly union.
But this Coconut Burfi made with sugar and milk is what my childhood memories are made of. A bite into the creamy soft burfi takes me down memory lane and envelopes me that secure and comforting environment where I knew that everything was taken care of and makes me escape, atleast momentarily from all the responsibilities that come as an adult. The sweetness of the sugar, the texture of the coconut and the heavenly scents of saffron and cardamom come together in this burfi making it a divine experience to indulge.
This recipe comes from my maternal aunt Rekha, who is one of my favourite cooks and also someone who always indulges us with good food and snacks.
I hope that this recipe will give you and your loved ones joy and comfort during this festive season.
Coconut Burfi Recipe
200 gm (2 cups) coconut (grated)
330 gm (1 ½ cups) sugar
250 ml (1 cup) milk
¼ tsp saffron plus for garnishing (optional)
4 cardamom pods (shelled and seeds crushed)
Grease a 7” or 8” square pan or a medium sized round steel plate with some ghee. You could also line it with some baking parchment.
In a heavy bottomed pan, put in the grated coconut, sugar, milk and saffron if using. On medium heat, cook until the sugar crystals dissolve completely.
Once the sugar dissolves, lower the heat and cook until the mixture thickens and starts to leave the sides of the pan.
You need to keep stirring this to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes. It requires some patience and a bit of arm flex, but the results will be totally worth it.
Once the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, add the cardamom powder, mix well and turn off the heat. Transfer the contents to the greased pan or plate. Level the surface with a cup turned upside down or a ladle.Garnish with a few strands of saffron and lightly press it into the dish.
Once the mixture is a little cool, cut into squares or diamonds.
Store in the refrigerator.
Makes 30 squares