Every year during Deepavali or Diwali, after the ritual oil bath and arati (a ceremony with lamps) my sister and I wore our new clothes and off we went to deliver parcels of sweet boxes to our near and dear ones. Then we came home to an elaborate festival lunch. There would be no time to nap as we were to get ready again for the Laksmi Pooja at my father’s factory. Soon after the pooja, my parents distributed gifts and sweets to all the people who worked there (a tradition which continues till today). This was a wonderful time to meet all the staff and factory workers as well as all our family friends who came visiting.
Once the festivities at the factory were over, we began our journey to Siddapur to complete the remainder of the festival in our ancestral house. More traditions and traditional food followed. After the main pooja at the family home, our grandparents sat on the sofa and each of us went one by one, to collect prasad offered to the deities. Then all of us sat together and enjoyed the deepavali meals.
Times have now changed. I really miss my parents and siblings and other family members during this festival, being grateful for such strong and everlasting memories. But I now have my own family and this is Harivansh’s first diwali with us as last year I was at my parents following his birth. It is now my onus to carry on the traditions and hopefully create beautiful memories for my precious son.
My grand mother often made these delightful burfies in her hey days and when I called her for the recipe, as I usual I commented “Ajji, isnt this too much sugar?” she insisted that if I cut the sugar then I wont get the right consistency and texture. I went ahead and made these, verbatim and after all this is a time we shouldnt be worrying about sugar and just be a part of the celebrations with our family and friends. They were so delicious that I couldnt resist eating them as I was shooting them. They are great to make and share with family and friends during this festive season.
These are called seven cup burfies as there are seven cups of ingredients going into them, the other ingredients being optional and for garnishing. If you havent made burfi before, then this is quite easy to begin with. You just need to have all the ingredients ready, put them in the pot and cook them until the fudge consistency is reached. Wishing all of you a very happy Diwali and I really wish I could share these with each and every one of you.
Seven Cup Burfi/ Coconut and Chickpea Flour Fudge Recipe
You can use any size cups, but make sure to use the same cup to measure out all the ingredients. The almonds, pistachios and saffron are optional for garnishing. Use them to give your sweets an elegant and decorative feel.
120 gm (1 cup) fresh or frozen coconut, grated
150 gm (1 cup) chickpea flour (besan flour)
660 gm (3 cups) granulated white sugar
250 ml (1 cup) milk
220 gm (1 cup) ghee or melted butter
4 cardamom pods, seeds ground in a mortar and pestle
10 to 12 almonds, thinly sliced (optional)
10 to 12 pistachios, thinly sliced (optional)
A generous pinch of saffron (optional)
Line a 9X9 square baking tin with aluminium foil and lightly grease it with some ghee. If using the saffron then warm it over a heavy bottomed cast iron skillet and lightly crush with a mortar and pestle.
In a heavy bottomed large wok or kadhai, put in the ghee. After it melts, add in the chickpea flour, coconut, milk and sugar and cook on a medium flame until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring all the time to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the flame and continue to cook until the mixture thickens, comes together and starts to leave the sides of the pan, about 35 to 40 minutes*.
Once this happens, stir in the ground cardamom seeds, give it a good mix and pour the fudge into the prepared pan. Level the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle with the optional almonds, pistachios and saffron. Cut into pieces while still hot, you can lift them up when cool.Once the fudge sets you cant cut it.
* I use a standard 250 ml cup. If you decide to use a smaller cup then the cooking time is also reduced accordingly.
Makes 36 pieces.