Coconut burfi

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Dessert. Kind of like fudge, but not quite. Burfi, in the North, is often made with milk or a milk product, and is usually covered with vark – very thin silver or gold foil. This one can be dairy-free.

You need: 1 cup grated coconut; 3/4 cup sugar; 1/4 tsp cardamom powder; a pinch saffron (optional); 1 tbsp ghee or oil; 1 greased pan.

Note: If you’re using frozen grated coconut, you’ll need 1/4 cup water. Cane sugar is okay.

How to:

Put the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan. If you’re adding water, add it now, and let it boil.

Add the coconut. Keep stirring in a clockwise direction. Or anticlockwise, but in one direction only. Don’t stop stirring at any point, even briefly.

It should start mixing together to a fudge-like consistency. If it isn’t, it might be too dry. If it smells like it’s burning, it was too dry. Start over, and add water (I learnt this the hard way).

Add the cardamom and saffron after a couple of minutes. When the mixture starts foaming (or looks cooked to you) add the ghee or oil. Keep stirring.

Drop a bit of the mixture onto the pan. If it doesn’t spread, it’s done. If it does, let it reduce a little more.

Scoop it into the pan and spread it evenly. Let it cool. After about 15 minutes, while it’s still soft, cut it into squares. You can also add chopped nuts to the top while it’s still warm.

Mistakes I made that you can avoid: the first time, too little water, and I let it burn. The second time, I think too much water (I used 1/2 cup), and perhaps I took it off the stove too soon. Also, I used too much cardamom. 1/8-1/4 tsp is more than enough.

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