If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit an area with a lot of Indian stores, or a “Little India” type of environment, you will have been immediately transported to another country. Most places in America, actually all over the world, will have a “Little India” where the streets are lined with colorful clothing stores, the windows shining with the most beautiful and latest style of gold jewelry, and the air is filled with the most delicious smells of spices and Indian foods from restaurants. Even if you go visit a “Little India” after a full meal from someplace else, you will most likely end up in some place for a light snack or dessert! Trust me – there is no such thing as “willpower” when it comes to delicious tasting AND delicious smelling Indian food!
What I especially love about being an Indian, and just Indian food, in general, is the amazing desserts and sweets that are available! A lot of our Indian desserts have nuts and dried fruits in them. Also, many of our Indian desserts are milk-based as well. There is raas-malai, kheer, doodh paak, gulab jamun, kulfis and ice-creams, etc. – all made with milk and some soaking in sweet milk with nuts, saffron, cardamom and sugar. Soo delicious! (And I’m deliberately giving you the Indian names of these desserts, so you will go research them AND go try them!) :O)
There is one particular type of Indian sweet called “Burfi” (pronounced “bur-fee”). It is almost like a fudge-type of confection and consistency, but made with milk or condensed-milk. The beauty of burfi, like any type of fudge, is that you can make it into any flavor or combination you can possibly think of. If you go to an Indian sweet store – you will see rows and rows of different types of burfi in the refrigerated windows – mango, orange, cashew, watermelon, malai, vanilla, dates, pistachio, coconut, almond, carrot, even a vegetable called “calabash gourd or lauki” (Doodhi) is made into a burfi! If its tasty and edible, we Indians can make it into a delicious and sweet burfi! I love it!
A particular favorite with many people is Chocolate Burfi – its light, sweet and creamy in texture and then covered with delicious chocolate making it just incredibly mouthwatering! And to be honest, I’m one of those weirdos who is not a big fan of chocolate – milk or dark. But if you give me chocolate barfi, for some reason, I instantly become a chocoholic as I’m eating this stuff! Yes – I know what you’re thinking….this girl is nuts!! Literally!! LOL – but its okay – you just have to try this stuff on your own one day to see what I mean. :O)
As a matter of fact, I remember when my fiance (husband now) and I had our engagement ceremony, we had a long line of guests coming to congratulate us and pay their wishes. The only difference is that in our Indian ceremonies (or at least at mine), every guest was given a small piece of burfi to feed to the future bride and groom. AND, if you’ve had an Indian wedding or attended one before, we don’t just invite a small group of people…we invite villages and every person we have ever looked at in our lifetime!!(LOL) Can I just tell you – my fiance and I probably had at least 2 or 3 trays worth of burfi cut up into tiny bite-size morsels and fed to us on the night of our engagement ceremony!! Boy, were we stuffed and sugared up that night!! But what a great memory, the more I think about it, as I’m writing just now! :O) There is nothing better than being surrounded by amazing friends and family members to help you celebrate a special event in your life. And having some sweet treats didn’t hurt either, although…I could have done fine with just a few pieces instead of a few trays. (haha)
Here is a very simple and delicious recipe for chocolate burfi. I hope after reading this, you’ll take the time to make it. It’s worth it!
3 cups Carnation milk powder
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup of light cream
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
1 bag (8-10oz) of milk chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
- In a medium saucepan and on medium heat, melt butter, sugar, cream, and bring to boil.
- Mix in the ground cardamom
- Lower your heat and add milk powder. Mix well for 2-3 mins or until bubbly. (Very light golden brown color)
- Pour mixture onto greased tray and let cool completely. (Or line tray with wax paper)
- While burfi is cooling, melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl for 1-2 minutes in microwave, OR double-boiler method until creamy – no lumps.
- Pour chocolate on cooled burfi and allow to cool well, or refrigerate for about 30-40 minutes before serving.
**Best served when cut into small bars, or you can use a cookie cutter to make different shapes. (Just make sure to cut shaped on cooled burfi only).