Burfis are one of the sweets that I grew up eating very often. We, my sisiters and me lived with my parents and paternal grand parents in their home. We were very used to unannounced visitors dropping for lunch or even staying a few days. Effectively, the lunch would be elaborate and a sweet dish was always prepared.
My grand mother was very deft with making mysore paak and coconut burfis. As with any South Indian home, coconuts were abundantly used at my place too. Sugar and ghee were always in full supply. Hence the first statement.
I make do with one or two coconuts in a month given the size of coconuts I get here. Mostly, the two coconuts that I use for the monthly Satyanarayana pooja suffice the entire month for the two of us.
Sometimes if there is more than one such day that I have to offer coconuts, I scrape and freeze them. This coconut I used for the Varalakshmi pooja however, could be used in making a sweet dish only. I used part of the same in thengai-arisi payasam and the rest I made coconut burfis.
The recipe I give below gives 20 to 24 pieces of burfis, not very thick nor big in size
1 and 1/2 cup loosely packed freshly grated coconut
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk (for removing the scum off the sugar)
2 table spoons ghee for the burfi
A generous smearing of ghee to grease the plate
1 teaspoon powdered cardamom
If you can, try to avoid scrapping the coconut until the brown skin scrapes along with the white.
Keep this reserve.
Smear ghee on a plate and keep ready for later to spread the burfi.
Dissolve sugar in half a cup of water in a heavy pan. Bring it to a boil. Add two tablespoons of milk. The scum will froth above the surface in a few minutes. Remove this with a ladle.
Continue boiling the sugar to achieve a syrup of one thick string consistency.
Add the coconut to the boiling syrup and stirring constantly blend the mix well. Allow the coconut to cook in the sugar syrup and thicken. Add small portions of the ghee in between.
The mix will cook well and very white froth will form around the edges.
Add the cardamom powder at this stage. Give one final brisk stir. Add the rest of the ghee.
The mix would by now be readily leaving the sides of the pan.
Transfer to the prepared plate and evenly spread the mixture. You may use a small piece of banana leaf to pat the upper surface or use the greased bottom of a small bowl to level the mixture.
Allow to cool a bit and cut desired shapes.
The entire cooking will be done in under 25 minutes that I can well relate to why my grand mother chose to serve her guests this as often as she did.
These burfi's are on the way to Aparna's Diverse Kitchen to be included in Bite size desserts on Sugar High Friday.