Saturday, October 22, 2011
Rawa badam burfi - Deepavali is around
I am sure many kitchens are buzzing with activity at this instant, for we will be celebrating our most important festival this week. For those who also usher a new year in, my warm wishes for the same also.
Every year the festive season is reason to get nostalgic. I am washed over by the wave of childhood memories. I seem to be smiling to myself as I set about preparing sweets and savoury dishes to share and eat.
Those days, my mother will pull out all her big brass and stainless steel containers, wash and sun dry them to use them for storing sweetmeats and snacks. We have seen her and my grandmother work long hours preparing stuff that we will eagerly wait to consume. You shall enter the house well prepared for the assault of aromas from deep frying or fat being cooked with a sugary mass. Now while I make them, somehow the thrill is lost between staying in the kitchen around those smells and aromas and the work load. Yet there is no complaint about that. Year after year I look forward to doing stuff, over and over again.
This time my household gets active with making the list of what I shall make and whom I shall have to send across to. Then my husband will start his suggestions, sometimes so hefty that I may have to veto the idea at the budding stage. He will wonder if I can try something as exotic as soan papdi and kaju kathlis. I may give in to few of his whims while I might have my own list in mind.
Thus this year, his choice went with Bombay jalebis and gulab jamuns and I added this rawa-badam burfi which I thought will be easy for packing in boxes for friends. The usual thirattuppaal is the very first I would make and hence along with the same the khova for the gulab jamuns got done. The savoury will be deepavali mixture and the ribbon pakodas.
This sweet came to my mind when I purchased the durum wheat semolina which was very fine in texture. S.Meenakshi Ammal book has one rawa burfi recipe that adds coconut to the same. I tried replacing the coconut with the almonds. We loved the sweet and quickly, I had to note down the changes I made. What better would be, than to make a post soon after I have enjoyed the sweet?
2 cups super fine semolina (I powdered this to a very fine texture)
1 cup (packed) ground almonds
3&1/2 cups sugar
1 &1/3 cup ghee (slightly lesser quantity of ghee will work too, my burfis were slightly on the fudge side)
2 teaspoons powdered cardamom
If you have ground almond feel free to use the same. Else, you may have to go about the procedure as what I did.
Soak some 40 numbers of almonds in very hot water for about 7 minutes. Skin them and spread the almonds on a cloth to allow them to dry. Change the cloth twice and allow them to dry well.
Coarsely pound them with a pestle and roast them on a low flame until the moisture is lost.
Transfer to the jar of a blender and pulse intermittently to achieve a powder that matches the semolina in texture.
Heat few teaspoons of the ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Add the almond powder and roast the same on a low flame until aromatic. Transfer the contents to a flat dish and allow to cool.
In the same heavy pan, add a generous quantity of ghee and roast the semolina until golden to slightly brown and very aromatic. If you can powder this (like it is done for rawa ladoos) also to a slightly fine powder, the texture of the burfi will be smooth.
If you like the crunch in your burfi, you may proceed with a fine textured semolina.
Transfer this also to the same plate as the almonds. Mix them well.
Prepare a cookie plate or stainless steel plate by greasing the same with a few teaspoons of ghee.
Dissolve the sugar in some water in a heavy pan. Make a syrup that can be drawn in a long thread when pulled between your thumb and forefinger.
If there are impurities in the sugar, add a small ladle full of milk and when the scum surfaces remove the same. If this procedure is not done, the colour of the final product may jump to an undesirable brown.
When the sugar syrup has been achieved, add the roasted almond-semolina mix dropping the same gently into the boiling syrup while stirring the same with your other hand.
Stir the contents well and avoid forming lumps, until the mix cooks well and gathers in a mass, that starts leaving the sides of the pan.
Add the rest of the ghee in small quantities at intervals and add the cardamom powder also.
Once the mass has been cooked well and leaves the sides with big white bubbles appear, transfer to the greased plate.
Tap the contents to spread evenly and smooth the surface with the back of the spatula or using a small portion of banana leaf.
Allow the mixture to cool and cut pieces in desired shapes - squares, rectangles or diamonds.
When completely cool lift the pieces off the plate and store.
Enjoy the same and share with your friends too.
Wishing you all a very happy deepavali. May there be end to all evils and peace reign upon.