Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vanilla Flavoured Maida Burfi - Deepavali Bakshanam

Activity around any festival is by itself a thrill to experience. Deepavali being one of the widely celebrated festivals and one of the grand occasion, our homes are abuzz with preparations. Different kinds of sweet dishes and savoury crisp dishes are made on a week long process, in huge numbers. There is so much joy in cooking them and sharing with neighbours and friends.
Years ago, we used to get back from school in anticipation of seeing filled stainless steel and brass cylinders filled to the brim with bakshanams. As we only had the tradition of having the 'Ganga snaanam', namely the oil bath, wearing new clothes and cracking fireworks then, there were no special prayers. So we were allowed to taste and munch on all the dishes, as and when they were made, in my mother's kitchen.
These days, living in far away lands, I try to observe the tradition to the best of my ability. Though I hardly have someone to share with, I make a few dishes, in much lesser quantities. This year too, I had made a list of dishes to be made. It was an extra special deepavali, being the first for our daughter after her marriage, earlier this year.
My daughter wanted to try her hand, in her kitchen, making some of them. She wanted me to guide her with them. To be very sure and to pass on proper measures and procedures, I made them at home, ahead of her, took pictures and messaged her in detail. She followed the same and was very happy with her attempts. Over skype conversations and demonstrations, we discussed her list of dishes. She made thirattuppaal  taking instructions from my mother, and badam halwa from the blog.
One of the sweets I tried to make it easy for her was the vanilla flavoured maida burfi. There is already the rose flavoured maida cake in my list. She is not fond of rose flavour and opted for the vanilla flavoured one instead. I altered the procedure a little bit, making it easier. The recipe below is that I sent to her to try. She was happy to have made them and I ticked one sweet dish off in my list.

Vanilla Flavoured Maida Burfi


200 ml plain flour/ All purpose flour/ maida

200 ml ghee melted

450 ml sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

150 ml water to dissolve sugar

2 teaspoons ghee to grease the jelly pan


Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, add the flour and over a very low flame roast it for about  5-7 minutes.
Transfer to a flat large dish and allow it to cool. Once it has come to room temperature, add 100 ml of the ghee to it and mix well. Break tiny lumps that may form with the back of the ladle.
Take this mixture to the pan and cook over a low flame until the mixture is a bit frothy. This may take about 5 minutes. Transfer this to a bowl. Keep aside.
Rinse the pan and place the sugar and water in it. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Dissolve the sugar and continue boiling  to make a syrup.
The correct consistency of the syrup to be achieved can be tested by dropping a small quantity in a little water. If the syrup flattens and holds, but is not rolling to a soft ball while rolled, then the right consistency is achieved.
Now bring the heat to the lowest and add in the flour - ghee mixture into the syrup.
Stir constantly and cook the mixture. Add the rest of the ghee in small increments and incorporate it into the cooking mass. 
When the mixture is well cooked and almost done, it will have white foam around the edges and big bubbles appear towards the middle. It will leave the sides when stirred and very slowly get back.
At this point turn the heat off. 

Keep the pan on the stove and briskly stir the mix until it is thickened enough to pour from the pan to the greased jelly pan in a uniform smooth, but thick batter that is almost like a loose dough.
(Ideally we take the pan off the stove and keep stirring strongly until the mass collects in a soft ball dough. I kept it on the hot stove with the fire off and stirred.)
Once you have transferred the dough to the jelly pan, tilt the pan a little to level the mix. Grease the back of a ladle, or a banana leaf and smoothen the top. The ghee will bring the extra glaze needed to this top surface also.Allow the mix to cool a little bit and while still warm, make cuts with a knife.
Let it cool completely before removing the pieces from the jelly pan.

The above recipe makes 25 numbers of 11/2 inches squares that are about 1/2 an inch in thickness.
This is slightly on the sweeter side in taste, that is how we like them. If you do not want them as sweet, reduce the sugar about two table spoons, but not more.


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Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.