Celebrate the festival of lights with some fabulous sweets that can easily be made at home.
Besan (gram flour) – 3 cups
Sugar - 3 cups
Water – Three-fourth cup
Cashews - 75 gm
Raisins – 75 gm
Edible camphor (pacha karpooram) – a pinch
Kalkandu cubes – 2 tbsp
Cloves, crushed – a few
Ghee – 2-3 tbsp
Mix water with three cups of besan in a bowl to get consistency like that of idli-dosa batter). Stir well to avoid lumps.
Heat refined oil in a wok. Using a perforated ladle, drip spoonfuls of the besan batter into hot oil. (Do this carefully, taking care not to splutter). Deep fry the little bubble-like boondi till it gets a golden colour. Drain in a colander. Fry broken cashews and raisins in a little ghee. Mix the boondi with roasted cashews, raisins, a pinch or two of pacha karpooram, tiny rock sugar cubes (kalkandu) and crushed cloves. Set aside in a vessel.
Prepare sugar syrup by adding three cups sugar to three-fourths cup water. Boil the syrup to nearly two-threads stage. Once this stage is reached, turn off the flame.
Mix in the boondi immediately, and stir well. Let this cool for about five to 10 minutes.
Apply ghee to your hands. Form about 40 lemon-sized balls, while still bearably hot. Store in airtight containers.
Milk – One-and-a-half litres
Milk powder – Four-and-a-half tbsp
Curds / lime juice - To curdle
Sugar – 5 tbsp
Water – 3 tbsp
Butter – 1 tsp
Rose essence – a few drops, or rosewater – 1 tbsp
Red colouring – 1 drop
Pistachio slivers – For garnish
Grease a six-inch thali. Boil the milk in saucepan and add curd / lime juice. Let the mixture curdle. Strain the paneer. Powder the sugar finely.
In the mixie, blend the paneer, milk powder, and powdered sugar with the water, to a smooth paste. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, pour the mixture and add a teaspoon of butter.
Cook on medium flame, stirring constantly for 15 to 20 minutes. Add rose essence and a drop of the red colouring. Stir evenly. When the mixture leaves the sides of the vessel and is a thick mass, transfer to the greased thali.
Smoothen the top surface with a rubber spatula. Press in the pista slivers. Cut into squares with a sharp knife. (The burfi will be a baby pink colour. You can also make chocolate burfi this way.)