Kaju Burfi


Happy Deepavali (or Diwali for short)!

Kaju burfi is a festive sweet, traditionally prepared by using an array of dairy-products and nuts (almonds, cashews, coconuts, pistachios or a variety of grated vegetables), or flour, sugar and flavorings in my nani’s kitchen.

2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar or to taste
1 1/2 cups cashew (kaju) flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground cardamom
3 drops rose essence

1) Lightly grease a 10-inch baking pan (stainless steel round plate or thali) or line it with non-stick parchment paper for easy clean up. Set aside.
2) Combine milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly until sugar has completely dissolved.
3) Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and a generous pinch of salt to boiling milk. Stir to mix and cook the milk mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated. (At this stage I like to add a generous pinch of mace or nutmeg and additional ground cardamom). Add the remaining ingredients except rose essence and stir until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
4) Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly to prevent from sticking on the bottom of the pan, until all the liquid has evaporated. At this point the mixture should have the consistency of cookie dough (almost resembling almond paste).
5) Remove from the heat and add the rose essence (or pure almond extract) if desired. Empty the mixture into the baking pan and spread evenly with a lightly buttered back of metal spatula. Garnish it with sliced cashews or silver leaf for festive look. Let it cool for at least 1 to 2 hours and cut into squares or diamond shapes if you prefer. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Refrigerate the leftovers.

Yield: 12 servings.

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