Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Cardamom - The Queen of spices

cardamom

Green cardamom pods


Cardamom, Elaichi, Elakkai...

Ah, cardamom! This is probably my favorite spice. With its unique fragrance and flavor, it lends itself to both savory and sweet dishes. I have cardamom/elaichi every day in the morning in my morning cuppa tea/chai. My senses truly wake up in the morning, when I get a whiff of the cardamom powder that I add to the boiling chai. I grind the pods to a fine powder(pods with the skins) about once a month. A pinch goes into my tea every morning. Cardamom has excellent digestive properties and is also believed to help fight infection, congestion, colic, asthma and prevent kidney stones.

One sweet dish which showcases cardamom very effectively is Besan Burfi (at least that is my name for it! It may have a different name.) This recipe is from my mom and is one of the easiest sweets to make. The flavor is not unlike that of mysore pak, (another traditional sweet) but far simpler to make.

besan burfi

Besan Burfi: melt-in-the-mouth goodness


Ingredients

1 cup besan (Chickpea flour)
1 cup sugar (more if you have a real sweet tooth)
1/4 cup ghee
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
pinch saffron
4-5 almonds, cut into slivers
4-5 pistachios, cut into slivers

ingredients

Sugar, ghee, besan, pistachios, saffron, almonds, cardamom



Method


Melt the ghee in a heavy bottom wide vessel. Add the besan and roast it quite well. Roast over a very low flame and stir constantly. The color of the besan should darken to a deep golden brown. The mixture should be a little fluid as well i.e not too dry. If it is very dry, add a little more ghee. The besan (and in fact your whole kitchen) should really smell very fragrant at this point. Add the sugar and stir. Take the pan off the heat. Add 1/2 of the cardamom powder. Spread the mixture on a tray to 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle with the remaining cardamom powder, the chopped nuts and saffron strands. Let cool completely and cut into squares, diamonds or rectangles.




besan_tray
burfi cooling on the tray, waiting to be cut




Here's another picture of the burfi:

burfi closeup
Besan Burfi




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48 Comments:

At Tue Feb 28, 01:17:00 PM 2006, Blogger Mika said...

They look very delicious. Found my way from Mahanandi. What a fitting new post for Saffron hut!

 
At Tue Feb 28, 02:02:00 PM 2006, Blogger Sandhya said...

Hmmm...yum! Nice pics. Good luck with your work

 
At Tue Feb 28, 03:05:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Mika, thanks. Yes, one of the few recipes in which the saffron strands hold their own rather than being mixed into the sauce/sweet.

 
At Tue Feb 28, 03:09:00 PM 2006, Blogger sailu said...

Good pictures,SH and a nice post!

 
At Tue Feb 28, 03:30:00 PM 2006, Blogger shammi said...

My goodness, I'm REALLY impressed with your photos - and that besan barfi looks so scrumptious...!

 
At Tue Feb 28, 05:00:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Gini said...

That is such a cool recipe! I know for sure I am going to make that...the pics are simply amazing.

 
At Wed Mar 01, 12:21:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the burfi looks delicious & your photos are so good & so professional, mmmmm....makes me drool!
pn

 
At Wed Mar 01, 01:52:00 AM 2006, Blogger Vaishali said...

Great pictures, SH. Ever thought of making a career as a food photographer?
An easy recipe with easy to get ingredients. Thanks for posting it. Must give it a try soon.

 
At Wed Mar 01, 06:20:00 AM 2006, Blogger Nupur said...

Beautiful picture and a great recipe! Good luck with the new blog-home!

 
At Wed Mar 01, 08:07:00 AM 2006, Blogger BDSN said...

Got all my way here from Kay's blog..Well my husband was asking me to make coconut burfi on his bday but well if i dont make that i will try this..
Gorgeous/tempting pictures..Good work..KEep it UP!!

 
At Wed Mar 01, 08:27:00 AM 2006, Blogger Ashwini said...

I must say the new name hasnt affected the cooking adversely! Nice recipe and excellent photo. PS - read on Shilpa's site that you like Konkani food. I just posted one last.

 
At Wed Mar 01, 10:47:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Swathi said...

Okay, forget about googling indian recipes hereafter. Im just going to check your blog for recipes and try them out.
Good luck with your blog! Its real slick!

 
At Wed Mar 01, 05:22:00 PM 2006, Blogger spicehut said...

Hey Saffron Hut,

I am Spice Hut :). Are we long lost cousins or something ?

Great pics.

-Sonali

 
At Wed Mar 01, 05:35:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Spicehut,

must be! now if only I could remember the ole family song or find my half of the "locket", we could have a filmy reunion :-)

you've got a nice blog going too!

 
At Thu Mar 02, 12:18:00 AM 2006, Blogger Puspha said...

Great pix. Those burfis look so delicious. Added it to my list to try.

 
At Thu Mar 02, 06:17:00 AM 2006, Blogger KrishnaArjuna said...

Great pics!! Yummy desert, going for the whole package huh?

 
At Wed Mar 08, 04:25:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Danielle said...

Those are just beautiful, and they look so easy to experiment with lots of variations.

 
At Sun Mar 12, 04:45:00 PM 2006, Blogger Andrew said...

not something I have explored much is cardammon - thanks for the inspiring entry to SHF

 
At Tue Apr 18, 01:11:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi !! just came across this blog , awesome place to try new food . keep it up !!! iam sure when i am using the internet from today i will find my way here everday !!. you are an awesome photographer.

p.s tried this burfi today , it is cooling right now , hope it comes good .

 
At Sun May 14, 03:42:00 PM 2006, Blogger Inji Pennu said...

Hi Saffronhut! I tried your Besan burfi today for a potluck and it was a big hit,there is not even a miniscule crumb left! Thank you!

When I was cutting it into peices, some pieces wont hold shape? Do you know why? After I stir in the sugar,do I have to immediately take out of heat?

 
At Sat May 20, 02:36:00 AM 2006, Blogger Gourmet said...

hy Saffron!!
I made today your Besan Burfi!!
I love it!!! Great recipe and very beautiful pic's!!
Thank's
Sandra

 
At Thu Jul 06, 08:56:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made it today, turned out very delicious - melting in the mouth. But couldn't make it to takeout as squares without breaking them. I made ladoos with breaked burfi. Is there any trick to takeout them without breaking it or do we have to spray the pan first.

-Prathibha

 
At Fri Aug 18, 12:27:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I really love this recipe and want to try it. Will it make a difference if I substitute the ghee with olive oil? [I know the flavor would be lost, but I'm wondering how much..] :)

Kudos to you for maintaining a fantastic blog. Your recipes seem so innovative!

-Monika

 
At Wed Sep 13, 12:49:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so many unanswered questions? hope you dont mind answering them, since it would benefit so many of us.

 
At Tue Sep 19, 08:13:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Yes indeed, I have been remiss in answering a lot of the questions...my apologies :)

- If the burfis break when you try to take 'em out of the tray, you can try lining the tray with aluminum foil. Leave a little bit overhanging the sides, so that you can pull the whole thing out when it is set. Cut in pieces and gently take it out of the aluminum make-shift tray.

- I don't think olive oil will be a good substitute. The ghee is what holds the burfi together. As it cools, it gels and gives it a solid shape.

- these freeze very well too. Cut into squares and then freeze in a single layer in a freezer safe container. When craving some, thaw in the microwave till just a little bit warm and enjoy !!

hope these tips help.

cheers!

 
At Tue Oct 03, 02:13:00 PM 2006, Blogger DilipUK said...

Hey, just tried the recipe and the burfi turned out pretty good. The burfi ended up a bit softer then I thought, maybe I used more ghee then I should have. The mix of besan flour and ghee at start of the cooking process seemed too dry, so I added more ghee.

Anyway, they tasted great.

Thanks for the recipe.

 
At Sun Oct 15, 01:11:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Rashmi said...

Good recipe - Had to use a little bit of milk to get it to come together but the taste was awesome.
My hubby loves Mysore Pak and this was kinda like the low fat version of it (I kno, I know there is a lot of ghee and sugar :)) he and my 3yo loved every bite of it. And I was surprised to find that it froze wonderfully.
Thanks for the recipe - cant wait to try some other of your recipes.
--Rashmi

 
At Tue Oct 17, 11:56:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While surfing on net, I came across your blog. All receipes posted by you, tempt me to try all these receipes and pictures along with receipe really do their work, they make me to take a bite of it.

 
At Wed Oct 18, 10:44:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Rashmi... said...

Hi SH...
ur burfi was so tempting i couldnt wait to try it but then somehow when i added the sugar, it stayed as it is...i mean the sugar didn't melt...n it became a little dry n crumblike...do u add powdered sugar or do u need 2 make a syrup of it???do reply...

 
At Wed Oct 18, 11:19:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Hi Rashmi, you must be different from the Rashmi that tried it and froze some as well!!

I use regular granulated sugar that we get in the stores in US. It is almost a powder when compared with the sugar that you get in India. From your description, I feel that perhaps you needed to add more ghee. The heat of the ghee and besan mixture should slightly melt the sugar. The end product is a little crunchy from the sugar. You don't need to make any syrup - just add sugar to the hot mixture and work quickly to transfer to the tray. If you still have the crumb mixture, i'd suggest putting it back on the heat to melt slightly and then put it back in the tray.

Hope that helps!

 
At Fri Oct 27, 11:23:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi
I tried your receipe it was good. But I had the same problem as others I could not remove them in one piece after cutting.I added the same amount of ghee as mentioned,did not need to add more.But still it did not come out easily.

 
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At Wed Nov 15, 09:38:00 AM 2006, Blogger Krithika said...

Tried your besan burfi. Tasted good but was kind of crumbly/grainy. I even added more ghee and let it cook for more time. The texture was like ladoo.. what could have gone wrong ?

 
At Sun Dec 17, 08:36:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you get the top of the burfee to be so smooth? I mean when you transfer the almost done burfee into a greased thali or tray, what do you use to spread it so evenly that the top is so smooth.PLEASE REPLY.Thanks:)

 
At Wed Dec 20, 10:41:00 AM 2006, Blogger miss dipsy said...

These are delicious, they turned out perfect. I'm making a selection of sweets to give as gifts for christmas, and I'm sure this will go down very well!

I didn't have any trouble at all making them, although I was worried at one point that I'd added too much ghee (it looked a bit dry so I added some more, which turned it rather runnier than I had expected it to be. I'm not really sure how "liquid" it was supposed to be!). But they turned out very similar to the besan barfi I have bought on many occasions, so I must have done something right!

Thanks for the great recipe!

 
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At Sat Mar 03, 02:35:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site... » »

 
At Sat Apr 07, 02:12:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Nena said...

oh wow!
those look fabulous
i can't wait to make them
by the way
do you have a recipe
for khandvi?

 
At Sat Apr 07, 02:13:00 PM 2007, Anonymous nena said...

wow those look great!
can't wait to make them
by the way
have you ever made khandvi?

 
At Sun Jun 17, 12:33:00 PM 2007, Blogger Vicky said...

Wow!!!! That picture was sooooo beautiful that i simply had to make some. They came out beautiful and oh so delicious. YUM>>>> 0.O<<<

 
At Sun Jun 17, 12:34:00 PM 2007, Blogger Vicky said...

have you ever made rasamalai???

 
At Fri Jul 20, 08:09:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, there's something wrong with this recipe. It doesn't come the way it looks in the pictures. First, unless a little water is added, it just does not set. Secondly, it's impossible to make it look as light in color as shown in the photos. By the time the gram flour turns brown giving off its typical fragrance and sugar is added, it looks quite brown. Those pics of yellow barfis must be made with something else, not gram flour. Kindly post correct recipes instead of misguiding people.

 
At Fri Aug 17, 06:32:00 PM 2007, Blogger nepalichic said...

These look so very delicious! I want to make some for my husband tonight but he is vegan and can't eat butter/ghee. What should I substitute ghee with? Do you think corn oil would do?
Also, I am always frantically looking for good desi vegan recipes. If you have some could you post them for us please? I have 3 other vegan friends who look for recipes on your site.
Thank you!

 
At Tue Sep 25, 02:33:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried this today and like everyone else had it turn out too dry and crumbly. So, I heated some milk (1%), added saffron and cardamom then mixed it into the besan mixture. Depending upon how much milk you add, it can get the consistency of either halva or burfi. I'm guessing adding more ghee instead of milk will also work (for burfi not halva) but I can do with less ghee :)
Thank you for the recipe.

 
At Thu Mar 26, 03:17:00 PM 2009, Blogger Manaswini said...

I have tried this recipe and it must have something missing. ROsted besan looks darker than as shown in picture. and there was no burfi at all..just too dry flaky mixture. So me too made laddoos out of it..

 
At Thu May 28, 01:28:00 PM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is definitely something wrong with the recipe,the burfi will never turn out the way it looks in the photos if the listed ingredients are used.
Please correct your recipe or your photos.

 
At Fri Jun 26, 12:28:00 PM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TRUE ,
i TRIED AND IT BECAME FLACKY DRY ..........
iT NEED MORE GHEE BUT DONT KNOW AFTER THAT ALSO IT WILL LOOOK GOOD
...
i ADDED MILK AND SIMOLINA BUT ALL IN VEIN
............
wHAT A STUPID COPY MASTER THIS SAFFRON HUT THIS

STOP MAKING FOOL OTHER PPL
....................

 
At Fri Jan 29, 04:42:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw your kaju barfi recipe,developed trust in your recipes and tried this one,it was all powder and when i heated more like you suggested,it became brwon and burnt taste,for god sake save people from more dissapointment,correct the recipe or remove it

 

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