Desi has a monster sweet tooth and I try as much as possible to keep it happy with homemade goodies like this Fruit and Nut Burfi. Made with no added sugar and with the wholesome goodness of dry fruits and nuts, this is a treat that's not just delicious but also as healthy as a sweet can get.
Burfi, for those of you unfamiliar with the word, is an Indian-style fudge. If you were to walk into a sweets store in India, you'd find yourself face to face with burfis in every color of the rainbow. Burfis, like fudge, are cloyingly sweet and they are mostly made with milk or nuts. Because they are eaten on special occasions, they are almost as a rule cooked with ghee.
My very vegan Fruit and Nut Burfi is blissfully dairy-free. I had some beautiful dates gifted by my friend Margo that I wanted to use for something special, and I always have figs and almonds on hand because Desi loves chopping some into his breakfast each morning. Into all of this fruity goodness I stirred in some almonds and walnuts. And instead of ghee, I used some delicious coconut oil which, like ghee, thickens at room temperature, helping the burfi firm up, and adds amazing flavor.
This is a very simple recipe with just six ingredients, and there is not much that can go wrong -- it's almost fool-proof. But there is a little hard labor involved in stirring up the fruit and nut paste until it's cooked, about 25 minutes altogether. To my mind, that's not a high price for a lot of deliciousness.
Here's the recipe. Enjoy, all!
Fruit and Nut Burfi
(Makes 25 1-inch squares)
1 cup dry figs
1 cup dates
1/2 cup dry apricots (optional. I like to cut the cloying sweetness of dates and figs with the apricots, but if you like your sweets very sweet skip the apricots by all means)
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely powdered in a blender or food processor
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp coconut oil
Submerge the figs, dates and apricots in boiling water and set aside for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is very soft.
Drain and place the fruits in a blender or food processor. Process till you have a rather smooth and thick paste. Add just enough water -- 1 or 2 tbsp -- if needed to keep the blades moving, but don't let the mixture get liquid.
Heat the coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Add the fruit paste and cook, stirring almost constantly, for 10 minutes.
Add the powdered apricots and stir in.
Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, for another 10-15 minutes until the mixture darkens and glistens.
Grease a small plate and turn the fruit and nut mixture into it.
Using your hands and a plastic wrap or a spatula flatten the mixture into a five-inch square.
Let the burfi cool completely until it sets. Then cut into diamond-shaped pieces or squares.
(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.
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