Diwali is round the corner and preparations are on with cleaning the house, putting up the lights, and preparing sweets and savories that are customary for this festival. While growing up, we looked forward to the two-week vacation more than anything else. New clothes, crackers, and lots of snacks were the bonus. That Diwali was around the corner was obvious from the cartloads of diyas, candles, tea-lights, rangoli colors, and rangoli stencils that flooded the market. The shops were all lit up and on display were hampers with sweets and dry fruits and other gift items. On sale was the ubiquitous "star" and "disco" lights also.
In Mumbai, these snacks and sweets are called faraal. Preparations and plans for making faraal began weeks back. The aunties in the locality would discuss what faraal to make and what things were to be bought. Those were the days when supermarkets were not there and readymade flour was not available. Therefore, just before Diwali, the flour mill saw an influx of steel dabbas with different dals and cereals that were needed to make these goodies. The afternoons were reserved for grinding these items at the flour mills and housewives would then get down to making two or three items per day. Children on vacation would hover around to sample it and the elders would give their ‘initial reactions’ on how it turned out.
Cut to the present, with only the two of us at home, and in a different city than Mumbai, Diwali is as much or as little as we make it to be. Till date I enjoy the excitement that surrounds this festival - whether it is buying those cute diyas or drawing out a few awkward rangolis or making faraal at home. The cleaning is on, one set of lights are out, I want to buy some new diyas and along with that today I started on making the faraal. I decided to start on a sweet note with an Almond / Badam Burfi. The only thing about making these goodies is that it is requires strong will and steely resolve on my part to make it last till Diwali and in the case of hubby dear the only way is to hide it from him.
Almond / Badam Burfi
Almonds - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/3 cup
Almond essence - 3 to 4 drops (optional)
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Food Color (optional)
saffron strands - small pinch
crushed almonds - 1 tsp
Grease the pan you will set the burfi in and keep aside. Heat water in a saucepan and when it boils add the almonds / badam and take off the heat. Keep aside for an hour. After an hour wash the almonds and skin them, it will be easy to do this now. Grind the almonds to a fine paste with a little water.
In a saucepan, add the sugar to the remaining water and heat till it is of one-string consistency. Heat a kadhai or any heavy bottomed vessel and add the sugar syrup and almond paste and stir and mix it well. Keep on low heat and stir often if not continuously. Add the almond essence and keep stirring till the whole mix comes together and starts leaving the sides of the pan. Spoon a little of the ghee around the almond mix and bring it together. When the mix comes together completely into a ball smear the rest of the ghee on it and put it into the greased pan. Use a square or rectangle pan for ease of cutting the burfi into shape.
Sprinkle the crushed saffron and the crushed almonds on the burfi and keep it in the refrigerator to set.
This recipe for Almond Haven aka Badam Burfi is going to these events :
- "Diwali Special" hosted by gayathriscookspot.
- "Diwali Bash 2013" hosted by cooksjoy.
- "Spotlight: Festival Treats" hosted by cuisinedelights