Badam Barfi (Almond Fudge)

I normally do not consume sweets as I don’t have a sweet tooth. The exception is during Diwali. I cannot imagine this festival without sweets. As I have mentioned many times before, South Indians normally prepare all their Diwali sweets and savouries at home. Unlike North India where these are bought from shops. The problem is that most of the sweets sold in shops during Diwali are adulterated. Most Indian sweets contain oodles of ghee and/or milk. As the demand for sweets during Diwali surges, can one reasonably expect cows to increase production to cater to this additional demand? Also the fact that vegan sweets are few at retail outlets and WFPB is non-existent. Therefore, I experiment with a couple of sweets at home every Diwali. This year, one of these is the very healthy almond fudge.

Badam Barfi/Almond Fudge

3/4 cup almonds (or 1 cup almond meal)
1 cups date paste
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp nuts (pistachios, almonds and/or cashews) chopped/slivered, to garnish
1 tsp cashew butter
Blanching the almonds
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
Add almonds and leave them for 1 minute
Drain in a colander
Immediately pour cold water on the almonds
Rest the almonds to dry (they have to be dried completely)
Preparing the almond meal
Transfer the almonds to a blender and pulse (do not grind)
Pulse for a few seconds, scrape the sides and pulse again
Continue the process till you get a fairly fine powder
Set aside
Making the barfi
Add 1/4 cup water and date paste to a pan and place on high flame
Dissolve the date paste completely
Reduce the flame to medium
Add the almond meal and mix well
Cook till the mixture thickens and stops sticking to the sides of the pan
If necessary, add a bit of cashew butter
Mix in the cardamom powder
Continue to cook for a minute more
Once cool, roll this into a ball
Otherwise, cook for a while more
Transfer the contents of the pan to a parchment paper
Let it cool to a lukewarm stage
Knead the mixture for about 3 minutes to get a smooth dough
Place this on a parchment paper and cover it with another piece of parchment paper
Use a rolling pin and flatten the dough to the desired thickness
Remove the parchment paper on top
Sprinkle the nuts on the dough
Place the parchment paper on the dough and lightly flatten with a rolling pin till the nuts are well tucked in the dough
Slice to desired shape and cool completely
Store in an air-tight jar and refrigerate

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