Thursday, October 27, 2016

Double Layered Coconut & Mawa/Khoya Burfi

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      Kali Puja, is another major festival for the people of Bengal. Just after nineteen days of the completion of the Durga Puja, the city again geared up with the same enthusiasm to celebrate another popular festival, the Kali Puja. When rest of the India worships Goddess Lakshmi on the occasion of Diwali/Deepavali, in Bengal Goddess Kali is the chief deity for the occasion of Deepavali, the festival of lights. Kali Puja is celebrated on the Amavasya or the no moon night in the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November). This date of Kali Pooja coincides with Diwali, the North Indian New Year or
 the Festivals of Lights.
      Just as people in North India light lamps to welcome Goddess Lakshmi in their houses, people in West Bengal celebrate Kali Puja by lighting lamps in honor of Goddess Kali. Houses are decorated with lamps. Kali Puja is carried out in the late evening. Nobody sleeps at that night and takes blessings from Maa Kali. The main purpose of the puja is to seek the help of the goddess in destroying all evil. The most popular event during Kali Puja is the burning of crackers. Children as well as adults set off to fire the crackers. The whole city is decorated with lights.


    After two days of kali Puja, another festival that is very dear to bengalis, is Bhai Phota or Bhai Duj in North India. Bhai Phota is a festival that strengthens the beautiful bond of love and affection between a brother and a sister. Sisters' fast all morning till the ritual is completed. Married sisters' invite their brothers to their houses. In Bhai Phota, the phota or the tilak applied on brother's forehead is made of ghee, sandalwood (chandan) paste and kaajal. The elder of the brother and sister gives the younger ones rice and durba or grass because Rice is a symbol of plenty and the evergreen Durba is symbolic of longevity. Sisters apply ‘Phota’ or ‘tilak’ on their brother’s forehead with the little finger of her left hand with the chanting of mantras. Then sisters offer sweets and gifts to their brothers and pray for the long and prosperous life of their brothers. Brothers also promise their sisters to protect them from all hardship in their lives. Brothers also pamper their sisters with lots of gifts. It ends with lots of good food and having a good time with relatives and family members.
   And when there is so much celebration, there has to be a sweet or dessert for so sweet occassion. I'll share a quick sweet recipe which can be made within an hour from preperation to finish and there won't be anyone in this World who won't love the taste of this sweet. Coconut and mawa burfi is one such sweet which is loved by all and a very popular sweet during this festival of lights and Bhai Duj.



You Need :
Coconut(freshly grated) : 11/2 cup
Khoya/Mawa : 3/4 cup (in room temperature)
Sugar : 1/2 cup, use as per your sweet tooth
Mixed Nuts(cashews, almonds, Pistachios) : 1/2 cup
cardamom powder : 1 tsp.
Ghee/butter : 1 tblsp.
Grated coconut : 1 tblsp. + chopped Pistachio : 1 tblsp. (For Garnish)



How To :
  • Take fresh coconut and grate as fine as possible. Mawa or Khoya should be in room temperature. Crumble it and keep aside. Chop the nuts and make a fresh crushed cardamom powder from the black seeds of green cardamoms. 
  • Now heat 1 tblsp. of ghee in a pan and add grated coconut. Stir continuously otherwise coconut will change its color and coconut should not change its color. Lower the flame and stir the coconut for 2-3 minutes. Then add the sugar and again in medium flame, stir the sugar and coconut mixture till sugar melts completely. 
  • When sugar melts completely, add crumbled khoya/mawa and mix it with coconut, stirring continuously. Add chopped nuts in the mixture. Increase the flame a bit. Stir for another 4-5 minutes or till coconut mixture doesn't stick to the pan any more. 
  • Lastly add cardamom powder and mix it well in the coconut mixture. Do not dry them too much, the mixture should be sticky. Then it will set nicely and the texture of the burfi will be also soft.
  • You can make these burfis also in one layer and no food color added. As I wanted to make these more colorful, so made this in two layers. Divide the dough into 2 parts and in one part, add 3-4 drops of red/pink food color and mix evenly in the mixture.

  • When the mixture is still hot, grease a plate with ghee or butter, and spread the pink/red layer first on the plate. After that spread the white layer carefully over the red/pink layer. Lastly sprinkle grated coconut allover the white layer, then sprinkle chopped pistachios and press a little with back of the spoon to set them.  
  • Set in refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours and then cut into desired shape and size. 

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