With Diwali around the corner, it’s time to prep the kitchen to cook up a whole lot of treats. Barfis are one of the easiest mithais to prepare beforehand, and they have a longer shelf life too. Here are two basic recipes to set the tone for festivities:
3 cups nachni flour (ragi flour/finger millet flour)
1 and half cups jaggery powder
Half cup ghee (clarified butter)
1 cup chopped dry fruits like cashew almond and pista
One-fourth cup milk if required
First of all, gather all ingredient in one place for a smooth process.
Start heating ghee on the medium-low flame in a non-stick pan. Add nachni flour and mix nicely. Cook for 5-7 minutes and stir continuously. This will ensure that there is no raw smell in nachni flour.
Add chopped dry fruits and stir for another 2 minutes. It will make dry fruits crunchy.
Add jaggery powder. Mix well and cook until jaggery is melted and combined nicely. Add milk if the mixture is dry.
Grease a baking pan and keep it ready.
Keep stirring the mixture on medium-low flame. It takes another 3-4 minutes and this will start releasing ghee at the corners of the pan.
At this point of time mixture will be like dough and will move together. It will not stick at the walls now.
Pour this mixture in the greased pan and let it cool down at room temperature.
Keep it in the fridge for 20 min to set it before cutting into pieces.
Nachni barfi or ragi barfi is ready to serve on festive time or make it and enjoy every day with the goodness of nachni flour and jaggery.
Recipe by chef Rupesh S. Khandekar, Chef De Cuisine, Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai
1 cup grated coconut (1 cup = 250 ml)
Three-fourth cup sugar
One-fourth tsp cardamom powder
Half cup water
1 tbsp cashews, broken
2 tbsp almonds, broken
2 tbsp pista, broken
1 tbsp milk (optional)
Pinch of kesar
Take a tray, grease it with ghee and keep aside. In the final stage, the barfi mixture will placed on this tray.
Grate the coconut. Grate only half the coconut. Do not scrape the brown bits of the shell. It’s better to take two-three coconut shells and grate half from each for pure white coconut gratings.
Heat a pan, add the grated coconut and sauté in low flame till you get a nice aroma. This will take only a minute or two. Do not let the coconut brown. Then keep this aside.
Heat a pan with a teaspoon of ghee, add broken cashews and fry them till they are golden brown. Keep aside
Heat the same pan used for cashews. Add sugar and water. Keep the flame in medium-low to allow sugar to completely dissolve in the water and melt completely. Cook it till the sugar syrup reaches the thick single string consistency. If we take a drop of sugar syrup and touch between the fingers, it should form a thick one string. This is the correct consistency.
Mix all the above ingredients and make a barfi mix and add pinch of kesar for color.
To this barfi mixture, add cardamom powder. You can also add a tablespoon of milk to the mixture .
Stir the barfi mixture continuously by keeping the flame low to avoid it from sticking to the pan. The barfi mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan without sticking. When you stir at this stage, a slight foam will be formed and the mixture will roll like a ball. This is the right consistency. Be alert at this stage to turn off the flame otherwise the mixture will be overcooked.
Pour the barfi mixture in the greasy tray. Allow the barfi mixture to cool a little and then cut into squares.
Garnish with lots of grated pista or almonds, and serve.
Recipe by chef Gajadhar, Tree of Life Resorts, Varanasi
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