Monday, November 12, 2012

Dates & nuts burfi - celebrate the festival of lights

South India celebrates Deepavali as Naraka Chaturdashi (celebrating the victory of Krishna & wife Satyabhama over the evil demon Narakasura) and Bali Padyami (celebrated as Diwali all over India). Diwali is also celebrated as Laxmi pooja in business communities where accounting starts afresh on this day of the year. No matter what it was called, the festival of lights was dear to us as kids. It meant lots and lots of food, fire crackers to burst throughout the day and deepa (or diyas) to light up in the evening. While we were in elementary school, me & my younger brother decided not to buy or burst crackers but put all our energy into lighting the Deepas in the evening. I am not sure how it started but it had something to do with the seemingly unending noise and dust that clouded the Deepavali festival for us, it was a very small way of contributing towards a healthier environment. While we did get called names by friends for the 'noble deed', I am happy we stuck to it. The few times I have broken the self imposed rule is the year I got married and BH brought home some crackers and when DD was 2 years old and we lighted some flower pots for the baby to enjoy. I try not to be a spoil sport and join in the fun but I don't go out & buy crackers myself without someone putting pressure on me :-)
Come evening, lights were a big part of the festival for us. Amma used to make lamps with wheat flour in addition to the clay lamps and get them ready with wicks and oil in the afternoon. Arranged in a wide platter, we would take them outdoors and put them at a few inches from each other all over the wall around the house and light them with a candle. Invariably, Deepavali would come with wind and some rains which used to ruin the lights but the indomitable spirit in us as kids saw to it that we kept relighting them every time a wind blew them out. In addition to the lamps, we also have started putting up our strings of electric light as everybody here gets ready for the holiday season.
May this Deepavali bring everyone lots of joy and happiness.

I have been visiting and going over the scrumptious Deepavali/Diwali treats cooked by many blogger friends for the past 2 weeks or so. While I thought I would join in and post my festive recipes, I got pulled back for lack of time and also the fact that we have been eating heavily for some time now to enjoy the goodies with visiting family and the trend will continue on for a while to come. So to keep it simple and yet delicious, I made these dry fruits and nuts burfi. If you are looking for a festive treat to celebrate the festival of lights, cooking can't get any simpler than this healthy treat.
What do you need to make the Dates & nuts Burfi?
About 10 good quality dates - pitted (I used medjool dates which are on the sweeter side)
About 4 dry figs (optional, if not using, increase the quantity of dates by another 4)
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 Tblsp pine nuts (optional)
1 Tblsp poppy seeds/gasagase
1 Tsp ghee
How do you make Dates & nuts Burfi? 
  • Chop the dates and figs (if using) into small pieces and keep aside. 
  • Dry roast the poppy seeds for a couple of minutes until they start to pop, cool and powder them. keep aside.
  • Dry roast the nuts for a couple of minutes and chop them into small pieces.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan, add the chopped dates and figs and let it soften up on medium heat. 
  • As the dates become softer, push them together into a single mass with the help of the spatula. 
  • When the dates pieces are no longer visible (5-7 minutes), add the chopped nuts and powdered poppy seeds. Give a good mix and switch off the stove. 
  • Take everything onto a wide plate/cutting board and work with your hands to ensure nuts get mixed in well. 
  • Break into 2 balls and roll them into logs, let it sit for 8-10 minutes or until it cools off. 
  • With a sharp knife, cut them into 1/2 inch thick discs, store and enjoy. 
  • I do not add any sugar in this recipe as the dates I get here are quite sweet, you may want to add sugar if you prefer it. 
  • Adding roasted poppy seeds powder gives a very nice flavor to the burfis, a little amount of poppy seeds goes a long way. 
  • If you want to make this more festive looking, get some sheets of edible silver foils and wrap the logs in them. When you cut the discs out from the logs, you have a nicely silver coated burfi.
  • Roasting the nuts is not mandatory but I prefer it for the crunch it gives the nuts. You can spread the nuts in a single layer in a microwave safe plate and zap it for a minute for the same roasted crunch.
  • You can mix & match any unsalted nuts of your choice in this recipe. 
  • Chopped dates+figs should be the same volume as the chopped mixed nuts. 


NamsVeni Pothas said...

Happy Deepavali to Sattvaa and Satvaa Readers. this festival is favorite to kids . the festival of lights and sweets to eat . very nice recipe special Deepavali sweet.
once again Happy Deepavali

Vidya said...

Happy diwali to you and your family.

prathibha Garre said...

Happy Diwali to u n ur family...Love this burfi,looks perfect

Priya R said...

Beautiful sweet and post :) Happy Diwali dear

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Belated Diwali wishes to you and your family...hope you had a great day...
A guilt free sweet...nicely made.

Priya said...

Belated diwali wishes to you and your family. Highly addictive burfis,beautifully done.

Kannada Cuisine said...

Happy Deepawali you and your family had a great time :)
Here in NJ fire crackers are illegal so we are forced to be Eco-friendly!