Happy Diwali to all my dear readers who celebrate the festival of lights!! May you be blessed with health, happiness, peace & prosperity today and always! I bet you are having a gala time this festive season. Most of you in India are enjoying a really long weekend too! I heard that Karnataka has an extra day off because of Rajyotsava (birth of the state)! I am totally missing the festivities and the joy of having an (almost) endless weekend! Anyway, since you have plenty of time on your hands (hehe) and if you have run out of sweets that you prepared you can give this new recipe a try. In Mangalore and only in select bakeries you get this very unassuming sweet that won my heart as a child. It is called the kadi and is nothing but besan (chickpea flour) fudge or burfi that is usually made with a small ratio of ground cashewnuts. However, since the time my friend Anupama Michael shared the recipe with me a couple of years ago, I've been meaning to try it out every Diwali and have been shelving the project due to lack of time! I also mixed up her careful instructions and ended up tweaking her original recipe slightly but the result was just as good. It reminded me so much of the stuff we still get in bakeries back home and lug around back to Dubai without fail every year.
This kadi is also known as 'vardike kadi' where 'vardik' means 'wedding' in the dialect of Konkani spoken by the local GSB community and hence it is part of the little ceremonious giveaways (parcel of goodies) at the end of Hindu weddings. For those who are curious, well these little parcels as I recall them are decorative cloth potlis (drawstring pouches) filled with a kumkum (vermillion) smeared whole coconut, sweet paan (arecanut stuffed beetle leaf), mithai laddoo (sweet gram flour balls) or cashewnut burfi and kadi. I am not sure if there were many more goodies inside the potli but as a child I always loved to receive one as I prepared to leave the wedding mantap (pandal)
The kadi that you get in bakeries today are slightly flatter and more yellow. This is probably because they spread out the mixture onto a large counter or baking trays that gives it the required height. In a hurry I greased a slightly smaller dish which has given the sweet some height resulting in thicker pieces. I have not used any food colouring as I refrain from it as far as possible. This is the reason why the kadi in my pictures is a paler shade of yellow than the store bought ones. The kadi is meant to be slightly on the sweeter side but the proportion in the recipe below ensures that it is not tooth tingling sweet (just as I like it). The bits of cashewnut everywhere makes it even more enjoyable bite after bite. So do give it a try this Diwali!
Happy Diwali once again and thank you Anu for the lovely recipe!
Kadi ~ Mangalorean Wedding Style Besan Burfi (Chickpea Flour Fudge)
For the syrup:
- 2 cups chickpea flour (besan)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cashewnuts
- 1/2 cup ghee (divided)
1. Sift the chickpea flour to remove any lumps. Keep aside. Grease a 10" steel plate with sides or a baking tray or a clean kitchen counter with ghee and keep ready.
2. In a heavy, wide based kadai/wok or frying pan heat 1/4 cup of ghee and fry the cashewnut bits on a low heat for a few seconds (just till the colour turns slightly pale, do not wait for golden brown/brown colour to appear). Remove and keep aside
3. Scoop out any remnants of the cashewnut bits from the ghee. Add the remaining ghee to the same pan and roast the chickpea flour on a medium-low heat until the raw smell goes away (you will begin to see the change in the colour and the aroma will be nutty and delicious). Take care not to burn the flour (brown bits will begin to appear if you over roast it). Remove the flour onto a plate (or it will continue to get heated if left in the pan)
4. Wipe the kadai clean with a clean kitchen tissue or use another one to make the syrup. Combine the sugar and the water together and stir only till the sugar dissolves. Then let the mixture come to a boil. You will see tiny bubbles appear all over the surface. Wait till the syrup begins to thicken. We need to get a one-string consistency, which means that when you dab a drop of the hot syrup between your fingers a single thread should form (in terms of stickiness). Press a small drop of the hot syrup between your thumb and index finger for example and release the fingers, a thin thread joining the fingers will be formed if your syrup has reached the correct consistency.
5. Once the syrup has reached the one string consistency, add the roasted flour and the cashewnuts to it and mix well and vigorously to avoid lumps. Cook on a medium heat till the thick paste begins to leave the sides of the pan (this could take anywhere between 7-8 minutes). To check if the mixture is ready you can take some mixture (off the ladle) and try to roll it into a ball. As and how it cools it will harden and will have a bite to it.
6. Do not overcook the mixture as sugar sryup will harden as it cools and your burfi will turn into a rock. So check the mixture as mentioned in step#5
7. When the mixture is ready, pour it into the prepared steel plate or baking tray/kitchen counter and smoothen the surface if required. When it has cooled slightly the surface will begin to look glossy. Grease the blade of a sharp knife with some ghee and lightly score (apply cuts on) the surface of the burfi (square or diamond shapes). This will help you cut the burfi when it has completely cooled down and prevent it from cracking up.
8. Store in an airtight box and enjoy!