We've been having some wonderful weather the past two days and I've been making sure I go out for a walk to maximize it.. My dad found this pathway which is surrounded by tall trees and has a small brook flowing alongside it.... it's usually very peaceful and quiet there save for the scurrying of some squirrels, tweeting of birds and the occassional deer or two grazing and running to hide. It's always relaxing to walk there and kind of just be away from the usual things that keep us occupied. I'm so thankful that my dad discovered this place.
Anyway coming back to the recipe today... I usually have a big bag of almonds and I love that this is a sweet that doesn't need too much ghee. But it involves making sugar syrup and usually it's not something that I am very confident about but after seeing this very informative post on Chitra's blog and I pretty much used that and I had no trouble getting the right stage... The good thing about sugar syrups is that there's no active stirring (infact it's not recommended), just let it boil away and thicken while you attend to other things... I kept checking the consistency every 5 mins or so and the syrup was ready in abt 15-20 minutes. I first dip my fingers in a bowl of water before testing the syrup. Once the syrup reaches the right consistency, the sweet comes together in a few more minutes.
This is not very sweet so you could increase the sugar if you want it to be sweeter. It has a soft, fudge like consistency.
BADAM BURFI (makes about 30 to 40 1.5 inch burfis)
Badams/Almonds - 1.5 cups
Sugar - 1.5 cups
Milk powder - 1/3 cup, optional (I used Nestle Everyday)
Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 tbsp + enough to grease a medium sized plate/tray
Water - half cup
1) Soak Almonds overnight covered with water. For a quick method, you could put the bowl of almonds covered with water and microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then let it soak for about 30 minutes. Peel the badams and dry them completely.
2) Grease a plate or tray with ghee and keep ready
3) Powder the badams in the mixie, in small batches - it will be kind of pasty. If it's really impossible to grind them finely then add a tbsp or two of milk to help with the process - I didn't have to resort to that though my mixie did stop a few times so I had to allow it to take a few breaks.
4) Mix the powdered badams with the milk powder(if using)
5) In a thick bottomed pan, add sugar and water and allow to melt and come to a boil on medium flame. Then reduce the flame a bit and allow to simmer (no stirring) until it reaches the one string consistency. This takes about 15-20 minutes but you dont have to do anything actively to the syrup during this time. After about 10 minutes have passed, I dipped my fingers into a bowl of water and then into the syrup and tested the 1-string consistency using my thumb and forefinger - please refer to this very helpful pictorial.
6) Once the one-string consistency is there, add the almond-milk powder mixture and stir vigorously for about 5-7 minutes more. When it starts to leave the sides of the pan, add a tbsp of ghee and remove from the stove.
7) Pour the mixture into the greased plate or tray and allow to cool a bit before cutting into squares and serving.