From nuts to chocolate to rose, our basic ol’ Indian dessert actually comes in an array of flavours and colours.
I grew up with a sweet-toothed father for whom dessert is an obligatory part of lunch or dinner. Needless to say, our kitchen was never short of mithai. I can still remember eyeing the decorated box filled with rows of silvery kaju burfi that my father brought home. Those days, I would sneak more than my fair share. Over the years, I have grown to appreciate burfi even more as it’s one of those sweets that retains its flavour even after having been in the fridge for a while. Plus, it’s lighter compared to most other mithai. Barfi, burfi, and even borfee (if you are Bengali, like me) is a North Indian delight.
This diamond-shaped dessert with its silver-foiled top is dry in texture—perfectly non-messy—but creamy and rich in taste. Originally from Persia, it was introduced in India during the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. From there, it made its way into religious ceremonies, such as Ganesh Chaturthi, and soon became a popular dessert served during Diwali and Holi. Burfi has gone through many modifications over the centuries. Today, it comes in a variety of flavours and toppings, and even a new square shape. Here are some of our favourites.
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Featured in Masala magazine, February 2013