Coconut Burfi

1 coconut (as fresh as possible)
1 litre of full-fat milk
Lump of butter
? cup of sugar (or to taste)
? tsp elaichi powder
Blanched almonds, cut into slivers

Open the coconut, and remove the brown part using a sturdy potato peeler. Finely grate the coconut. The finer it is grated the better in order to facilitate cooking. I strongly stress the freshness of the coconut because it will strongly determine the success of the recipe.
Put the coconut, sugar and milk into a heavy bottomed pan and cook on a slow boil for around 2 hours until reduced to a thick fudge. Don?t try to boil away the milk too quickly because the coconut requires long slow cooking. If you find that it reduces too quickly then you can either add more milk or else cover the pan, perhaps just temporarily. However at the end of cooking the consistency is very important ? it mustn?t be too liquid, but rather very thick. Be careful not to burn it however, particularly at the end! Stir frequently throughout cooking, and very frequently towards the end.
Once reduced to a thick fudge add a large lump of butter and cook for several more minutes before then adding the elaichi powder. Stir thoroughly and remove from heat. Leave to cool slightly and then put into a rectangular dish whilst still warm. Garnish with the slivers of blanched almonds and cut into squares. Chill thoroughly before serving.

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