Kesar Badam Burfi/Halwa(Saffron Almond Fudge)

Off late, I have been on a pantry cleaning spree, and have been cooking up delicious dishes from fellow bloggers. The menu has been tailored to emptying some of the ‘close to expiry’ ingredients in my pantry – mostly because I am moving, and I want to take that as an oppurtunity to ‘eat my way clean’ of the kitchen and also coss I will be re-stocking when I visit India in December this year. I tend to hold on to items that are ‘precious’ takeaways from India – and use them on special occasions, or very sparsely – such as masala powders – made specially by my mom(I freeze these, so they stay good, for atleast 2 years), and vathal/vadagams made lovingly by my chithis/grandmas. But now that I am going to go visit them, I want to get ready to stock fresh. 🙂

I will be publishing my list of ‘Tried and Tasted’ that I have cooked and grown to love during this ‘eat to clean’ phase. I cannot promise photos of them, but I do promise links to recipes and blogs and my Verdict. This Kesar Badam Burfi is one such recipe. I had bought almonds from the bulk bins of the grocery store once – when they went on a super sale. Had frozen them, and forgotten about them. This recipe was inviting and so easy – I doubled Mansi’s recipe to take these to a potluck and it was loved by everyone. Here is my version.

2 cups whole almonds
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
1/2 tsp saffron strands
1/4 cup sugar(or more to suit taste)
1/2 – 3/4 cup ghee
few drops of yellow food coloring, optional
a few chopped pistachios, sliced almonds for garnish

Prepare a tray by greasing it with a tsp of ghee(clarified butter).

Soak the almonds in warm water overnight. Peel the skins of the almonds the next day.(Note: Some websites said that the skin would fall right off, after so much soaking, but it didnt, it involved patient peeling. This is by far, the most patient prep work I have done for a recipe in a long time. Feel lazy? use peeled almonds, or slivered almonds instead.)

Warm the whole milk in the microwave/stove. Don’t boil. Place this in a bowl. Reserving the remaining saffron for garnish. Add a pinch of saffron to the milk. Let sit for 15 minutes. Add the peeled almonds to the milk. Let soak again for about 30 minutes. Place this entire mixture in the blender and puree.

Place this puree in a non stick pan over medium heat. Cook the almond saffron paste for a copule of minutes. Add the can of condensed milk and sugar and keep stirring until the mixture comes together and the sugar melts. When this comes together in a solid mass, add the cardamom powder and yellow food coloring if using – incorporate the color and the flavoring by stirring constantly. Now add the ghee, little by little and keep stirring to incorporate the ghee in the burfi. Keep going until you have used up 1/2 cup ghee or you see a sheen to the mixture and the ghee oozing out. I think I used up a couple of tbsp more than 1/2 cup ghee, but it depends.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios, almonds and reserved saffron strands. Let cool completely and cut into desired shapes.

Verdict: This burfi was just perfect, not too sweet, but rich from the saffron and the condensed milk. The cardamom powder permeates the burfi with a mild florally sweetness. Although it might seem ridiculous the 1/2 cup of ghee didn’t make it too greasy. I believe for it to be authentic you would have to up the ghee to atleast a cup, but I loved it none the less. It was a hit at the potluck I had taken it to, and for my friends who wanted the recipe, here it is. 🙂

1. Feel free to use peeled almonds or slivered almonds in this recipe. You may also use the almonds with the skin, the taste will not be any different, but you will have a burfi speckled in brown.
2. You may use canned evaporated milk instead of the whole milk, it will taste a little bit richer.
3. Omit the saffron, if you don’t have it, it will still taste great.
4. Replace the cardamom with a tsp of vanilla for a vanillaey burfi.
5. I have used by 8X8 baking pan for the burfis, so they are sort of thick. Feel free to choose a thickness/shape you like. You can make diamonds, by diagonally cutting them or use a cookie cutter to make it more fun.
6. I refrigerated the mixture for 30 minutes, to enable easy cutting of the burfis.
7. I believe this dessert can be adapted for a microwave. Although I have not tried it to be sure, it seems like something that would work. If you do try, let me know. 🙂

Sending these delicious treats to:
1. Serve it – Festival Potluck, happening here @ Oh Taste n See, co-hosted by Krithi of Krithi’s Kitchen.
2. Bookmarked Recipes, Every Tuesday event – Volume 63
3. My Diwali – My Way
4. Diwali Sweet Recipes
5. Diwali – Festival of Lights and
6. Food Palette – Series Finale – Rainbow Colors

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  1. Pieceful1

    Hi. Can’t wait to make this. Suggestion: To easily remove the skins from almonds all you have to do is put them in a saucepan, cover with water about an inch above the almonds, bring to a boil. Shut off the heat, cover and let sit in the saucepan. You’ll know the almonds are ready when you put one in your hand and pinch the almond between your fingers. The almond should just pop out of it’s skin. Do be careful, they like to POP out fast and fly across the room LOL! I do mine over a bowl. You’ll see what I mean if you let them soak long enough. Much faster method than waiting over night. I make a rice stuffing for Thanksgiving and I use almonds in the stuffing, I peel them then cut them into slivers and toast them in the oven. They give such a wonderful nutty, toasted flavor to the stuffing. Hope this suggestion works for you. Have fun! if you have any questions.

  2. David

    I would use just a pinch of turmeric for the yellow color; not enough for flavor but its dyeing qualities are very strong. Much better than artificial coloring.

  3. badam halwa looks absolutely delish and fantastic. I was meaning to make it, for sometime..can we use almond meal instead..will it differ the texture and taste ?

  4. Karthika

    Hi Denise…..Looks scrumptious. I usually microwave almonds for a minute or two and skin pops right out. Just make sure you have enough water to cover almonds.

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