Keto Burfi (Indian sweetmeat or dessert)

My Dad had business friends who used to give him delicious Indian sweet treats around the time of Diwali. He would bring home an exquisite platter of colourful home-made “sweet meats” and we would enjoy the delicious variety sparingly, knowing how much work, care and love went into making them. They had edible gold and silver leaf, pastel sprinkles, hues of green, pink and orange or crispy golden deep fried, sometimes also studded with a few tiny silver balls or decorated with rainbow coloured puffed rice. As a child I remember hearing the Women and Girls would gather together in large groups in sizeable home kitchens and spend a day or weekend making these delicious, beautiful, delicately spiced exotic treats together, then sharing them with family and friends. I wished I could be a part of such a close knit culture, togetherness and bonding over such an auspicious time of year.

I thought of Burfi the other day – it’s one of my favourite ones – besides Halwa, Laddu and Gulab Jamun – to name a few. Hah, those decadent days are over! But how to make Burfi … and Keto/LCHF? So yesterday evening I gave it a try and it worked out great. It’s a treat though … so watch your carbs.

This Burfi is delicately spiced with a hint of cardamom, saffron and rose water. It’s decorated with pistachio, almonds and ground freeze dried strawberries. It’s mid winter here and we’re just on the other side of a snowy blizzard and ice storm, so it was the perfect way to spend a late afternoon experimenting.

Summary: we’ll be using the stove top and a very large deep saucepan and wooden spoon. Melting butter or ghee if you have, adding dry ingredients, stirring and stirring until a dough forms.

Then the dough goes into a flat tray, pressed down firmly, and it chills in the fridge for at least 4 hours before cutting into small squares. This is a rich treat, utterly delicious and the flavours are delicate and unusual.

*substitute rose essence with almond or vanilla essence and if you’re not a fan of cardamom spice leave it out; saffron is completely optional (I just love the color, fragrance and fine fragile threads). You can decorate with slivers of almond or pistachio, or even leave plain! I used ground freeze dried strawberries too for some colour.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter or ghee
  • 1 ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 cup white keto sugar
  • 12 strands saffron (optional)
  • 1 cup fine almond flour
  • 4 ½ – 5 cups full cream milk powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 drops rose essence (optional), vanilla or almond
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachio
  • ¼ cup dried strawberries for colour (optional)
  1. Prepare one large pan lined with parchment paper
  2. In a very large saucepan melt the butter over a low heat
  3. Add the almond milk and the sugar
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the keto sugar
  5. Add the saffron
  6. When heated through add the almond flour, stirring well to remove lumps
  7. Add the rose essence, or your preferred essence
  8. Add the cardamom
  9. Add the milk powder 1 cup at a time, stirring well
  10. Keep stirring until the mix turns to a dough and starts to separate from the pan, something like choux dough, except this is different
  11. Be careful not to overcook it as it can turn very sticky and hard to chew
  12. When it looks like a nice dough consistency, place into pan with parchment paper
  13. Top with almonds and pistachio
  14. Press down well until smooth and pressed flat
  15. Decorate with your freeze dried strawberries if using
  16. Refrigerate overnight or only cut after at least 4 hours
  17. Use a clean knife to cut
  18. Keep in fridge and enjoy your Burfi!