Indian Sweets have many many options of Burfis. Burfis can be fudge like or candy like bars that can be made from grains, bean flours, coconut, nuts, milk solids and more. Burfis in general depend on dairy for ghee (clarified butter) or milk (milk solids, milk powder, condensed milk etc). There are also options that are by default dairy-free. Every year I vegan-ize a few options for the Indian festivals.
This year we have a fudgy condensed milk Besan Burfi (Chickpea flour fudge) made dairy-free with a condensed non dairy milk! Just 5 main ingredients and ready in 25 minutes if you roast the flour while the milk mixture thickens! The non dairy condensed milk uses almond milk + ground cashew. You can also soak the 3 tbsp whole cashews for a few hours then blend in with the almond milk and proceed. The mixture will thicken slightly faster than the ground cashew version.
There are many variations of Besan Burfis depending on family recipes and regions. They are also called other names (Burfi, Mysore Pak, Mohanthal) depending on the method, consistency etc. Besan (gram flour) or chickpea flour can be dry roasted, roasted in the fat, roasted with some other flours or with dairy. The burfi can use dry sugar, sugar syrup, sugar syrup added at a particular time, other sweet syrups based on jaggery or milk and on and on for different textures and flavor profiles. The resulting mixture can be shaped into Burfi bars or into round Ladoos. We know the common theme here, sweet + besan (pronounced bay-sun or bae-sun).
Make some Indian or fusion sweets or savory snacks for Diwali and drop by your neighbors (preferably unannounced :)), and share some happy stories of the year! Happy Diwali!
More vegan Indian Sweets for the festival season
- Fudgy Coconut Ladoo – GF
- Chickpea flour Ladoo – GF
- Saffron Almond Burfi – Kesar Burfi,
- Kaju Katli – Cashew Fudge – GF
- Amaranth coconut Burfi – GF
- Gulab Jamun – GF option
About 15 more options in my book. You can use flavors like cardamom, saffron, vanilla, kewra or rose in the burfi.
Make the fudge mixture. Transfer to parchment, even it out using s spatula or another parchment.
Slice into squares.
Stick some slivered nuts on top (optional). Cool and store.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 cup besan or chickpea flour
- 1 cup almond milk or soy milk or other not too thin non dairy milk
- 1/2 cup +1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp refined coconut oil or use vegan butter
- 2.5 tbsp cashew flour grind cashews with a bit of starch or flour. or without. pulse till somewhat evenly ground/just starting to get buttery, and use
- a pinch of salt
- Flavor additions: 1/4 tsp ground cardamom 5 strands of saffron, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp rose water or other
- slivered almonds or pistachios for garnish
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add besan or chickpea flour, preferably sieved if using besan. Mix and roast for 10 minutes. Stir every 20-30 seconds once the skillet is hot. If the flour starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat. The overall mixture should change color slightly and smell nutty. To make oil-free, dry roast the flour. it takes the same time. You can roast the flour while the condensed milk is thickening.
- In a skillet heat non dairy milk + oil + sugar over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until boiling well for a few minutes.
- Add cashew flour, salt and whisk in. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to boil for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens to just about condensed milk consistency. Because the mixture is hot, it might seem runny, but if you take some in a spoon and let cool for a minute, the mixture thickens to a caramelly condensed milk consistency. Add any flavor additions like cardamom at this point and mix in. ***
- Add the roasted flour and mix into the condensed milk over medium low heat. Mix well by dragging to break the lumps if any and incorporate with the wet. This is a good time to get help from the eaters who are hanging out around the kitchen. **If you know your besan/chickpea flour from experience does get lumps, sieve the roasted flour before adding.
- The mixture will thicken and start to feel stiff and start to leave the sides within a minute or 2.*
- You can also add in 1-2 tbsp chopped nuts and currants at this point and mix in. You can also add 1 to 2 Tbsp powdered sugar and mix in, if you like sweeter burfi. (Traditional burfi is very sweet).
- Drop the mixture onto parchment. Use another parchment or greased spatula to even it out. Cut into pieces using pizza cutter while still warm. Press chopped or slivered nuts on top (optional)
- Cool completely, separate the pieces and store. While the mixture is cooling, treat yourself or your kitchen helpers to the burfi bits left in the skillet.
*The mixture leaving the sides depends on the skillet, stove etc so it might not necessarily be very visible. As soon as the mixture feels stiff, it is good to set. You might get softer or harder burfi depending on cooking time, but delicious any which way.
***If using premade Condensed Coconut/soy/other milk, Use 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. Add condensed milk and roasted flour to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Mix well. if the mixture is too dry add 1 tbsp or so more condensed non dairy milk. Cook until the mixture is homogeneous and stiffens. You might need to mix in a tbsp or so powdered sugar if the milk was not sweet enough.
Nutritional values based on one serving
** Besan can get small lumps that end up unbroken in the burfi and taste raw (and awful). If your batch of besan is prone to lumpyness, sieve and use for each step. I prefer Chickpea flour to besan for this reason. Besan (gram flour) is flour of brown chickpeas and is more finely ground than the chickpea flour. (garbanzo bean flour) available in the US. Read more about their differences here.
Troubleshoot: If the burfi ends up being too chewy (like candy), well its candy then, or reheat the burfi with additional non dairy milk and mix in to make besan halwa (pudding).