EVENT: FOODIES_ REDOING OLD POSTS #10
What is the advantage of this theme?
For the 10th week on Foodies_Redoing Old Posts, marble barfi got a new look.Old posts just get lost in the wide wide wide web unless they are very popular. Renu who blog’s at Cook with Renu has started a Facebook Group called Foodies_ Redoing Old Posts where every two weeks we can redo our old posts and share it on the group. What’s the advantage of doing this? Well, it gives us the opportunity to improve the write up, update photos and get comments. I’ve got so many old posts that need updating especially where the photos are concerned. This group definitely gives me the ‘push’ to prepare the dishes again for better photos.
Lord Krishna’s birthday is a joyous event celebrated with much pomp and happiness by Hindus. Somehow, I have never associated Janamashtami with seriousness of pooja, havan and abhishek like Lord Ram’s birthday. It’s perhaps because its only during Janamashtami that the ISKCON temples organise a lot of entertainment to celebrate Janamashtami.. The temple in Mombasa usually manages to put up a few dances depicting Krishna’s life and once in a while a short play. However, celebrations at the Juhu temple are on a much grandeur scale with lots happening for the whole week.
Janamashtami at ISKCON JUHU
It was during one of our visits to Mumbai that we got to see a ballet on Yashoda Ma and Krishna performed by none other than Hema Malini and her younger daughter Ahana. Such a breath taking performance by talented dancer and actor, I wished it could have carried on forever. Both mother and daughter were very graceful and it was perfectly choreographed. So tomorrow though there will be an abhishek at the temple, I am sure everyone will be looking forward to the performances followed by lots of prasadam by other famous artists.
Janamashtami at home
For Janamashtami I tend to make a variety of food to offer to Lord Krishna. This year I decided to try out marble barfi. After performing a small Pooja and make some offerings home, I go to the temple to celebrate Janamashtami.
What is Marble Barfi?
Its a barfi or fudge which is really simple to make. Nuts and dried fruits along with cardamom and nutmeg powder is added to milk powder. Then a one string sugar syrup is added. There was a time I never really understood the one thread, two thread terms used for most of the sugar syrup for Indian sweets. However the information given on this subject by Nisha Madhulika is a perfect guideline for me.
Why is it called Marble barfi?
Frankly, have no idea but its very easy to make this marble barfi or fudge once you have all the ingredients at hand. Maybe its the texture as this barfi is not soft or perhaps its called marble barfi because of the bits of dry fruit one can see in the barfi. I don’t know, but whatever the reason, this barfi is super easy to make.
Can this barfi be made for other festivals?
Most certainly you can right from Janamashtami, Navratri, Diwali, Ram Navmi to Christmas. Make marble barfi as a gift for friends and family or to serve at a party. I’ve made this barfi or fudge for Diwali this time round and decided to roll them into small balls, instead of setting it in a tray and then cutting squares. There are some other easy sweet dishes that can be made for any of these festivals. I love making almond and chocolate halwa. Appeals to both old and young. Try out coconut laddoos or fudge balls, another simple and yet delicious sweet. Hubby’s all time favourite is Date and Cashew nut Barfi. I don’t miss making a kheer dish for Janamashtami as Lord Krishna loved milk, yogurt and butter.
Yields about 28 – 30 pieces (small)
For the barfi mixture:
1½ cups milk powder
2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp milk
½ cup almonds
½ cup pistachios
½ cup cashew nuts
¼ cup dry cranberries
¼ cup raisins
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
For the syrup:
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup water
a few strands of saffron (kesar)
- Mix milk powder, ghee and milk in a big bowl. Leave the mixture on the side for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Take a big hole sieve and sieve the mixture to get breadcrumb like texture. Use your hand or a spoon to press the milk powder mixture through the sieve.
- Coarsely grind the nuts and mix them together.
- Chop the cranberries and add to the nut mixture.
- Add also the raisins.
- Add this mixture to the milk powder mixture.
- Add cardamom and nutmeg powder too and mix well.
To Prepare the Sugar Syrup:
- Put sugar and water in a pan over low heat.
- Stir the mixture till the sugar melts.
- Let the syrup simmer over low heat till you get a one thread consistency. This takes less than 5 minutes. Put a blob of syrup on a saucer. Let it cool for a few seconds. Press it between your thumb and forefinger. If it forms a single short thread, the syrup is ready. Let it simmer a bit more if the one thread does not form.
- Add the milk powder mixture to the syrup and mix it well.
- Grease a tray (5X7 inch) with little ghee and spoon out the mixture into it. Level the surface using a spatula or the back of a small glass or bowl.
- Let the barfi set and then cut it into squares.
- If you like, you can roll the barfi into tiny balls when the mixture is cool enough to handle.
- I used a large tray as I don’t have a small one. Just set the mixture on half the tray.
- Usually I add a handful of chocolate chips to the mixture once it cools down a bit but for this recipe I have not as for Janmashtami we fast and cannot eat chocolate.
- Melt some chocolate and make a thin layer of it over the barfi.
- Use dry fruits of your choice like cherries, tutti frutti etc.
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