February 7, 2014

Quick Coconut Barfi



My son had to do a presentation on Indian cuisine as part of their geography class on the Indian subcontinent. His teacher suggested that it would be great if I could bring some fresh Indian food to the class for the students to sample. Since it was a morning class, I thought of making a sample breakfast, one from the south and one from the north. So I made Idli and tomato Chutney from South India, and stuffed Parathas from North India. I also wanted to make something from Kerala that represented the essence of Kerala, and what better item can represent Kerala better than a coconut :-). Also wanted to do a dessert and so decided to make coconut Barfi made with just 2 ingredients, and both ingredients based out of coconut. It is easy to make and does not deviate from the quick'n'healthy approach. Though it is sweet, it does not have any refined sugar, I used organic coconut palm sugar. Then, as always, I made mini-servings so that my son's friends don't get a sugar rush :-).





I did not make a large quantity. I thought kids being kids (and being picky eaters) might not enjoy everything that I sent, especially in a class room with middle-schoolers who might not be well exposed to ethnic cuisines. To my delight, I was quite surprised to get back a bunch of empty containers :-)

Now for the coconut Barfi:

Ingredients: 
  • Dried shredded coconut - 1 cup 
  • Organic coconut palm sugar - 1/3 cup 
  • Filtered water - 2 Tbs
  • Cardamom - 3-4 (peeled and powdered) 

Method: 
  • Mix the sugar and water and start cooking in a sauce pan on medium heat.
  • Once sugar has completely melted and the liquid is of slightly syrup consistency (in a couple of minutes) add the coconut and cardamom powder. 
  • Continue cooking on low-medium heat stirring continuously. After about 4-5 minutes, you will see that everything sort of start to come together and is separating from the sauce pan.
  • You can remove from flame and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes more so that it does not stick to the pan.
  • There are multiple ways in which you can serve this. 
    1. Grease a shallow tray with coconut oil (or ghee) and spread the mix and press evenly. Keep aside for 20-30 minutes and cut into desired shapes and sizes. 
    2. Press them into ice molds or chocolate molds and pop them out after 20-30 minutes. 
    3. Just roll them into balls and keep aside for 20-30 minutes.
  • Whichever way you choose, make sure you do it while the mix is still warm,else it will not hold the shape. If you want to make larger quantity I would suggest that you do it in batches.



Variation:
Once you remove from flame, add 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder for a cacao flavored coconut barfi.





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