Today is 'Dussehra' or 'Vijayadashmi' as it is also known as, a very popular date in the Hindu calendar. It is the day when 'Lord Rama' slayed the ten headed demon 'Ravana' and rescued his wife 'Sita'. It is also the day when 'Goddess Durga' beheaded the demon 'Mahisasur', hence the name 'Vijayadashmi', where 'Vijay' means victory on the 10th day 'Dashmi'.
Symbolically it is the day when good won over evil and order was restored in the world. I am not very religious but consider myself to be a spiritualist. I don't celebrate any of the Hindu festivals like the way my in laws do, because I do not know any of the customs or prayers to chant.
However with everything that is happening around us in the world now a days and the uncertainty of life I seem to be gravitating towards prayers. I seem to move towards the little temple we have created in our home more often then not and just sit there for hours with my eyes closed. I light candles all around me and fill the house with incense hoping to fill my life with happiness and positivity.
So it was important that I make something for today as a offering to the gods to thank them for the kindness showered on me and my family, hoping that this year has positive things in store for us. Usually during festivals every Indian house makes a sweet dish so I also decided to make "Saffron and Coconut Burfi". Burfi is usually made with a lot of Milk and then various things added to it to make it more delicious.
I used Coconut and Saffron as the main ingredients and added condensed Milk as a cheats version as I had no patience to boil milk for hours to reduce the consistency. You can also make Ladoos instead of Burfi out of this, I made both. The soft cooked coconut sets really fast and melts in your mouth. Any god will be tempted when offered this delicacy don't you think?
Here is the recipe: (Cooking time 20 minutes)
¼ cup water 1 tablespoon saffron 2 tablespoons butter or Ghee 1 tin sweetened condensed milk 4 cups desiccated coconut around 350 G 1 teaspoon ground Cardamom powder 1/2 cup Almond or cashew nut powder 1/3 cup Milk
Few slivers or Almonds or Pistachios to decorate
1) Boil the water and dissolve Saffron in it, leaving it aside.
2) Melt Butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the Coconut and Almond/cashew powder mixing gently.
3) Now add the Condensed milk and keep stiring gently for around 7 - 10 minutes. Add the Milk if your mixture is too thick before adding Cardamon and the Saffron water.
4) Mix and stir fir another 5 minutes till the water has evaporated and the mixture becomes dryish. Turn off the gas and Layer the Coconut mixture in a square dish and flatten until smooth on top, sprinkle some Almonds/Pistachios and let it sit in the fridge for an hour before you cut it in desired shapes.
5) If you are making Ladoos instead of Burfi, wet your hands with some oil and quickly start rolling the warm mixture into small balls. Cover with some dessicated Coconut and let it cool before you serve.