Naturally Sweetened Coconut Burfi & Homemade Chai Spice Mix (Diwali Gift Idea)
Tradition of making sweets and Diwali always went hand in hand when I was growing up and I used to love spending the afternoons helping my mom in making all types of sweets and savories. There are a few recipes which I make every year without fail and they make perfect treat or snack to accompany a cup of tea and also great as homemade edible gifts. Some all-time favorites of mine are besan burfi, laddo, gulab jamun, kala kand, kaju katli, coconut burfi and chivda,. However, there are many people who do not eat such sugary sweets. So to accommodate those dieters I came up with a coconut burfi recipe that is sugar free and even dairy-free.
Coconut burfi is one of the easiest sweet for any festive occasion. Generally, freshly grated coconut is used to make this burfi but fresh coconut is not available everywhere. Dried coconut is convenient and versatile. I used preservatives free unsweetened coconut in this recipe. With just few ingredients and 5 minute of cooking you can make this delightful coconut sweet for Diwali. It tastes rich and very unique, has a melt in mouth soft texture just like the fresh coconut.
For Diwali, besides a box of sweets, I make gift packs of spiced dry fruits, decorative diyas, granola, candles, chili pickle, and chai spice mix to give out to my friends. Chai spice mix (believe it or not) is the highly sought after gift every year especially by my non-Indian friends. This makes me feel great. So, I thought I might as well share a recipe with you this year just in case you were looking for ideas.
The general combination of spices found in chai spice mix are green cardamom, fennel seeds, black cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, black peppercorn and cloves. All of the spices add a delicious warmth to the tea. There are slight variations of chai spice mix across cultures, cities and ethnicities. Really, it’s up to your own taste. I don’t add ginger in the dry chai spice mix, because when I want ginger in my tea I like to add it fresh.
So this is my recipe for a wonderful ‘chai spice mix’ very well-suited for mixing with black tea and milk. Make it for yourself or give it as gift during Diwali or Christmas.
Sugar free burfi and a fragrant chai spice blend that gives flavor to tea, milk and many more recipes.
- 200 g unsweetened coconut shreds
- 100 g unsweetened dried apricot
- 1/8 tsp green cardamom powder
- 120 g almond meal (you can also replace with milk powder)
- 1 cup water or milk (i have used water)
- 1-2 tbsp. pistachio, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 100 g green cardamom
- 70 g fennel seeds
- 25-30 g cloves
- 35 g black cardamom
- 25-30 g cinnamon
- To make coconut burfi coarsely grind coconut shreds in a food processor. Remove in a bowl.
- Process apricots to a smooth paste. Add the coarse coconut back into the food processor bowl and pulse for a minute just to mix.
- Place the mixture in a pan. Add almond meal, water and coconut oil. Mix.
- Cook the mixture on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Mix in cardamom powder.
- Pour the burfi mixture in a greased tray. Spread with spatula, press and level the top.
- Sprinkle pistachios and press them in.
- Gently cut to desired size when set (after 30 min)
- It stays good on shelf for 4-5 days.
- To make chai spice mix coarsely grind the whole spices by whizzing them in a coffee grinder or food processor.
- Return any large pieces of spices to the grinder to grind them further.
- Store the chai spice blend in an air tight jar.
- Use 1/4-1/2 tsp of chai mix for one cup of tea.
- You can even use this chai spice mix to flavor milk, pulao and oats porridge.
Using whole cardamom (with shell) gives more intense flavor. For a spicier taste add fresh ginger into the pot each time you make tea.
Post linked to Tasty Tuesdays