Saffron Ricotta Burfi - Light & Healthy
I love burfi. Love love love. There is just something about it that brings me back to my childhood, the scent of saffron in the air, my mom cooking a fancy dinner, me stuffing myself.
But I have a problem with Indian burf. It's delicious, no doubt, but it is like many Indian mithai: super heavy.
My mom came up with a light and healthy version of burfi. Truly, there's no butter or ghee, or cupfuls of sugar! This is the perfect treat to end a rich Diwali dinner.
You only need three ingredients: ricotta cheese, saffron, and sugar. You can always substitute saffron for rose essence and add some toasted, chopped pistachios as a garish.
Really, all you need is a nonstick pot, a wooden spatula or spoon, and a little patience.
Ricotta Cheese Saffron Burfi
Makes 12-15 squares or balls
2 8oz packages ricotta cheese
1/4-1/2 cup sugar - to your liking
pinch of saffron - Substitute with rose extract, almond extract, or your favorite!
1. Empty the two packages of ricotta cheese in a medium size pot. Smash it down a bit, otherwise it looks like the shape of the container. Turn the stove on to medium low heat.
2. While on medium low heat, stir a couple times. After around 10 minutes you'll notice a slight bubbling. This is good! We want the milk and water to evaporate, for the most part. Give a stir, making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom.
3. At this point, is where you need a little patience, but you can multitask! Every ten minutes or so, check on the ricotta mix and give it a good stir with the wooden spoon. The ricotta should remain at a low boil because we don't want it to burn. And, at a low boil, you can tend to other cooking matters. Double win!
4. Keep checking every 10 minutes. You will start to see a LOT of liquid now. As long as it's low boiling, it is okay.
5. After about 40 minutes, check on your ricotta slush. Water should be evaporating, but there should be plenty left. At this point, add a pinch of saffron into the pot.
6. Stir everything so the saffron gets immersed in the liquid.
7. Add 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup of sugar to the mixture. It's up to you how sweet you want it.
8. You can let the burfi cook now for another 5-7 minutes on low heat.
9. At this point you will see a small amount of liquid left, about 1/2 cup. You are done cooking!
10. Now you have two options. Wait till it cools down a bit and make burfi balls, or pour everything in a pan and throw into a fridge. Before you dump it into a pan, making the balls has an advantage - it looks better and sticks really well.
If you pour the burfi into a pan, make sure you check on it after a few hours and press down on it. Press *hard* - you want it to stick together. Otherwise (and I've done this many times), the burfi can be a bit crumbly.
11. Either way, let cool for a few hours. Garnish with pistachios if you want, otherwise eat away.
Don't forget to check our collection of sweet Diwali treats to make.