Besan Barfi is a traditional sweet originating from the northern part of Indian Subcontinent. The name has come from the word ‘barf’ meaning snow. It signifies that it melts in the mouth also looks like snow/Ice. It has been compared to Fudge because of its appearance and texture. It is also referred to as the Indian cheesecake. It is yellow – orange in colour and can have multiple variations and are generally square or diamond shaped.
Besan Barfi is one of the oldest sweets being made since the mughal era. It used to be made during feasts offered by the kings. There is no history of its invention but today there are a lot of sweet shops traditionally known as ‘halwai ki dukaan’ in India making it commercially.
Ingredients & Method of Preparation
The most essential ingredients used are Besan ‘Bengal gram’ flour, Ghee ‘clarified butter’, Sugar, Khoa ‘evaporated milk’. Often the sweet is made rich by the addition of nuts like Almond, Cashew, Pistachio. It is often flavoured with the common Indian spices like cardamom, nutmeg and saffron. It is decorated with a thin layer of edible silver or gold leaf known as ‘Vark’. Clarified butter plays a very important role as it is responsible for imparting the flavor and texture. It cannot be substituted with any other fat to bring the desired results. It is very important to roast the Bengal gram flour well along with ghee when making the recipe. Then only sugar and Khoa are added and cooked to a fudge like consistency and setting it in a tray.
Newer fusion variations include Mango, Coconut, Apricot, Fig, Chocolate, Etc. It can be made gourmet by using two different flavored layers.
This sweet is a festive sweet and is made on Diwali, a hindu festival of lights. It is also a popular Indian wedding sweet.
Nutritional aspects –
Serving Size – 1 piece ( 1½ ” X 1½ ” X ¾” ) 30g
Calories – 125 Calories from Fat – 50
Sugars – 15g
Protein – 3g
Fat – 6 g
Besan Barfi is a rich and fatty sweet with a lot of calories. A healthier alternative for Dieters, Diabetes and obese can be made by reducing the Fat content. Sugar can also partially be replaced by Sucralose ‘Splenda’ to reduce the calorific value. Nuts can also be limited. This sweet is liked by all age groups generally.
· Ghee used in besan barfi is very essential for the brain development specially in kids.
· Southern part of India serves a popular variation of the dish called as ‘Mysore Pak’
· It is commercially available under brands like Haldirams, Bikano.
· Chandi Chowk in New Delhi serves a flat bread called Parantha stuffed with Besan barfi.