Besan Barfi is Indian fudge, which is made in most Indian households during the festival of Diwali. It's very delicious, takes just minutes to make, and is also gluten-free. I have added a twist by decorating the barfi with chocolate. Traditionally, we garnish it with watermelon seeds or a dry nut called "charoli." —PistachioDoughnut
Test Kitchen Notes
Who doesn't love a good fudge? This one is not too sweet, with just the right hint of spice. PistachioDoughnut's suggestion to drizzle chocolate on top brings it all together. This was an incredibly easy snack/dessert to make: it comes together in under two hours (even less time if you're impatient like me and chill it in the fridge). It's the perfect last-minute, no-bake potluck contribution or gift. —ktchnninja
2 dozen pieces
1 1/2 cups
coarse chickpea flour (available in Indian grocery stores -- look for "besan ladu" in the flour aisle)
1 1/2 cups
milk or dark chocolate, for garnish
watermelon seeds, almond slivers, or charoli nuts (or other nuts) for garnish
Heat ghee in a non-stick pan. Add the chickpea flour and stir it continuously. Remember, chickpea flour burns quickly so do not leave it unattended. Keep stirring until the color changes and your house smells different—trust me, you will be able to tell when this happens. (You can also feel the mixture getting lighter as it cooks.) Even when you remove the pan from flame, remember that it will still keep cooking. Keep stirring to prevent the flour from burning or transfer the mixture to a bigger pot (as you still have to add sugar).
Once it's done, add the ground cardamom and mix well. Then, let it sit at room temperature to cool completely. Once it has cooled down, add the sugar and mix it well—really well. (Note: if you add the sugar to a hot mixture, it will start melting and convert into sugar syrup. You do not want that.)
After you've added the sugar, transfer it to a 9 x 9-inch baking dish, smooth it out, and garnish it with some watermelon seeds or any other nut—slightly press the nuts into them so they do not fall off when you try to pick it up. Immediately cut the barfi into diamond shapes or use a cookie cutter (I've used my daisy cutter to make these cuties).
For the chocolate garnish: melt either milk chocolate or dark chocolate in the microwave at intervals of 30 seconds, stirring with a spoon in between, until the chocolate is melted enough to garnish it on the barfi. Be careful not to scorch the chocolate. You can also melt chocolate in a double boiler. Drizzle the chocolate on the barfi freestyle with a fork or make little dots; anything you feel like. Let your imagination run wild.
These will easily last for up to 2 weeks (or for several hours if you can't resist!).
Notes—you can use smooth or coarse chickpea flour. Both are available in Indian grocery stores, which is where I recommend buying it. If you can't find coarse chickpea flour, you can make some by yourself: Get the smooth variety, add a couple of spoons of ghee and milk to it and try to rub it in your palms—what this will do is will form crumbles, thus making it coarse in texture. Either way it will taste good. Keep in mind that sometimes you'll need more or less ghee depending on the quality of flour.