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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gulkand Barfi - Rose Fudge

Gulkand are rose petals preserved in sugar. It is made by preserving rose petals with sugar and kept in a glass bottle in the sun till the sugar melts. This preserved mixture is extremely fragrant and delicious and a delicacy. It is meant to give a cooling effect during the summer months.

This sweet recipe came about in an interesting way. My husband had brought Gulkand Barfi from India a few years ago and when we were discussing the menu for Diwali treats this year, he suggested I make it. I had only eaten this sweet that one time. And it had been quite a while since then and I couldn't remember what it was made of.  He told me that it definitely had gulkand and coconut and I would need to figure out the rest.

Well, I started off with sugar and coconut and then added the other ingredients based on the description of the sweet. The end result was extremely delicious and finger licking. I just cannot stop eating it.

3 cups shredded fresh coconut
2.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup gulkand
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz can)
1 packet milk powder (90 gm pack)
2 tsp of milk
2-3 drops red/pink food color (optional)
1-2 tsps of ghee to grease the plate
1-2 drops of rose essence

Take a plate or tray in which you will pour out the barfi and set it and grease it well with ghee.

Mix together the sugar and coconut and heat this. Once the sugar has melted, add the evaporated milk and the milk powder and cook this on low heat, stirring often.  Keep stirring and cook it down till you can see the base of the pan. Add a couple of teaspoons of warm milk to the gulkand and stir it in. Stir it well so that the gulkand liquefies a little so that it can easily be stirred and incorporated into the mixture that is being cooked.

When the mixture thickens enough that when you stir it, the base of the pan can be easily viewed for a few seconds, then the mixture is ready to be poured into the greased plate. At this point add the gulkand and then increase the heat and stirring continuously again cook it down to the consistency where it is ready to be poured onto a greased plate. Turn off the heat, add  the color and essence is using and mix in it thoroughly. Pour the mixture onto the greased plate and using a bowl or measuring cup spread the mixture out into the plate. Make sure to grease the base of the cup with ghee, so that the mixture doesn't stick. Use it to level the mixture and flatten it. Now, let the mixture cool.  When it has cooled to a luke warm temperature, it will solidify a little. At this stage, you can cut it into squares.

If you want to speed up the cooking process, you can increase the heat but be sure to stand at the stove and keep stirring so that it doesn't brown or stick to the pan.  An alternate method to check if the mixture is at the right consistency is to take a  drop full of the mixture into a plate and as soon as it is cool enough to touch, try to roll it into a ball. If you are able to roll it, then the mixture is ready to be poured. The gulkand is added at the last step and cooked for a minimal time so that is maintains its fragrance. If you take this off the heat a little early and the barfi ends up being soft after cooling completely, you can reheat the mixture. However, you will end up losing the fragrance from the gulkand. So definitely add the essence before you put it into the greased pan. The taste will be the same.


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