Berry Cashew Burfi
Cashew burfi (also known as kaju katli) is a diamond-shaped fudge with an edible silver-leaf topping that is probably the most gifted Diwali sweet in India! This fabulously purple version is naturally sweetened with strawberries, blueberries, and a little maple syrup. Lightly sweet with a touch of tartness from the berries, this is my favorite of the desserts in this book.
1 tsp cornstarch/cornflour
1 tsp water
2 cups/300g hulled ripe strawberries, pureed until smooth
2 cups/300g ripe blueberries, pureed until smooth (use frozen berries if berries are not in season)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp maple syrup
10 oz/280g raw cashews, blanched almonds, or pistachios
1½ tsp ghee, or avocado oil, divided
Edible silver foil (sheet size varies; enough to cover a 9-x-9 inch/23-x-23-cm area; optional)
Step 1. Stir the cornstarch and water together in a bowl to make a slurry. Mix the slurry, strawberry and blueberry purees, lemon juice, and maple syrup together in a large nonstick pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often and scraping down the pan until very thick, jam-like, and reduced to a quarter of the original volume as the water evaporates, 15–20 minutes.
Step 2. Place the cashews in a food processor and process until powdered.
Step 3. When the berry mixture is done cooking, turn off the heat and add the powdered cashews, pressing down with a spatula if necessary, until well incorporated. The mixture will leave the sides of the pan and become a sticky dough ball, about the consistency of clay. If it’s still wet and loose, let it cook a little more in the pan on medium heat until it thickens. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Step 4. Line a flat surface with wax paper. Grease your palms with 1/2 teaspoon of ghee and transfer the dough ball to the wax paper. Place another sheet of wax paper on top. Using a rolling pin, roll out a
square(ish) slab, approximately 9 x 9 in/23 x 23cm and 1/3 in/8mm thick.
Step 5. If using the silver foil, remove the upper wax paper and brush the top of the burfi slab with the remaining 1 teaspoon of ghee. Carefully place the edible silver foil on top (allow it to fall rather than place it with your hands so that it doesn’t tear too much), covering as much of the slab as possible.
Step 6. Freeze for 30–40 minutes or until set. Slice the burfi into rhombus shapes (2 in/5cm sides) with a sharp knife and serve.
Store in an airtight container, with layers separated by wax paper in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reprinted with permission from THE VEGETARIAN RESET by Vasudha Viswanath, The Collective Book Studio, January 2023. Photo credit Alexandra Shytsman. Viswanath is the founder of We Ate Well, a community for foodies that focuses on eating mindfully and sustainably on a vegetarian diet. After a doctor’s note about her elevated blood sugar, she transformed the way she cooks to cut out excessive starch and sugar and has never felt better. After spending over a decade on Wall Street, Vasudha left her career in finance to write a cookbook and create We Ate Well.