Indian sweets are so decadent and irresistible, but so overly sweet too! Burfi is a traditional Indian sweet you can find at every neighborhood sweet shop in India. It’s often served at religious and cultural ceremonies, as well as gatherings with family and friends. Burfi (sometimes spelled barfi) is traditionally made with milk and lots of sugar.
I used to love coming home from school on the days when my mom had made burfi. It was the perfect after-school snack and after-dinner dessert!
As an adult, however, I try to reduce my sugar intake to avoid health problems in the future. So I make this sugar-free chocolate burfi from just nuts and dried fruit. It’s more like an (almost) guilt-free energy bar!
1 cup dried fruit, consisting of:
- 8 dried dates – don’t forget to remove the pits!
- remainder made up of raisins and goji berries
1 cup nuts/seeds, consisting of equal portions of:
- pistachios, remove and discard shells
- sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon finely shredded dried coconut, plus extra for optional burfi topping
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Soak the raisins and goji berries in warm water for about 10 minutes. This helps soften them so they blend easily.
- While the raisins and goji berries are soaking, puree the pistachios, walnuts, and sunflower seeds in a food processor. They should be finely ground, but don’t over-grind them to the point they become like a nut butter. Put the ground nuts and seeds into a large mixing bowl.
- Remove the raisins and goji berries from the water. Spread them on a paper towel to dry. Lightly press them with the paper towel to squeeze out any excess water.
- Puree the dates, raisins, and goji berries in the food processor. Sometimes they can get stuck on the sides of the food processor bowl. Scrape down the bowl if necessary. It should look like a big sticky glob when it’s done.
- Add the pureed fruit to the bowl with the ground nuts and seeds. Add the chia seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, and cocoa powder. Use your hands to mix well. It will be a thick mixture, similar to the consistency of a thick dough.
- Spread the mixture into a thali (round platter) about the size of a dinner plate. Top with additional coconut if desired, lightly pressing the coconut down so it sticks to the burfi.
- Refrigerate for 2 or more hours. Before serving, cut into diamond-shaped pieces.
You can also roll these into quarter-sized balls if you want to eat them on the go as energy bars. If so, I recommend omitting the coconut topping.