Looks like fudge. Feels like fudge. But it will keep you more satiated.
It’s rich and creamy, smooth and delicious. It melts in your mouth and is the perfect accompaniment to a steaming mug of tea or coffee.
Iron rich, protein rich, full of healthy fats, no added sugars, no GMO, gluten friendly. It’s the perfect on the go snack, and ideal to beat the 3pm slump.
But it isn’t quite fudge.
As all my fellow Indians know, Diwali is possibly the best time of year. Bringing in our new year means spending time with family, decorating and lighting up our houses, hours filled with sweets, laughter and the most delicious food.
Diwali also (unfortunately) rolls around right before my final exams at university. And while I send all caution to the wind and celebrate with everyone, I’ve also decided to make Diwali study friendly by making a batch of the most delicious fig and mixed nut fudge (barfi).
For 12 pieces, you will need:
- 12 dried figs
- 3 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons of chopped almonds
- 3 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons of lightly toasted, chopped cashews
- a few strands of saffron, soaked in two teaspoons of milk (if you are vegan or plant based, any milk substitute except for coconut milk will be perfect)
- 1/4 teaspoon of ghee (again, if you’re vegan, any butter substitute except for coconut oil is perfect to use!)
- 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder
- In a large bowl, submerge your dried figs in hot water for 5 minutes so they can soften
- Meanwhile, if you haven’t chopped up your nuts, roughly chop your nuts and keep ready. The best thing with this recipe is that you can use any combination of nuts. Don’t like cashews? Add another nut of your choice instead. With figs, my personal favourite combinations are walnuts and pistachios.
- Remove your soaked figs from the water and lightly pat dry to remove excess moisture
- Add your figs into a food processor and blend gently until fully combined. It’s imperative that you don’t add any liquid to the figs otherwise the recipe will collapse
- In a large non-stick pan, heat the ghee (or substitute) and add in your chopped nuts mixture. Lightly toast in the ghee on low heat for 2 minutes, and then stir in your blended fig mixture
- Add in your saffron with milk and the cardamom powder and combine all the ingredients together. Make sure to keep your pan on a low heat so the figs don’t burn and the milk doesn’t separate
- Transfer your combined mixture onto a greased flat plate (a small baking tray or cake pan will work perfectly) and flatten gently with a spoon.
- Let the mixture cool before slicing up into 12 pieces
- Serve up with your drink of choice!
Make sure to store in an airtight container in the fridge, and remove 20 minutes before serving so the fudge can come back to room temperature. Obviously, if you live in a warm climate, don’t leave it out for too long.
This recipe has fast become one of my favourites (I’ve made it three times in the past two weeks and I haven’t looked back since). The best thing about this recipe is that it’s organic, fresh and takes barely any time to prepare. It suits multiple dietary requirements, and if you’re allergic to nuts, you can easily supplement the nuts with seeds of your choice. Toasted pumpkin seeds are such a great addition to this recipe.
I know the use of ghee might throw some off, but let’s get down to the science of it. I’ve eaten ghee since I was born. Not truckloads of it, but it has always been present in my diet. Mum will spread a little on my rotis with dinner. A very small amount is used to roast up my spices before I start adding in lentils or vegetables when I’m making dinner.
Ghee isn’t a crime when it’s used properly. After talking to multiple nutritionists and asking my family members who are doctors, they explained that ghee is essential in an Indian diet because of the kinds of grains we eat. When we eat rotis made of wholewheat or buckwheat, the nutrients will best be transported to our nerves through a fat carrier.
The touch of ghee in this recipe is really to ensure my fudge doesn’t stick. There’s no smell or residual feel when I pick up my fudge.
Coming back to the recipe, the sweetness of the figs is balanced with the deep aroma of nuts, so no added sweetness is required, and nothing is overpowering. The saffron and cardamom are essential in Indian sweets in my opinion. They not only infuse any sweet with a gorgeous fragrance, but will make your house smell amazing as well.
This recipe has been friend approved, family approved and fully endorsed by everyone I’ve been able to feed it to.
After all, who doesn’t love a sweet that not only satisfies but will keep you energised and satiated?
I hope you all enjoy this recipe!