Thenga Mittai/ Easy Coconut Burfi- Diwali Sweet
The festive season is already here. Diwali festival, the festival of lights, is one of my favorite times of the year. How is the Diwali planning coming along for everyone? It is exactly a week for Diwali, and I am here to share some easy to make Diwali sweets.
Tengai mittai is a traditional sweet made on festive occasions and is pure coconut indulgence. It reminds me of the tiny coconut candy squares that you find in small street shops in Kerala. It invokes the childhood nostalgia of sweet treats that you buy on your way to school, with the meager pocket money that you have. Well, now you can make them at home! To make this mittai/ burfi, all you need is freshly grated coconut, sugar, and some milk, preferably coconut milk. It is simple and unassuming, sweet but tastes divine.
Mittais are bite-sized Indian confectioneries made with milk, nuts, or coconut. If you love coconuts, you will find this mittai/burfi an absolute treat. Born and brought up in Kerala, where there is a sheer abundance of coconut trees, it has become an integral part of our diet. Desserts with coconut have a unique appeal to it, delightful bite with nuttiness and a sweet milky taste. This South Indian mittai has a soft and fudge-like texture but not the gooey kind. As it cools down, it will hold shape, and you can slice it into desired shapes. Now for the flavoring, it is gently laced with the flavor of cardamom and ghee. You can add nuts, dry fruits, and experiment with different flavors. The green hue for this mittai is from pandan extract, and the flavor goes well with coconut. I have also tried rose, and pineapple flavor to make tengai mittai. So go ahead and experiment with flavors you love. Try this deliciously sweet, you will surely love it. Happy Cooking!
When using coconut for this recipe, use freshly grated coconut. The fresh coconut adds a creamy richness from coconut milk. But if it is not available, then you can use frozen or desiccated versions of the coconut.
It would be a good idea, to lightly toast grated coconut, before adding to the sugar syrup. It will enhance flavor and give a slight crunch and texture. Traditionally for burfi, milk, and milk solid/khoya is used. You can use coconut milk or regular milk or add khoya for a rich, fudgy texture.
Thenga Mittai/ Easy Coconut Burfi
Grated coconut- 2 cup
Coconut Milk- 1/4 cup
Water -1/2 cup
Sugar- 1 1/2 cup
Pandan extract – a few drops (optional)
Ghee- 3 tbs
Cardamon- 1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts chopped- 1 tbs
Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan and lightly roast the coconut. Cook in a very low flame and do not allow the coconut to change color. You may also run the grated coconut a couple of times in your mixer/ blender or food processor to make it into a coarse powder form. This step is optional.
In a heavy bottom, pan adds sugar and water and simmer till all sugar dissolves, and the consistency thickens (two string consistency). Add the coconut and coconut milk and stir continuously to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add half of the ghee and cook the mixture till it becomes thick and leaves the edges of the pan. Add the cardamom powder, and pandan extract (optional), and the rest of the ghee. You can also add toasted nuts this at this stage. Stir for two more minutes and remove from the stove. Grease a plate with ghee and transfer the contents into the plate. Flatten and smooth it with the back of a spoon and let it sit for 4-5 hours. Cut into the desired shape and serve.
Note: To check for 2-string consistency, put a couple of drops of the sugar syrup on a plate, and allow to cool a bit. When it is still warm press the syrup between your index finger and thumb. Lift your thumb away from your finger, and the syrup will form threads. If two threads form and break, the syrup is at the right consistency.
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Hope you will all enjoy!