A Very Happy Karva Chauth
What is Karva Chauth? Karva Chauth is a day where married women fast and pray for the longevity of their husbands, mainly a woman who is of Punjabi origin or a woman married to a Punjabi man. This festival has now gained popularity all over India and is usually observed by most North Indians. For the fast, a woman eats her meal before sunrise and breaks her fast at moonrise. I know, it probably sounds so old school to some, right?
Nowadays though, Karva Chauth is a trend and is sort of considered to be a romantic festival, one that is even observed by some modern day men. My husband fasts with me on Karva Chauth which is nice, I mean if I’m fasting for his long life, shouldn’t he want to fast for me to ensure my long life, and essentially a long life together? I’d really hope so, but there is no pressure on either one of us to fast for the other! I’m sure the critics would argue here saying fasting can’t possibly prolong the life of one’s husband and I’ll be the first to admit that is a valid point, but this is where the superstition comes into play. For me personally, Karva Chauth is a trend and I follow it because I’m superstitious. It’s a festival I’ve watched the women in my family observe for as long as I can remember. Of course, I don’t literally follow every single ritual the festival calls for… getting decked out and the whole shebang, however I do a little prayer and allow myself a cup of tea and water. 🙂 I’m simple! Karva Chauth is simply a festival that celebrates marital bliss and there is nothing submissive about it, it really is how you choose to perceive it. Each couple/individual decides if they want to participate in the festival or not, and each individual decides if he/she wants to participate in an extreme or moderate type of fasting. That’s all!
Typically on Karva Chauth, Kheer or Indian Rice Pudding is a very popular dessert, however I’m all about breaking the rules so I made some Coconut Burfi to try something new. When we were kids, my cousin, Ajay, would often take a coconut burfi, drizzle chocolate syrup over it, and then microwave the burfi for 20 seconds. Brilliant, right? At that age he was my role model so I thought everything he said or did was brilliant. He named his creation, “Almond Joy without the almonds.”
Recently, Aarti Sequeira of Food Network’s Aarti Party made a Coconut Toffee on her show. She named this dish Coconut Toffee, but it really is Coconut Burfi. I loved how she added red food color to this decadent dessert which transforms the burfi into a gorgeous pink color. Remember, people eat with their eyes! Based on the reviews for Aarti’s Coconut Toffee, many complained the burfi was too sweet. Note, this dessert is suppose to be sweet, however I wasn’t looking for a toothache either so I reduced the sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup. This is a quick dessert that literally takes about 20 minutes to put together. Enjoy!
NUTRITION: I’ll keep it real with you, this dessert is LOADED! 2 cups of coconut so there is nothing healthy about this dessert, in addition, it is high in saturated fat. This is precisely why I made this dessert on a special festival.
MODIFICATIONS I MADE:
- I reduced the sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup.
- I added 1/2 cup of milk – this may have worked against me on the texture.
APPROXIMATE NUTRITION PER SERVING (yields 12 diamond pieces)
- Calories: 158 cals
- Fat: 6.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 5.9 g
- Carbs: 26 g
- Protein: 0.8 g
- Fiber: 0.8 g
COCONUT BURFI – A Traditional Indian Sweet (adapted by Aarti Sequeira)
~ use a circular baking tray or a round plate
- Coconut Desiccated – 2 cups
- Milk 1% – 1/2 cup
- Water – 1/2 cup
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red Food Color – 2 drops
- Cashews – Chopped (for garnish – optional)
1. Grease a round baking tray or plate with butter.
2. On medium heat in a nonstick pot, add coconut.
3. Dry roast until you smell the aroma, should be a couple minutes, and then lower the heat to dial #3.
4. Add milk to the coconut and keep stirring for a few minutes until the milk is absorbed. Turn off the stove and set aside.
5. In a separate pot on medium heat, add water.
6. Add sugar.
7. Combine. This will form a simple syrup.
8. You want the syrup to form a thread like consistency… should look as follows:
9. At this point add the coconut to the syrup.
10. Keep stirring until all the syrup is absorbed. This will take about 3-5 minutes.
11. Now add the cardamom powder. Combine.
12. Add food color – literally 2 drops!
13. Combine. Soooooooo pretty… Green would be really nice as well.
14. Once the coconut starts to form into clumps, you are done. Also, if stirring isn’t as effortless as earlier, this means you are done. Turn off the stove.
15. Transfer the coconut mixture onto a plate or baking tray.
16. Spread the mixture evenly. If the mixture isn’t hot, you can use your hands too.
17. This is what you should have.
18. Place the plate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This will help the sweet solidify.
19. After refrigerating, this is what you should have.
20. Cut into diamonds as follows:
21. OPTIONAL: for garnish, I chopped up a few cashews. Almonds would work well too.
TIP: If you are like Ajay, you can pour some chocolate syrup/Nutella on top and microwave for 20 seconds… you’ve got, “Almond-free Almond Joy!”
OVERALL RATING: 4.5 / 5
Today I really surprised myself. I have never made Indian Burfi in my life and this turned out amazing! The burfi melts in your mouth and isn’t very chewy. My guess on the sugar was right on, 1 cup of sugar worked perfectly, any more sugar and it would have been way to sweet. The milk definitely helped in creating a creamier burfi, however I think because of the milk the texture was slightly off.
Texture: The texture was not that firm. The burfi did not hold up too well when I brought the burfi to my mouth, some parts of it just fell off before reaching my mouth. I don’t think leaving it in the refrigerator any longer would have helped either. The only other ingredient I added was milk, which I believe may have caused the texture to be extremely soft.
Moistness: The burfi was definitely very moist, with the coconut and milk, there was a ton of moisture. You can really taste the fat in this dessert and there was grease left behind on my fingers. For today, I’m justifying it because it is Karva Chauth, however I don’t see myself making this dessert often with 6 grams of saturated fat per serving. Overall, excellent and tasty!
TELL ME: What other desserts do you make on Karva Chauth? I’d like to know so I don’t have to cave into the usual, Kheer!