Holi... the festival of colours is approaching, time for merry making and indulge ourselves in lots of sweets. Yes, the diabetic me is saying so because at times we need to set loose, and be a part of the celebration. Though, I have never played Holi in my growing up years. Our neighbourhood atmosphere was not congenial and my mom never allowed me to go out. For long Holi remained as a scary memory of drunkards banging neighbourhood doors. At the same time, I must mention these same people came for our help whenever my father got bedridden with arthritis. So it is never easy or required to judge who is good, who is not.... what is right or wrong....
After marriage, I felt a strong urge to play Holi, the Bollywood way with my man... God, once I splashed some colour on him, he scolded me so hard. I was in tears never knowing what went wrong. His skin is averse to colours. The same person spends sleepless nights when I am unwell, sailed through rough seas to keep me well, made sacrifices to keep the family well. I always look up to him with respect. I actually was transferred from my mother's lap to husband's, hence never learnt to face the adversities of life. My son, following his father's footsteps doesn't want to play Holi these days. As a child he loved to play though and used to go out with his grandparents.
Coming to this super simple yummy homemade sweet, I learnt it from my dear friend Ipsita, who is a dietician and a degree holder in Hotel Management. She is not a part of the blogging world, does a lot of fusion cooking and loves to have my Bengali dishes which has to be simple and authentic. She got me these sweet on the Vasant Panchami day. I loved them so much that I went ahead with doing them with some change. I wished to keep the semolina a little undercooked, so that it remains a bit crunchy. Hence, I used less amount of milk than recommended. Let us do it for this Holi.
Semolina : 1cup
Shredded Coconut : 1/2cup
Milk : 1small cup
Condensed Milk : 1/2 small cup
Sugar : 2tbsp
Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Saffron : 10-12 strands[optional]
Pistachios : 1tsp[chopped] [optional]
Raisins : 1 for each barfi to garnish
Ghee : 2tbsp
Heat a wok. Toast the coconut for 3-4 minutes and keep aside. Warm the milk and soak the saffron strands in it.
Heat ghee in a wok. Add the semolina. Keep stirring at low heat till they turn golden yellow and gives a nice roasted aroma. Add 2tbsp sugar. Stir for a minute.
Add the milk little by little and keep stirring. The semolina will be 70-75% cooked. Add the toasted coconut. Stir well for 2 minutes.
Add the condensed milk and cardamom powder. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Let cool and cut into your desired shape.
Garnish with saffron strands, raisins and pistachios or whichever way you use. You can refrigerate up to 2-4 days.