Friday, 1 July 2016

The Magic of Seven

Seven-cup Burfi or Vadi

For long I have resisted the seven-cup vadis or burfis vadis for varying reasons. I have been put-off by the sheer quantities –imagine using up a whole cup of ghee and three whole cups of sugar.

Or I have thought them to be too commonplace - a food bloggers’ fad like the Tangzhong water roux that every blogger worth their salt seems to have mastered. 

Sometimes the vadis seemed gimmicky and less onerous - didn’t a classicist have to do it the right way, the hard way? 

So despite having had occasional debacles with vadis / burfis over the years, I have not succumbed to the seven-cup magic.  

Speaking of debacles - these have ranged from episodes when a prematurely poured vadi mixture has resolutely refused set, to occasions when a zealously stirred aggregate has overstayed in the pan and crossed the crystal boundaries into a state of crumbly no return. 

Not that the family ever complains, for irrespective of whether the vadi mixture cloys to the tray, crumbles hopelessly or cubes correctly, it is sure to be polished off – scraped off the tray by a spatula, popped into the mouth as a perfect plaque or eaten out of a bowl with a spoon.

For a while now, I have tried to rationalise my resistance – the vadi or burfi may not be extraordinarily rich – the cup measure is indicative. I can always use a very small cup. It’s also the usual ratio of 1: ¾ measure for a sweet to set.  

It’s not a gimmick – ultimately there is some skill involved in knowing just when to remove the mixture from the heat – and in the same token, if skill was involved then surely every blogger worth their salt must have been tempted to demonstrate their prowess. 

So convinced was I by my own reasoning, that I was just waiting for an opportunity to make these vadis, and this morning, an hour before we started for the airport to see off a “barat” or a groom’s party, I had this urge to make something sweet to mark the momentous occasion! 

The seven-cup magic made the joyous occasion even sweeter – and I have been charmed for life by the vadi. 

Seven-cup Vadi/Burfi 

This is a vegan version. The refined coconut oil I use works exactly like ghee, and is absolutely aroma or flavour free.


1 measure besan (chickpea flour)
1 measure loosely packed grated fresh or frozen coconut mixed with 2 tablespoons almond meal
1 measure coconut milk (you can use dairy milk)
1 measure refined coconut oil melted (you can use ghee) 
3 measures sugar
1 tsp crushed cardamom


Grease a thali or tray with some coconut oil.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add the besan and a tablespoon of coconut oil and roast for a few minutes. Once the raw smell disappears, add half of the coconut oil and roast a little more, but don’t let the besan brown. 
Next add the coconut milk, sugar and the grated coconut and almond meal. Keep the pan on low heat and mix well and stir well.

After a few minutes, the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Add the remaining coconut oil and the crushed cardamom to the mixture. Mix well and continue to stir until the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan. Switch off the heat and continue to stir for a minute and then gather everything into the centre of the pan and tip it into the greased thali or tray. 

This process should take about 25 minutes.

Spread the mixture in the thali or tray using a spatula. When cooled down sufficiently, score cuts into the mixture with a sharp knife. You can do squares or diamonds. When the mixture cools down completely, cut out the vadis or burfis. 

Store the vadis/ burfis in an airtight box.

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