Recipe | Healthy Raisin & Dried Figs Fudge – Perfect Time to Celebrate Just Living
Festivals to me are to celebrate the happiness that family & friends share together. A perfect time to celebrate just living! In India we have celebrations all round the year. Festival of lights (and sound) – Diwali being one of the major festivals of India everyone look forward to.
Though the festival is same, people all over India follow different rituals to celebrate it. In South India Diwali is celebrated with a sacred bath before dawn followed by prayers, getting blessings from elders and bursting crackers. While in other parts of India it is more of a pompous fun fare with grand Lakshmi Puja during evening hours and buying gold & other metals on Diwali.
I am neither a sweet eater nor a cracker lover and left to myself will not indulge in both on Diwali day. But my hubby makes sure that I make sweets and he buys crackers for children on Diwali, so that they appreciate the importance of festivals & traditions in our culture.
The preparation for the festival begins days ahead in my home with the children and hubby meticulously making list of crackers to be bought while I make a list of sweets and savories to be shared with friends on Diwali.
I was touched when a dear celebrity friend sent a box of sweets well ahead of Diwali with a note ‘Happy Diwali in advance..wanted to remember and wish good friends before anyone else‘
From the many sweets and savories I made for the festival this Dried fruit fudge was the winner. Mom used to make this fudge or what we call as ‘Burfi’ during winter time with just Figs, nuts and lots of sugar in it. This chewy fudge was one of our favorite pass time snacks.
Over the years I brought in some changes to her recipe by avoiding sugar and making Raisin as the star ingredient in the fudge. The slightly sweet & sour taste that raisins impart to the recipe is what makes this fudge a special sweet.
- 1 cup Raisins
- 10-12 dried Figs
- 5 Dates
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (Almonds/Pistachios)
- 2 tbsp. Olive oil or Ghee
- 2 Tbsp. Palm sugar/white sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla essence
Method; Soak raisins, dried figs and dates in cold water overnight or in warm water for 4 hours. I like to soak the ingredients overnight as the dried fruits become more soft and are easy to grind, though it takes a little extra time to cook to reduce the excess water in the paste.
Remove from the water and grind all the three dried fruits into fine paste.
Chop Almonds and Pistachios and dry roast for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Heat a thick bottom wok/kadai and add oil or ghee (clarified butter) in it. Pour the ground paste of dried fruits and cook it on medium heat. It will take about 10-15 minutes for the puree to thicken depending upon the water content in ht paste.
Add chopped nuts, palm sugar and keep cooing for another 10 minutes. The mixture should form a soft ball and should not stick to the sides of the wok.
Take out the wok from the fame and add vanilla essence in it.
Grease a flat rectangular plate or baking tray with a little oil and empty the soft dough on it. Flatten the fudge with a flat ladle or hands if you can to spread it evenly all over the tray.
And the festivity begins in the morning ….my son with one hand to close ears and the other to burst crackers
Night show on the terrace….
- You can reduce or increase the sugar content in the recipe, sugar gives a sheen to the fudge.
- Avoid or add any dried fruits as you wish to make a recipe of your own.
- Take care not to over cook or cook the fudge on high flame to avoid the dried fruits puree get burnt.
- Avoid water to grind the soaked dried fruits, it will take longer time to cook the fudge.
- Use a mix of raisins which are slightly sour (light colored) and the dark sweet raisins or sultanas in the fudge recipe.