How to make Anjeer Dry Fruit Barfi at home
I love sweets, just like my dad. But dad is diabetic, so we try to keep his sugar intake under control. That doesn’t stop him from finding something or the other in the fridge to eat though. Even on the days we skip sweets, we’ll find dad right there in the kitchen rummaging through the fridge for something sweet. And ask him how he got his hands on a particular sweet that was hidden way out of sight, he replies “You’ll gave it to me!”
Yes, that’s dad! So it’s easier to just make some sugar free sweets for him sometimes so we don’t have to worry. Cue anjeer ki barfi, a delicious and sweet dry fruit barfi that’s easy to make at home and does not contain sugar or gluten. Gluten free, where did gluten free come from? I try to cook gluten free because a close friend of mine is gluten intolerant.
Anyways, even though the Indian anjeer barfi or dry fruit barfi is made without sweets, it tastes as sweet as any other dessert out there. Sometimes even more so!
So here’s the recipe we use. We have two versions actually, one that’s richer and contains cream that’s been reduced to a mawa like consistency, and the other that well, obviously doesn’t and is more healthier but tastes more nutty!
Let’s start with the rich creamy anjeer dry fruit barfi.
How to make rich sugar free Anjeer Barfi
Start off by soaking about 250 grams of anjeer or figs in 100 ml water overnight. You can use more water, but then you’ll be faced with 2 options the next day. You can either use all the water the next day and take that much longer reducing the figs on the stove, or you can use the water in other dishes you’re cooking.
If you’re running against time, just soaking the anjeer or figs for 4 to 6 hours is good too.
The next day, start of by reducing 400 grams of cream till quite dry and set aside.
This usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. If you want to buy mawa or khoya or khoa from a store instead of reducing the cream yourself, you’ll need about 200 grams.
Grind all the figs or anjeer in a mixer till a rough paste is formed.
Pour the fig paste into a vessel and set aside.
Take a handful of almonds and make slivers.
Now roast the rest of the almonds along with the pistachios and cashew nuts for 2 or 3 minutes till you get that beautiful nutty aroma. Now you don’t really have to roast the nuts, you could just chop them and add them right in; but roasting enhances the taste with that yummy nuttiness.
Chop about 50 grams of seedless dates into fine bits and set aside too. Also line a flat preferably square or rectangular tray with butter paper and grease with ghee before setting aside. I couldn’t find the ‘ol rectangular tray, so we’ve used a round one this time. The preference for huge rectangular trays is so that you can leave one side of it empty and use it to get the pieces out. Less wastage.
Okay, we’re done with all the setting aside now.
Next start by heating the anjeer aka fig paste along with 50 ml ghee till it starts to get dry. Add in the mawa or dried cream paste and continue to stir till it leaves the sides.
Once it looks quite dry, add in the chopped dates and nuts and stir for 3 minutes. The dates almost disappear into the fig and cream mixture while the nuts don’t.
Pour the mixture into your pre-greased tray, flatten it with your hand or spatula. If you’re doing it by hand be careful and ensure you have enough ghee on it or you’ll come away with some nasty burns. The spatula or ulta is a lot safer. Take it from experience!
Draw rough lines about 3 to 4 cm wide across the top of the barfi. These will help you to cut easily later. Add a bit of slivered almonds to each square and lightly press in.
Now refrigerate the mixture for about an hour, then cut into slices and serve your Indian dessert. That does it! Rich tasty creamy anjeer barfi for the taking. Isn’t it as easy as the East Indian coconut cordial?
Sometimes when we have too many people around or we just want bite sized pieces to snack on, we cut them into these super cute 1 cm pieces. Don’t you just love them? It’s difficult to stop at just one though. I know, I’ve tried!
We also have a dairy free version of this recipe. But that’s what one would call more of a dry fruit barfi because it has more of other nuts too and figs or anjeer is not the major player. I’ll share more about it next week.
PS. If you try this recipe, comment and let me know how it goes! If you do something different, let me know too. I’d love to try it out.
Sugar Free Gluten Free Anjeer Barfi
- 250 g Figs or Anjeer
- 100 ml Water
- 400 g Cream Or 200 g Mawa or Khoya
- 150 g Dry Fruits Almonds, Pistas, Cashewnuts
- 50 g Dates Seedless
- 50 ml Ghee Clarified Butter
Preparation for the Fig Barfi
- Soak the figs in 100 ml water overnight or if in a hurry, at lease 4 to 6 hours.
- The day you're preparing the barfi, reduce 400 ml of cream till quite dry and set aside.
- Make slivers of 5 to 10 almonds and set aside.
- Roast the nuts and set aside.
- Roughly chop the seedless dates and set aside.
- Line a flat round or square tray with butter paper and grease with ghee or clarified butter.
Cooking the Anjeer Barfi
- Grind the figs or anjeer in a mixer to form a rough paste.
- Pour the anjeer mixture into an open pan with 50 ml ghee till it starts to get dry. Circa 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add in the reduced cream or mawa and continue to stir continuously for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once it looks quite dry and starts to leave the sides of the pot, add in the chopped dates and nuts and stir for 3 more minutes. (The dates disappear into the mix, while the nuts don't.)
- Pour the mixture into the pre-greased tray and flatten with your hand or spatula. (If using your hand, wait for a few minutes and grease your fingers well or you'll burn them.)
- Once flattened, take a knife and draw rough 1.5 inch lines for squares on the top of the barfi. (Don't try to cut it, as it will stick to the knife. Only draw the lines.)
- Add a little slivered almonds to every square and press it in lightly.
- Refrigerate the anjeer barfi for 1 hour. If you can leave it for 2 hours, even better.
- After an hour, take it out of the refrigerator cut into slices along the lines you had drawn earlier. And serve!