Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Got Garbanzos? Try This Easy Gluten-Free Dessert.

    I spend my weekdays writing for a living. On those weekdays I usually am cooking our main meal of the day which is a mid-day lunch. This does not usually contain dessert other than fruit or a biscuit, or fruit and a biscuit. But on the weekends, I put on my go-to-hell pants and experiment with dessert. As far as I'm concerned weekends are for dessert. Weekends are also for biking and hiking and walking and all the other things that help work off the dessert, leading to fewer feelings of guilt and remorse when the week resumes and I have to put my real pants on. The best of all worlds is of course relatively guilt-free desserts. Treats that rather than being fried, are baked. Treats that rather than having a cup of ghee, might have one or two tablespoons, but just enough to give that delightful shiver of sin while eating them so that one does not have to start Monday off asking, "Does this make my ass look big?"
   Another big dessert factor usually revolves around what's in the house and how can I take advantage of it? This is a dessert that more than meets that requirement. No special ingredients, no tricky techniques. Odds are that nearly everyone reading this has these ingredients or most of them at home right now. It's called Glazed Garbanzo-Milk Barfi. 
   For those that don't know, Barfi is a sort of Indian-style milk fudge. This recipe came to me via Paula Wolfert giving me a whole pile of her Indian cookbooks. I have been plowing through these books, some of them quite old. This however is from a fairly recent book (about 20 years old)  Laxmi's Vegetarian Kitchen by Laxmi Hiremath. It's a great book full of accessible and very tasty vegetarian dishes. I highly recommend it. Anyway, back to the fudge (barfi). 

Chickpea Fudge

Here's what to do:
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse and drain one can of garbanzo beans or 1 cup of cooked garbanzo beans.
Grind them to a paste in a food processor.
Add in 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
Mix it together well. 
Add in:
1/2 cup dry powdered milk
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 Tbs. of chopped raw cashews
3 Tbs of melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup of milk
 Mix it together well.
 Pour everything into a lightly greased 8x8 square baking pan.
Note: I do not own one of these as I found out last night when I was making this. I thought I did. I could have sworn I had one, but no. I did not.
Pop the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. When the top is light golden pull it out. Let it cool. Then refrigerate it for 2 hours or so. Cut it into two inch squares and enjoy.
   This is great with a nice spicy cup of chai. It's light, lightly buttery and a nice gluten-free, high protein, delicious dessert or tea-time treat. Store it in the fridge if there's any left. It will keep for about 4 days. Sure it will.
  Meanwhile I have made several versions of firni, phirni. My friend Sanjeeta of Tasty Bites turned me on to another variation. There's a whole world of firni out there as I am discovering as I seek out my own private firni delight. I have some ideas and am doing my due diligence (eating my mistakes) and hope to have perfection soon.
 Coming up next, a return to the world of vegetables, after all the weekend's over.


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