As Diwali approaches this weekend, Chef Noel Singh shared with us this delicious Vegan Beet Barfi recipe. With nearly 12 years of expertise as a Pastry Chef, Chef Singh has established a notable presence within the culinary industry. While maintaining a personal vegetarian diet, Chef Singh adeptly navigates the world of dairy, eggs, and other culinary elements in the professional sphere, embracing a diverse approach to cooking. A pivotal shift in culinary perspective occurred during Chef Singh’s tenure at a vegan restaurant, where exposure to enlightening documentaries led to a deeper understanding of the restaurant’s values and mission.
A notable creation from Chef Singh’s repertoire, featured on the chef’s blog a couple of years ago, pays homage to nostalgic childhood memories of visiting Vancouver’s Punjabi Market on Main Street. Fond recollections of savouring the beloved Barfi sweets with family inspired Chef Singh to reinvent this traditional delicacy. Resembling fudge in texture, Barfi is conventionally crafted using milk, sugars, condensed milk, and an array of flavourings. In a creative twist, Chef Singh’s vegan adaptation incorporates the vibrant flavours of beets, carrots, and fragrant cardamom, reinventing this cherished treat with a plant-based approach.
Vegan Beet Barfi
For Beet Layer
- 1 cup beets, finely grated, uncooked
- 1 cup finely shredded coconut
- 1-1/2 cup cane sugar
- 3 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 TBSP almond sliced
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
For Carrot Layer
- 1/2 cup carrots, finely grated, uncooked
- 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1-1/2 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 TBSP almond sliced
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 TBSP pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
- 2 TBSP sliced almonds, toasted
1. Lightly grease a 8″ by 8″ baking dish with coconut oil and line it with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Toast pistachios and almond sliced at 325 degrees, until golden brown, and set aside.
3. In a non-stick pan heat the coconut oil with the sliced almonds on medium high heat until they are toasted. After they have become a golden brown, add in the finely grated beets with the coconut and stir together to combine. Continue to cook the beets until they have become tender and the beets no longer have an earthy smell.
4. Add in the sugar, mix together to incorporate the sugar evenly. The sugar will start to dissolve and make the mixture quite loose. Keep stirring the mixture, as you do this the excess liquid will start to evaporate and thicken the beet layer.
5. Continue to stir until the mixture has thickened and the liquid has been cooked out, about 10 to 15 minutes. The last part of the cooking process is to sprinkle the ground cardamom over the mix and stir together.
6. Spread the beet Barfi mixture into the prepared parchment-lined dish and press down in an even layer. Set aside and start to prepare the carrot Barfi layer.
7. Start the carrot layer the same way the beet layer was prepared but omit the almond slices for this layer. It will take less time because the carrots are not as hearty or dense as the beets. Once it is ready spread evenly on top of the beet layer and press down making sure that it is even. Sprinkle the toasted pistachios and/or toasted almonds and press into the carrot layer carefully while it is still hot.
8. Allow it cool to room temperature so it will firm up and set. Using a sharp knife cut to desired size. I’d suggest cutting the Barfi the following day to make sure it is completely set to make cutting much easier.