Phova Maandi is a very old, traditional jaggery based sweet. I found this recipe when I was going through a cook book written by Jaya Shenoy. Then I asked my mother about this sweet and she told me that my paternal grandma used to make this. But I didn't get a chance to taste this. I came up with my own measurements and the resulting burfi was out of the world. Do give it a try and enjoy :-)
- Rice Flakes/ Poha- 3 cups
- Dark Jaggery/ Antu Bella- 1 cup+ 3 Tbsp
- White Sesame seeds- 1/4 cup
- Grated Coconut, fresh/ Frozen- 2/3 cup
- Ghee (Clarified butter)- 1/4 cup
- Cardamom pods- 5-6
- Cashew nut, Almonds- As desired
- Water- 1/2 cup
Take sesame seeds in a wide bottomed pan on a medium flame. Heat it until it starts releasing the oil (no need to brown it). Then transfer it to a bowl.
In the same pan, add half of the ghee and then add the rice flakes. Mix it well until the ghee coats every flake evenly. Fry it until a nice aroma is got (no need to brown it). The flakes gets wilted to a small extent. Transfer it to a big bowl. Once it cools down a bit, crush it lightly using your hand.
In the same pan, add small portion from the remaining ghee and then add the cashews and almonds. Fry them until they turn slight brown. Turn off the heat and transfer it to a small bowl.
Crush the cardamom seeds, grate the coconut (if using fresh). Chop the fried nuts as well.
Next step is to melt the jaggery. The jaggery I used looked like this (This jaggery is very soft and is specially used to make ladoos, burfi, chikkis. This jaggery gives good binding and has a distinct taste).
Now in the same pan, add the jaggery and water. Start heating it on a medium heat and keep stirring. Slowly the jaggery starts to melt.
Once the jaggery melts completely and begins to boil, add the grated coconut and mix well. Let it cook along with jaggery. Slowly the jaggery syrup starts to thicken.
Continue heating till the end point. To know the end point, add 1-2 drops of melted jaggery in a small bowl containing water for every 2 minutes. The jaggery should form a firm drop and it should turn little hard. Once this consistency is reached, add the roasted chopped nuts, sesame seeds, cardamom powder, remaining ghee and roasted rice flakes. Mix it well.
Then pour it on a greased tray or plate and spread it evenly. Press it lightly using your hands.
When it is still warm, cut into desired shape.
Then allow it to cool completely. Phova Maandi is ready!!
Once the burfis turn hard, remove from the tray and store them in an air tight container. I made 25 burfis.