Sev Burfi or Milk Pudding was my favorite Burfi growing up in Lucknow, India.  It is made with khoa, which is cooked down milk and very thin noodles called sev. Some restaurants fry their sev in ghee, giving the burfi the intense ghee fragrance and flavor. Typically, chironji nuts and peeled cantaloupe seeds are added. I use ricotta cheese since khoa is sometimes hard to find.


For the Sev:
2 cups Besan (chickpea flour)
1 Tbsp. ghee or oil
1/2-3/4 cup water
2-3 cups oil

For the Burfi:
1/4 cup peeled cantaloupe seeds (see notes)
2 Tbsps. ghee or unsalted butter
1/4 cup chironji nuts, washed and dried (see notes)
15-16 ounce carton whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups broken sev pieces
1/2 cup of milk, if needed (see notes)
few drops of yellow food color
4-5 drops Kewra essence
If chironji and cantaloupe seeds are not available, use any combination  of nuts such as crushed pumpkin seeds, chopped pistachios, sliced or slivered cashews.
Sometimes the ricotta is not moist enough and the sev is still chewy. Add half cup of milk to soften the sev.
To make Sev:
  • Make a soft but pliable dough using besan, one tablespoon of ghee or oil and water. 
  • Let it rest for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Heat 2-3 cups of oil in a large skillet and using a sev or noodle press, make besan sev and fry them until golden. 
  • Drain on paper towels. and break them into 1/2 inch or shorter pieces.
  • Set aside.

To make Burfi:
  • Butter an 8×8 pan and set aside.
  • Heat a non-stick or heavy pot on medium low heat.
  • Add the cantaloupe seeds and gently dry roast them, stirring constantly until they start to change color.
  • Most of them should be puffed up from the heat.
  • Place them in a plate and set aside.
  • Heat one teaspoon ghee or butter in the same pot.
  • Add chironjis and roast them until they start to change color. 
  • Be mindful that since chironjis are already brown in color, it is easy to burn them.
  • Set aside in the same plate as cantaloupe seeds.
  • Add the rest of the butter to the pot, add ricotta, salt and sugar.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sev pieces, turning down the heat to low.
  • Keep stirring occasionally as the mixture thickens (about 7-8 minutes). The sev needs time to absorb the liquid.
  • Add the roasted nuts, saving a teaspoon full to sprinkle on top later.
  • Add color and Kewra.
  • Taste the mixture. If the sev is not soft, add 1/2 cup of milk.
  • Continue to stir until the mixture is thick and leaves the sides of the pot.
  • Pour mixture into the pan, wait a few minutes, pat down with greased hands.
  • Sprinkle the saved nuts and pat down lightly.
  • Cool and cut into small squares.

Copyright © Rashmi Rustagi 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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