The original recipe is almost vegan except for the usage of regular milk which can be easily switched to any non-dairy milk of your choice. Most of the indian sweets normally involve liberal use of ghee (clarified butter) but I was really happy to see a recipe that did not use any....now that's a first!!! The best part is that the ingredients are readily available in everyone's pantry, so what are you waiting for?? Trust me, you gotta try it out. It's definitely one of a kind and pretty darn good too!!
Adapted from Tea Time with Rakesh Sethi
2 1/4 cups breadcrumbs (approx. 4 slices - I used 12 grain bread)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, original (3/4 cup would work as well)
2/3 cup ground raw sugar
2/3 cup frozen shredded coconut, thawed
2 tbsp chopped cashewnuts
1 - 1 1/2 tbsp blanched almonds, chopped
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
2 - 3 drops kewra essence (or rose essence or 1/4 tsp cardamom powder)
2 tsp oil + extra for greasing pan
Cashews or Almonds or Pistachios, for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, add the bread crumbs, unsweetened almond milk and cocoa powder. Mix well and set aside until it softens.
In a pan, on medium-low heat, add the ground raw sugar and fresh or frozen grated coconut and cook until the sugar completely melts.
As the mixture starts to thicken (takes about 8-10 mins or so), add the chopped cashews and almonds and mix well. Cook on medium low heat until the mixture starts to bind well.
Add the soaked bread to the coconut-nuts mixture and stir well. Add flavoring of choice (I used kewra essence - extract made from pandanus flowers). Cook on low heat until the moisture is totally absorbed. Add oil (or vegan butter) to the mixture and cook for 5 mins or so. The bread mixture starts forming a big lump without sticking to the sides. Remove from heat.
Line a non-stick or glass baking dish with parchment or wax paper. Grease with cooking spray or vegan butter. Spread the bread mixture on the pan and smoothen the top for an even layer.
Allow the mixture to reach room temperature and cool it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (or freeze it for 1 hr). Cut into square or diamond shaped pieces. Garnish with nuts of choice (cashew halves/almonds or pistachios). Enjoy!!
Makes 16 pieces.