India was already known as the land of sugar when Alexander the Great came in 326 B.C. to explore the Indus Valley. Indian sweetmeats (mitthai) are sinfully sweet, creamy, and seductive and require a cultivated taste. Centuries ago, the Muslim confectioners (halwais) in India perfected the sweetmeat business and taught it to the Hindus, who today simply cannot do without their sweets.
Pistachio and Cardamom Fudge (Pistawale Barfi)
8 cups whole milk, divided
6 cups unsalted, blanched pistachios, chopped fine
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Clarified Butter (ghee)
In a food processor, puree 2 cups milk and pistachios.
In a pot, add remaining 6 cups milk and cardamom. Boil over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the milk is reduced to a thick consistency.
Add the sugar and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the pistachio mixture, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes until mixture thickens.
Grease a medium baking pan with a little clarified butter. Spread the pistachio fudge evenly on the pan. Cool for an hour and cut into 1-inch squares before serving.