Amaranth Almond Fudge / Rajgira Barfi – Gluten Free For Raksha Bandhan
The soft and moist healthy gluten free amaranth almond fudge (Rajgira barfi) is naturally protein packed, sweetened with jaggery (refined sugar free) and scented with cardamoms. Locally known as rajgira / ramdana (God’s grain) ki barfi, these nutritional fudge are excellent to taste. And are completely gluten free and can be part of your festival platter like for Raksha bandhan (a unique festival that celebrates eternal bonding between brothers and sisters) or for Diwali.
You might also like our Easy Fig And Chocolate Fudge for the upcoming festivities.
Why This Amaranth Fudge / Rajgira Barfi Is Good For You?
1.It contains amaranth / rajgira, one of the super food, packed with immense nutritional benefits
2. It is gluten free. Contains no flour or other additives or fillers.
3. It is refined sugar free. A good quality jaggery has its own nutritional benefits.
4. It contains almonds as one of the main ingredient. Nuts and dried fruits are naturally nutritional rich.
5. I have used pure homemade ghee to make this fudge. Ghee is any day better than the commercial oils and butter.
6. This is not an ordinary barfi / fudge. This is healthy nutrition bar. Immensely good for kids too.
What is Amaranth / Rajgira? Are both same?
Amaranth is also known as Rajgira in Hindi and is pseudo cereal (that is they are non-grasses). And very popular in Indian community during fasting period, month of Shravan. As true cereals are complex carbohydrate with low nutritional profile as compared to pseudo cereals like amaranth and quinoa, hence these are preferred over the whole grains like wheat and rice.
And also to ensure that during fasting the body gets enough nutrition, we have even devised a way to assure this, that is by formulating a religious law that “ cereals are not allowed or banned during fasting”.
How To Make Rajgira Barfi / Amaranth Fudge?
This is simple four step process –
- Pop up the amaranth seeds, Grind them into fine powder.
2. Roast the besan / chickpea flour. Roast the almonds and crushed them coarsely.
3. Then in a pan, melt the jaggery and these into the melted jaggery along with spices.
4. Once it form a solid mass, pour it onto a greased pate, spread it, cut it into desired shapes and serve.
Is Amaranth / Rajgira A Super Food?
Yes, amaranth is a super food, naturally gluten free, powerhouse of nutrients and an excellent source of vital minerals, vitamin B6 and folate. Amaranth is considered native to Andean region. In ancient times it was also known as Inca wheat. But the seeds of this super food get dispersed, say some 500 years ago or so, by various ways through out the world and now in Asia, amaranth is cultivated in many regions, through out the year.
In India alone we are now blessed with four or five indigenous variety of this plant, and it grows everywhere here.
How Can You Use Amaranth Flour / Rajgira Flour Or Seeds In A Recipe?
Amaranth / Rajgira flour can be directly used in any recipe. On regular basis you can mix this gluten free flour with your regular roti/ chapati flour.
For making sweets, I personally prefer to roast the flour lightly before using it in the recipe as roasting releases beautiful nutty aroma, enhances the flavour profile of the dessert.
If you are using amaranth seeds directly in a recipe, you have to pop the seeds in a pan before using it in the recipe. Read below for – how to pop amaranth seeds.
Amaranth flour is no doubt a healthy alternative that can be added in baked goodies, pooris, chapatis, and in sweet dishes too.
This amaranth almond fudge or rajgira barfi is very popular way to use the goodness of amaranth flour.
You can also make Rjgira ladoo or you can add the amaranth seeds in your regular dry fruit ladoo too.
Rajgira Halwa or amaranth flour pudding is also another delicacy that can be made during festive season.
Apart from that I also love to bake with amaranth flour. Because the flour has nutty aroma, it really goes well in baked goodies along with almond flour.
Amaranth Poori or Keto poori is another my favourite way of using this super grain or ramdana (The grain of God).
Here is the recipe for Keto Poori that you might like.
How To Make Amaranth Flour At Home?
Making amaranth flour at home is easy, you will need your coffee grinder or mixer to do that job. Before plunging into action, just remember one thing to pop up the amaranth seeds before grinding. If you skip this step and started grinding the seeds directly from the packet, you will left with handful of tiny stubborn grains that refuse to become powder.
In that case, you have to sieve (use your finest sieve) the flour and grains multiple time to get the desired result. None the less, few leftover seeds makes the fudge a bit crunchier to taste. It entirely depends upon your taste profile how would you like your fudge to be.
Secondly, if you are using store bought amaranth flour, and want to have that crunchier texture in your fudge, then add 2-3 tablespoon of popped up amaranth seeds.
How to pop up the amaranth seeds ?
Just add two-three tablespoon amaranth seeds on a heated tawa/ griddle, and watch them popping up like poppy seeds.
- 1 cup Amaranth seeds , grind finely into powder
- 1/2 cup Chickpea flour
- 3/4 cup Jaggery powder
- 1/2 cup Ghee
- 1/2 cup Almond coarsely powder
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
- 2-3 tbsp Amaranth seeds popped up
- Roast the amaranth flour till deep brown. Keep aside.
- Roast the chickpea flour till they get slightly brownish hue. Keep aside.
- Roast the almonds and grind them coarsely.
- In a deep bottom pan, melt the jaggery in 1/4 cup hot water.
- As the syrup begins to form, keep separating the scum that floats on top. That is the impurities in jaggery.
- Once the jaggery syrup is ready, add the amaranth flour, chickpea flour, cardamom powder and crushed almond.
Mix them well. Do this on low heat.
- Add the ghee in stages, that will help you measure the exact amount of ghee required.
- Keep stirring in low heat till everything starts forming into a solid lump or mass.
- Keep a greased plate ready before hand.
- If you keep this mixture on heat for couple of minute more than it requires, moisture will evaporate from it and it will look like a dry mixture powder.
- If that happens, sprinkle little hot water over it.
- Immediately pour the mixture on greased plate, flatten and shape it with the help of spatula.
- Do not pat it down too thick or too thin.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
This will keep fresh at room tempertaure (not too hot or humid) for three days or more.
- When in doubt, refrigerate them in tight container. To serve straight from fridge or warm for 10 sec in microwave.
How To Store Rajgira Barfi / Amaranth Fudge?
Once the rajgira barfi is cooled down, you can store them in a air tight box and this can stay good for around 2-3 days. If you are living in too hot and humid climate, better to store them in a fridge. Before serving just war them up in a microwave for 10 sec and it will taste fresh.
Happy Raksha Bandhan to all,