Simple, sweet and loaded with healthy fats, these sugar-free dry fruit bars, popularly known as dry fruit burfi in India, make a great treat for every occasion. It’s a very popular Diwali sweet, but they’re so good and nutritious, you can make them anytime. Whether you want to satisfy your sweet cravings or impress guests with a healthy festive dessert, you can’t go wrong with sugar-free dry fruit bars. They are so versatile and so delicious!
1 cup cashews, finely chopped
1 cup fresh dates
1 and 1/2 cup dried figs
1/2 cup almonds finely chopped
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped or thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry desiccated coconut
3 tsp ghee or clarified butter
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Soak the figs in hot water for 10-15 minutes to soften them. Once they soften, drain them well and blend in a food processor to make a smooth paste. Deseed the dates and blend quickly into a coarse paste separately. Set both the pastes aside.
Heat a non-stick pan, add 3tsp ghee or butter and transfer the fig paste into the pan. Cook it for 5-6 minutes on low flame, stirring continuously. Make sure the paste doesn’t stick to the pan or get burnt. Then add the dates paste and mix well. Keep stirring and cook for another 2 minutes as both pastes get sautéed and turn into one gooey mixture. Now add the nuts and desiccated coconut and mix well to integrate the nuts into the date-fig paste. Continue to cook on low flame for 2-4 minutes depending on the consistency of the mixture. If the mixture appears too loose, cook for a couple of minutes more. Once the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan, you will notice everything coming together like one single ball. Now it can be considered ready. Add cardamom powder, mix well and transfer into a greased tray.
Spread the mixture evenly and press well to make it dense and compact. Let it cool for a while and then cover with cling wrap and leave in a refrigerator for 1-2 hours to set. Once set, cut into square or diamond shaped bars. Garnish with desiccated coconut and serve.
If you store in an air tight container, they will remain fresh and good for at least 10 days.