Gund Pak is a creamy cardamom fudge that is my favourite of all the Indian sweets that Noorbanu used to make. It’s loaded with nuts but also layers of subtle spicing featuring cardamom, fennel, nutmeg and saffron.
In Noorbanu’s family, the women of the household would always make it when Noorbanu of her sisters-in-law had a baby. They believed having a piece of this fudge every day for 40 days would help a new mother regain her stamina more quickly. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I know it would certainly give one something to look forward to every day. And, it would make you feel loved, pampered and cared for too.
Noorbanu used to make it and share it with me when she knew I was working very hard. When she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I wanted to return the favour. The first batch I made failed because I didn’t keep everything hot enough. The butter broke and seeped out. It was a disaster.
Noorbanu told me to try again, only this time make only half or a quarter of the recipe. That worked like a charm. I’m going to miss her wise words and cooking counsel. I know if you make this extraordinary treat, you will savour it all. There’s nothing else in the world quite like it.Print
This recipe makes a lot. If it’s your first time making this, make either a quarter or half batch. It’s really important that you keep everything equally hot so that the butter does not “break” out of the mixture. That’s a lot easier with a smaller batch. Take it from me, I learned the hard way! But, this creamy cardamom fudge, loaded with nuts, is well worth the effort.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: one baking tray full 1x
- Category: desserts
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
1 cup sunflower oil or ghee (for frying gum Arabic)
5 ounces gum Arabic
¾ lb coarsely chopped almonds
4 ounces chopped pistachios
1 Tablespoon ground green cardamom seeds
1 Tablespoon coarsely ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 lb salted butter
1 lb unsalted butter – divided
1 lb whole wheat flour
¾ cup semolina (sooji)
¾ cup chana flour OR urad flour
¾ cup medium flake coconut
¾ cup powdered milk
½ cup 2% milk
½ teaspoon saffron
¼ teaspoon yellow food colouring powder
1 lb chopped jaggery
1 (10 ½ ounce – 300 mL) can sweetened condensed milk
2 ounces finely slivered almonds
2 ounces finely slivered pistachios
1 teaspoon white poppy seeds
1. Heat the oil or ghee in a wok.
2. Deep fry the gum Arabic pieces over medium heat, a few at a time, until they pop and then remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a paper towel covered plate.
3. Discard any gum Arabic that did not pop.
4. Combine the chopped nuts, cardamom, fennel and nutmeg and set aside.
5. Melt 1 pound of salted butter and ¾ of a pound of unsalted butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
6. Add the whole wheat flour, semolina and chana or urad flour and fry until a very light golden colour, stirring continuously.
7. Add the coconut and fry for a few minutes, remove from heat and add the powdered milk and stir for a few minutes. Set aside.
8. Heat the ½ cup of milk, saffron and food colour in another saucepan on medium heat and mix well.
9. Melt the remaining ¼ pound of butter in another saucepan, add the jaggery and cook until all the jaggery is melted and starts bubbling.
10.Remove from heat and add the saffron and milk mixture and then return to heat and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
11.Add the chopped nut mixture to the flour mixture and return to low heat.
12.Add the jaggery mixture now and cook until well mixed, stirring all the time.
13.Add the condensed milk and lastly add the fried gum Arabic and mix well.
14.Pour the mixture into a 4 X 10 x 15 inch pan and spread evenly.
15.Garnish the top with the slivered almonds and pistachios while still warm, and press them firmly into the top with the back of a wooden spoon.
16.Sprinkle the poppy seeds last and cut into diamond shapes or squares for serving.
Keywords: gund pak