This is a very simple Indian dessert, which I grew up making with my mother. We would sit with a large tray of the barfi mix that my mother had made and we would press it down with the back of a bowl, then top it with slivers of almonds and pistachios. We felt quite important as that was the finishing touch to the sweet. 🙂
This sweet is similar to fudge in texture and there are many different versions you can make out of it. Here I have added some desiccated coconut and dry chopped cranberries, topped with chocolate. This year I made these for Diwali and got my son to help with mixing the ingredients into a crumble. He really enjoyed getting his hands ‘soft and sticky’ as he put it. So life is a full circle, what my mother passed on to me I am passing on to my son.
In the past I have also used fresh blueberries and that tastes good too. I have also been sent a recipe by my cousin sister, which has mango in it. I cannot wait to try that out, once I do I will post that on as well. Later I will also post another recipe which is a layered/sandwich barfi, which tastes and looks very good too. These sweets are good to give as food gifts, if you are going for a dinner party or over the festive period for friends and family.
I normally set these in thalis (Indian plates which have a lip to them) which are about 2 inches deep, however you can use baking trays. Depending on the size of pieces you cut them into you’ll get roughly around 40 pieces. I normally cut them around 2cm square. You can reduce the amount of sugar, if you find it too sweet.
½ lb of milk powder
4 oz sugar
1½ tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
5 serving spoons milk
a pinch of saffron
1 tsp eliche (cardamom) powder – optional
1 tsp grated fresh jaifal (nutmeg) – optional
1 tbsp grated almonds (badam) – optional
1 tbsp grated pistachios – optional
I added the following to the above basic recipe:
2 oz dessicated coconut
4 oz dried cranberries
500g plain chocolate
1) Put the sugar in a pan and add just enough cold water to cover the sugar and heat up. Let the mixture boil so that the whole surface is covered with bubbles.
2) While that is cooking, in a large bowl mix the milk powder, ghee and milk to crumble consistency. Add the cardamom powder, saffron and nutmeg if using.
3) Let the sugar and water mix for a minute or so after the entire area in covered with bubbles, remove from the heat and add it to the milk powder mixture and mix it thoroughly. It should become a soft dough.
4) In a greased thali or baking tray spread the mixture evenly and sprinkle with almonds and pistachios then press it down with the back of a bowl or any other flat utensil.
For my added ingredients I just added them after the crumble stage and did not add the saffron or nutmeg or cardamom. Once I had pressed the mixture on the thali I then melted the chocolate in the microwave. To melt chocolate in the microwave, heat for about 2 minutes stirring in between to make sure the chocolate does not burn. I poured the melted chocolate on top and made a wavy lines pattern with a fork.
5) Leave it for a few hours until it sets. You may need to put it in the fridge to help it set. Once it is solid enough cut into small pieces. To store the barfi place it in an airtight container and refridgerate.