Here in North America, the word “barfi” might have you thinking of something else, but these sweet, fudge-like squares are addictive nonetheless. The coconut is perfectly offset by the sweet cardamom, rich condensed milk, and nutty ghee. Put a plate of these out on the counter and watch them disappear in seconds.
Makes one 8-inch or 9-inch (20–23 cm) square or round pan or thali
- 3 to 4 green cardamom pods
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) whole milk
- 1 cup (250 mL) dried unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ghee
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) rosewater (optional)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pistachios
- Butter an 8-inch or 9-inch (20 or 23 cm) round or square cake pan or thali (flat metal plate).
- Grind the cardamom in a spice grinder (or a coffee grinder set aside for spices) until it’s a powder. Or empty the seeds from the pods by crushing them open in a mortar and pestle, then pound the seeds into a powder. Set aside.
- Warm the whole milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the dried coconut, mixing to incorporate. Cover the saucepan and allow to soak for 1 hour.
- Melt the ghee in a medium saucepan over low heat, and then add the soaked coconut (or fresh coconut). Toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the whole milk, condensed milk and the reserved cardamom, and cook, stirring constantly (to make sure it doesn’t burn), until the mixture slowly thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.
- At this point, you should see tiny drops of ghee forming on the surface of the mixture. Add the rosewater, if using, and remove the pan from heat.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Press in the pistachios on top, and allow to cool completely. Slice into desired shapes and serve.
- Will keep refrigerated for 2 days.