Coconut, saffron and pistachio barfi
- October 2022
- Makes 20 barfi
- Hands-on time 25 min, plus at least 3 hours chilling
Cooking and sharing Indian sweets are the essence of Diwali, says Maunika Gowardhan, who shares her creamy pistachio barfi recipe.
“Diwali is a festival that brings family and friends together: a chance for us all, no matter the busyness of life, to make memories and share good times. Cooking and sharing Indian sweets are the essence of this festival and my favourites include laddoos, karanjis and now these saffron and cardamom-flavoured barfi. I have filled jars of them at home for the festival, ready to serve with some masala chai when we have friends over.”
A food writer and chef, Maunika has worked in food for more than a decade, creating enticing, accessible Indian recipes and cookery videos. Brought up in Mumbai and now based in the UK, Maunika draws on recipes handed down within her family as well as dishes from across India. Her most recent cookbook is Tandoori Home Cooking. Find Maunika on Instagram @cookinacurry and at maunikagowardhan.co.uk
- 7g fat (5.7g saturated)
- 11.1g carbs (11.1g sugars)
- 1 tbsp whole milk, warmed
- ½ tsp saffron threads (see Maunika’s tips)
- 300g coconut, grated (the frozen variety works well for this recipe)
- 397g can condensed milk
- 100g milk powder
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp ghee (see Maunika’s tips)
- Handful almonds, roughly crushed
- Large handful pistachios, roughly crushed
- Put the warm milk and saffron threads in a small bowl, stir briefly, then set aside to soak.
- Line a baking tray that’s approximately 20cm x 20cm with baking paper. Put a large non-stick saucepan over a low heat and add the coconut and condensed milk. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes until the mixture has a toasted coconut aroma. Add the milk powder, then continue to stir and cook for 4-5 minutes – the mixture will begin to dry out and thicken.
- Pour in the saffron and milk, then add the ground cardamom, ghee or butter, almonds and half the pistachios. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pan. Pour the mixture onto the lined tray, then sprinkle the remaining pistachios on top, pressing them down gently into the mixture. Leave to cool, then transfer to the fridge for at least 3 hours to set. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.
Maunika says: “For the best flavour and colour it’s worth buying good quality saffron and soaking it for at least 25 minutes.
Traditional barfi use khoya (dried milk solids) to bring the mix together, but I’ve opted for milk powder, which gives the required texture and density.
Indian sweets are usually made with ghee, but you can swap this for butter.”
The barfi can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge. Or wrap tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully before eating.
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