For those of you who love Indian/Asian sweets but are not sure how to make them have no fear, this barfi recipe is both easy and super tasty too.
I first became aware of them whilst I was living and working in Bangladesh for the UK Govt. The experiences I got whilst there were incredible and will remain with me for the rest of my life. I found the unique flavours and spices amazing, nothing like what I had experienced here.
I bought some barfi to take to someones house as a gift, which was later shared around by the host and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. There was a particular one I had tried which had this amazing taste but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was. I later found out it was cardamom. I always thought this was akin to cumin so didn’t attempt to try cooking with it. But after figuring out what it was? No stopping me.
I have made this recipe countless times and every single time I do there is never enough (according to the recipients). Once you have tried this a few times too you will likely find that you get numerous requests to keep making this so beware.
How to make barfi
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 94
Cost per serving: £ 0.08p
500ml semi skimmed milk
397g can sweetened condensed milk
4 tsp sugar
12 – 15 cardamom pods
10g chopped almonds
Few drops yellow food colouring
Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and grind/crush using a pestle and mortar / back of a spoon or place into sandwich bag and roll a smooth glass bottle over it. If you are looking to cook with many spices often you may wish to consider getting a small grinder which will do the job in a fraction of the time (Have a look here for my recommendations)
When the seeds are ground to your preference add 3/4 of the almonds, saving some for decoration and grind down again.
Add the butter and semolina to a shallow pan and put on a low heat until the mixture begins to turn brown. you will see the colour change and begin to darken from the dull yellow colour and the longer you leave it cooking the darker it will get.
When the mixture has reached the desired colour add the milk and keep stirring continuously on low heat until the mixture begins to thicken. It will fall slowly off your spoon or spatula when this consistency has been reached.
Next add the condensed milk and sugar and keep stirring until the mixture thickens and butter begins to leak at the edges. You will find when pushing a spoon or spatula along the bottom of the pan the mixture will fall back slowly as opposed to a liquid which will immediately cover the space.
Add the cardamom/almond mix and a little food colouring until you get the desired colour, not too much as it will look overly yellow and offputting.
Stir until the mixture becomes firmer and moved around the pan with the spoon like a very loose dough. Remove from heat and place onto a shallow sheet to cool. Remember to either grease the pan with a little butter or line the bottom with greaseproof paper or clingfilm.
Sprinkle the almonds for decoration and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
Leave out the sugar to reduce calories and cost slightly as this is a sweet dessert.
Reduce the amount of milk to create a firmer dessert as this, while firm is a little sticky.