Just like for ladoo, halwa and kheer, Indians have a certain affinity and love towards another very popular sweet called Barfi, also spelled as Burfi. So much, that we even have a mainstream movie named after it! While there is no dearth of types of barfis here, this Barfi Recipe on my blog is that of a quick Khoya Barfi (also called Mawa Barfi). It is an easy-peasy and quick one made with khoya/mawa (evaporated milk solids), sugar and some flavorings. Gets done within 20 minutes, right from the preparation to the cooking.
Table of Contents
What is Barfi
A Hindi (which is originally considered as Persian) word ‘barf,’ is where the word Barfi roots from. While barf may literally refer to ‘snow,’ the most simple and traditional Barfi Recipe will also have such ingredients which gives it a snow-like appearance. Hence, the name. Though, it is full of flavors and is sweet, unlike snow which is just tasteless.
The base ingredients of a no-added flavor or color Barfi are milk/milk powder/khoya and sugar, which are cooked together and then set to eventually get this particular mithai (sweet). It may be cut into various shapes like rectangle, square, diamond, etc. before serving or selling.
However, the world of this sweet has many variations like this Khoya Barfi. Other varieties include the ones made or flavored with coconut, besan (gram flour), kesar (saffron), badam (almond), pistachios, cashews, walnuts, etc. Some modern-day fancy flavored ones also include chocolate, mango, rose, etc.
Sometimes burfis may also be coated with a thin layer of silver varq or edible silver leaf. This is usually for decoration purposes, when serving in special occasions like weddings, parties or Diwali and other festival celebrations. In addition to this Khoya Burfi, one of my other favorites is this Kaju Barfi.
About Khoya Barfi
Usually, I make a few sweets during Diwali, and this Barfi Recipe is almost a patent one every time. Sometimes, I do fuel my creative side and try new, extensive recipes.
But mostly, I choose sweets that are easy to prepare and are not elaborate or that require a lot of time or efforts.
This is because there is a lot that needs to be done before Diwali, as it is one of the most celebrated and auspicious festivals for us Hindus.
This recipe of Barfi that I have shared on this blog post is a basic way of making this sweet. Basically, burfis are soft, milk-based fudges.
And usually, these are made with khoya/mawa or even condensed milk as well. Here too, you just have to cook the khoya with sugar and you’re done. Hence, it is definitely a quick Khoya Barfi.
There is another method in which sugar syrup is prepared separately and then added. But most of the times, I choose this simpler way of adding sugar rather than making its syrup and then using it for the Barfi Recipe.
If you are wondering what is Khoya? Also known as Mawa, it is evaporated and dried milk solids. They do not resemble milk powder but are grainy or smooth or solid mass of evaporated milk.
Khoya is only made with milk which is simmered in a large kadai (wok) for hours. As the milk simmers, it thickens, reduces and forms khoya.
You can make Khoya at home but it takes a lot of time. If interested, you can check this recipe of homemade Khoya made in the traditional way.
Since I have made barfis both with condensed milk and khoya, I can say that there are differences in the final texture of both.
The Khoya Burfi has a slight granular texture whereas the Barfi with condensed milk has a smooth texture. In the department of taste, both are equally good. In fact, delicious.
This basic Barfi Recipe can be adapted to make different kinds of Barfi with various flavors like:
- Adding cocoa powder will give you a chocolate burfi.
- Adding edible rose water or ground rose paste will give you a rose burfi.
- Adding a lot of dry fruits will give you a Dry Fruit Burfi.
So, with just one base recipe, myriad flavored burfis can be achieved.
How to make Khoya Burfi
1. First, grate or finely crumble 250 grams unsweetened khoya.
2. In a small bowl, soak 12 to 15 saffron strands in 1 to 1.5 teaspoons milk. This is an optional step.
3. Line a tray or thali with a butter paper or parchment paper and grease it with some ghee.
Make Khoya Burfi
4. Add the grated khoya in a thick bottomed pan or kadai.
5. Begin to cook on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir often.
6. Switch off the heat. Add 5 tablespoons sugar or as required.
7. Stir and mix well and then turn on the stovetop heat. The sugar will start melting.
8. The consistency of the mixture would become slightly thin. This is due to the melting of the sugar. Stir often and continue to cook on low heat.
9. When the mixture becomes slightly thick and starts leaving the sides of the pan, as shown in the picture below, its time for the next step. Avoid cooking too much as then the burfi will have a chewy texture.
The time taken to get this texture right from the moment sugar is added, is about 8 to 9 minutes on low heat. This time will vary a couple of minutes here and there, depending on the size, type, quality of the pan and intensity of the heat.
10. Add finely chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios) or your choice of nuts or dry fruits. Also, add ⅓ teaspoon of green cardamom powder.
You can omit adding the nuts if you prefer. Together with the cardamom powder, you can opt to add 2 to 3 teaspoons of edible rose water at this step.
11. Stir to mix. Switch off the heat.
12. Pour the burfi mixture in the prepared tray.
Set Khoya Burfi
13. Spread the burfi mixture evenly, keeping 1 inch thickness at the edges.
14. Add the saffron milk on the burfi mixture. This is also an optional step.
15. Once the Khoya Burfi cools and sets, slice into squares or diamond shapes.
16. Serve Khoya Burfi immediately. You can also store it in an air-tight box and refrigerate. This Barfi stays good for about 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- As mentioned earlier, you can prepare different flavored burfis with this basic recipe. Add cocoa powder, dry fruits, rose water, more of saffron, etc. and prepare the one you like.
- While cooking the mixture of the burfi, avoid cooking it too much as this can lead to the final product becoming chewy. Depending on the type, size, quality of the pan and intensity of the flame, this time to cook the mixture will vary.
- Remember to use fresh khoya or mawa. It should have a slight sweet taste but not sour or bitter. If it tastes sour or bitter, this means the khoya is rancid.
- While cooking, always cook on a low heat, use a good sturdy heavy pan and stir often. These things ensure that the barfi mixture is cooked evenly and does not get browned, caramelized or burnt.
- In this Barfi recipe as well, adding saffron and milk are optional. You can skip these. Instead you can 2 to 3 teaspoons of edible rose water.
- Feel free to add your choice of dry fruits or nuts while making the Khoye ki Barfi.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Barfi Recipe | Khoya Barfi
- 250 grams Khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids)
- 5 tablespoons sugar or add as required
- 3 to 4 green cardamoms – powdered in a mortar-pestle. (about ⅓ teaspoon of cardamom powder, husks removed)
- 12 to 15 pistachios – finely chopped
- 12 to 15 almonds or cashews – finely chopped
- 12 to 15 strands of saffron – optional
- 1 to 1.5 teaspoons milk – optional
- ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon ghee – for greasing the pan or tray
- First grate or finely crumble the unsweetened khoya or mawa.
- In a small bowl dissolve the saffron strands in 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of milk. This is an optional step.
- Grease a bit of ghee, on a butter paper or parchment lined on a tray or small baking pan.
Making barfi recipe
- Add the grated khoya in a thick bottomed pan.
- Begin to cook on a low heat for 2 to 3 minutes stirring often.
- Switch off the heat and add sugar.
- Stir to mix. Then turn on the stovetop heat. The whole mixture's consistency will become smooth and slightly thin, due to the sugar getting melted.
- Stir often and continue to cook on a low heat.
- When the mixture becomes slightly thick and starts leaving the sides of the pan, its time for the next step.
- Add chopped almonds, pistachios or your choice of nuts. Also add green cardamom powder.
- Stir to mix and turn off the heat.
- Keep in mind that the time taken to get this consistency right from the time, sugar is added is about 8 to 9 minutes on a low heat. Avoid cooking too much as then the barfi will have a chewy texture.
- Also make a note that this time will vary a couple of minutes here and there, depending on the size, type, quality of the pan and intensity of the heat.
- Pour the entire barfi mixture in the greased pan or butter paper.
- Spread evenly keeping 1 inch thickness at the edges.
- Sprinkle the saffron scented milk on the burfi.
- Once the burfi cools, slice into squares or diamond shape.
- Serve Mawa Barfi immediately. You can also store them in an airtight box. These Khoye ki Barfi stay good for about 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Ensure to use fresh and sweet tasting mawa or khoya. It should not have a bitter or sour taste. The aroma should be milky and not foul smelling.
- Add your preferred nuts or choose to omit adding them. You can skip adding saffron.
- Instead of saffron, you can also 2 to 3 teaspoon of edible rose water to the khoya burfi mixture.
- Remember to always cook the barfi mixture on a low heat, use a sturdy, heavy pan and stir frequently. These practices ensure that the khoya mixture is cooked evenly and does not get browned, caramelized or burnt.
- Recipe can be scaled to increase the quantities.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Barfi Recipe from the archives first published in October 2014 has been updated and republished on January 2023.