Barfi Recipe | Khoya Barfi | Mawa Barfi

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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.

barfi squares stacked on top of one another and served on a white plate. with text layover.

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.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Khoya Burfi

Preparation

1. First, grate or finely crumble 250 grams unsweetened khoya.

grated khoya on a plate for barfi recipe.

2. In a small bowl, soak 12 to 15 saffron strands in 1 to 1.5 teaspoons milk. This is an optional step.

dissolving saffron strands in milk for barfi recipe.

3. Line a tray or thali with a butter paper or parchment paper and grease it with some ghee.

tray lined with butter paper and greased with ghee for barfi recipe.

Make Khoya Burfi

4. Add the grated khoya in a thick bottomed pan or kadai.

grated khoya added in a pan for khoya burfi.

5. Begin to cook on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir often.

cooking khoya for khoya burfi.

6. Switch off the heat. Add 5 tablespoons sugar or as required.

sugar added to cooked khoya for khoya burfi.

7. Stir and mix well and then turn on the stovetop heat. The sugar will start melting.

stirring the sugar in the khoya for khoya burfi.

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.

cooking the sweetened khoya as it turns slightly thin.

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.

cooking sweetened khoya mixture as it starts becoming thick and leaving the sides of the pan.

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.

chopped nuts and cardamom powder added to the sweetened khoya mixture.

11. Stir to mix. Switch off the heat.

nuts mixed well into the sweetened khoya mixture.

12. Pour the burfi mixture in the prepared tray.

cooked burfi mixture transferred in the prepared tray.

Set Khoya Burfi

13. Spread the burfi mixture evenly, keeping 1 inch thickness at the edges.

cooked khoya mixture spread evenly in the prepared tray.

14. Add the saffron milk on the burfi mixture. This is also an optional step.

saffron milk added on the burfi mixture in the tray.

15. Once the Khoya Burfi cools and sets, slice into squares or diamond shapes.

set burfi mixture cut into squares.

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.

top shot of barfi squares stacked on top of one another and served on a white plate.

Expert Tips

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Feel free to add your choice of dry fruits or nuts while making the Khoye ki Barfi.

More Burfi Recipes To Try!

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barfi recipe, khoya barfi recipe, mawa burfi recipe

Barfi Recipe | Khoya Barfi

This easy, delicious Indian sweet is a quick Barfi Recipe. This Mawa Barfi is made with khoya/mawa (evaporated milk solids), sugar, nuts and some flavorings. It comes together in 20 minutes, right from the preparation to the cooking.
4.96 from 21 votes
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine North Indian
Course Desserts
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 14 Barfi Slices
Units

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • 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.

Setting Burfi

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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)

Nutrition Facts
Barfi Recipe | Khoya Barfi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 100 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 50mg2%
Potassium 36mg1%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 89IU2%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.01mg1%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.02mg1%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.1mg1%
Vitamin B6 0.02mg1%
Vitamin B12 0.002µg0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin D 0.004µg0%
Vitamin E 0.2mg1%
Vitamin K 0.1µg0%
Calcium 129mg13%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 2µg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
Magnesium 7mg2%
Phosphorus 11mg1%
Zinc 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Barfi Recipe from the archives first published in October 2014 has been updated and republished on January 2023.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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14 Comments

  1. Its really superb from next time onwards i shall preparing sweets at home its so simple .Thanks for the wonderful recipe.5 stars

  2. Excellent work…..great methods of teaching us to be in par with our grandmothers
    keep teaching

    1. thanks aarti. one think which only mothers and grandmother can add in food is love.

  3. hello i try most of your receipes…thanks for uploading really nice and easy receipes. in this burfi what to do if i dont have khoya…is ther any other alternative for that.5 stars

    1. thanks. use condensed milk. if you use sweetened condensed milk, then add some milk and mix with it. later cook on a low flame till the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan. don’t add sugar.