Assortment of barfis
Alternative namesBurfi
Region or stateIndian subcontinent
Main ingredientsKhoa (condensed milk), sugar

Barfi[a] or burfi is a milk-based sweet from the Indian subcontinent with a fudge-like consistency. Its name comes from the Persian and Urdu word (barf) for snow. Barfi is consumed throughout India and Pakistan and is especially popular in North India. It is often served at celebrations and religious festivals such as Diwali and Holi.[1][2][3]


Barfi originated in Persia and was introduced to India by the Mughal Empire in the 16th century.[2][4] Through indentured workers it was brought to Trinidad in the mid-19th century and became popular there.[5]


To prepare barfi, khoa (condensed milk) and granulated sugar are mixed and cooked together. When the mixture thickens to a fudge-like consistency, it is spread onto a greased plate. After cooling, it is cut into squares, diamonds, or circles. It can also be formed into balls, layered, or rolled into multicolored slices. When served at special occasions, it is often decorated with vark (edible silver foil). It can also be decorated with coconut, ground nuts, or powdered milk.[1][2][3]


Fruit, nuts, legumes, spices, and other flavorings may be added to the khoa-sugar mixture and yield different varieties of barfi. Commonly added fruits include guava and melon seeds. Typical nuts added include almonds, cashews, coconut, and pistachios. Mung beans are sometimes added and yield moong dal barfi. Common flavorings and spices include cardamom, kewra (fragrant screwpine), orange, mango, saffron, rosewater, and vanilla. Food colorings may also be added.[1][2][3]


See also


  1. ^ a b c Goldstein, Darra (2015). The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. p. 174. Archived from the original on 2023-04-02. Retrieved 2023-04-02.
  2. ^ a b c d Chu, Anita (2014). Field Guide to Candy: How to Identify and Make Virtually Every Candy Imaginable. Quirk Books. p. 299. Archived from the original on 2023-04-02. Retrieved 2023-04-02.
  3. ^ a b c Krondl, Michael (2011). Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert. Chicago Review Press. p. 37. Archived from the original on 2023-04-04. Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  4. ^ "Gulab jamun to jalebi, 5 popular Indian sweets that have foreign roots". Hindustan Times. February 19, 2023. Barfi is a fudge-like sweet made from condensed milk, sugar, and flavourings such as cardamom or pistachios. It is believed to have originated in Persia and was introduced to India by the Mughals.
  5. ^ The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago. Naparima Girls' High School Cookbook. San Fernando: Naparima Girls' High School. 2002. p. 93. ISBN 976-8173-65-3.


  1. ^ IAST: barfī [bəɾ.fiː]; Hindi: बर्फ़ी, Urdu: برفی