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Barfi is a general name for Indian sweets, made of milk (sometimes water), sugar and often some other ingredients. In Pakistan it is called burfi. Barfi is popular all over India and is often a part of Indian festivals, especially the Holi festival.

Basic plain barfi is made by cooking condensed milk with sugar until enough water is evaporated to obtain the desired consistency. During the cooking Maillard reactions and caramelisation occur, which contribute to the flavour of the final product.

Visually, barfi sometimes resembles cheese, and for this reason it is sometimes called "Indian cheese cake".

Image:Barfi on tray - Umair Mohsin.jpg
Tray of barfi (source)

Different spices and other ingredients can be added to the barfi, such as saffron (Kesri Pedha), coconut, carrot, mango or chocolate.

Nut barfi is made by grinding nuts and mixing the ground nuts with a sugar syrup and (often) cardamom. The mixture is then cooked until the desired consistency. During the cooking the oil from the nuts is released, which results in a thick and sticky consistency.

Different nuts can be used for making barfi:

  • Almonds : Badam barfi, which resembles marzipan, or Badam Pak which includes rose water
  • Pistacchio : Pista barfi
  • Cashew : Cashew barfi, Kaju barfi or Kaju Katli

Sources : is an initiative of Stichting Food-Info, The Netherlands

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