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Barfi-Diwali sweet.jpg
Plain barfi
Alternative namesBurfi, burfee, borfee, borfi
Place of originIndian subcontinent
Region or stateIndian subcontinent, Mauritius, Fiji, southern and eastern Africa, the Caribbean, the Malay Peninsula
Serving temperatureCold
Main ingredientsCondensed milk, sugar
VariationsKesri Pedha, Kaju Katli, Pista Barfi

Barfi, borfi or burfi is a dense milk based sweet from the Indian subcontinent, a type of mithai, originating from the Indian subcontinent. The name is a derivative of the Persian word barf, which means snow. A few of the famous varieties of barfi include besan barfi (made with gram flour), kaaju barfi (made with cashews), pista barfi (made with ground pistachios), and sing barfi (made with peanuts).[1] The main ingredients of plain barfis include condensed milk and sugar. The ingredients are cooked in a vessel until the mixture solidifies.

The flavour of a barfi is often enhanced with fruits (such as mango or coconut) or nuts (such as cashew, pistachio, or peanut) and spices (such as cardamom or rose water). Barfis are usually coated with a thin layer of edible metallic leaf known as vark. They are typically cut into square, diamond, or round shapes. The sweet is easily adapted for casual occasions to the most formal event. Different types of Barfi vary in their colour and texture.

The most popular spice used to flavour this dessert is cardamom. However, dependent on where it is prepared, many different flavourings are added to this simple but popular dessert. Adding edible silver leaf (vark) to the edges of barfi is popular when the sweet confection is to be served at an important event such as a wedding or other such occasion. For added flavour and to provide a colourful contrast, often it is rolled in crushed nuts before it is served.

The confection is served in India, all year round, but especially consumed during the holiday seasons, wedding ceremonies, and the religious festivals.[2] Barfi is often served at Diwali, the celebration of the Hindu festival of lights. The traditional Hindu cuisine is an important part of these annual festivities, along with firework displays and specially crafted decorative lamps.

A popular variation called "Chocolate Barfi", is colloquially known as the "Indian-style Brownies" due to their resemblance with the common Chocolate Fudge Brownies.


Assortment of almond barfis
  • Kesri pedha: saffron, flattened yellow round
  • Kaju barfi or kaju katli: cashew, light tan diamond
  • Pista barfi: pistachio, forest green diamond
  • Cham cham: pink and white, shaped like sushi rice balls
  • Doodh peda: kewra oil and pistachio, flattened dark tan round
  • Chocolate barfi (Indian-Style Brownies)
  • Badam pak: rose water and almond, brown diamond
  • Walnut barfi
  • Barfi fon or barfifon: fig, pink and yellow colored
  • Gajar barfi: carrot, square and orange colored
  • Coconut barfi: coconut, sugar, and milk, square and yellow colored
  • Sing barfi: peanuts, square and brown colored
  • Besan barfi: gram flour light yellow diamond
  • Dodha burfi: peanut

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Barfi Recipes: Barfi Food Recipes". Smartcooky. This dish derives it's [sic] name from the word 'barf' which means snow since they are similar in appearance. This is the reason its [sic] served cold.
  2. ^ Chu, Anita. Field Guide to Candy: How to Identify and Make Virtually Every Candy Imaginable. Philadelphia: Quirk, 2009. Print.