Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Burfi (Indian Milk Fudge)


Divali (Diwali) is one of the most eagerly anticipated holidays of my country. Yesterday my son came home from his Catholic School with his painted clay deya (a small, clay, lamp) eager to light it right away. Great was his disappointment when I explained that he needed to wait until the the next day.

Divali is a Hindu festival but in Trinidad and Tobago it is embraced and enjoyed by everyone. Indeed there is universal appeal in Divali's central theme which is light over darkness, or good conquering evil.


Luckily for me, my father-in-law is Hindu so Divali also means that I get a day off from the kitchen. On this day, I defer to my mother-in-law's expertise in the preparation of a fabulous, vegetarian, buffet of traditional dishes. Yet another reason for me to love this holiday. By the way, my mother-in-law is Catholic and anyone other that a Trinidadian would probably find it strange to be in a home where a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus hangs next to a picture of Lakshmi Mata (the four armed Hindu Goddess of material and spiritual wealth). Just wait until we get to Christmas and the Muslim cousins start putting up their Christmas tree:-) All perfectly normal for a Trinidadian.


Aside from the food, the other highlight of Divali is the lighting of deyas. After sundown people often take walks or drive to the various villages to see the fantastic lighted bamboo displays and to partake of the food and sweets prepared by their Hindu family and friends. Barfi is a milk fudge that is a popular Diwali sweet. It is fairly easy to prepare.

Makes 30


  • 4 cups full cream milk powder 
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 2 pieces fresh ginger (each about 1/2" x 1/2")
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom 
  • coloured sprinkles
  • butter for greasing dish.

Mix the powdered milk and cream until it forms fine crumbs.
Sift the mixture through a seive.
Prepare a pyrex dish by greasing it and lightly cover bottom of dish with sprinkles.
Boil sugar, water rose water and ginger approx 10 minutes just before the sugar spins a thread. Remove the ginger.
Stir syrup into the milk mixture and combine well.
Press mixtue firmly into greased dish. Decorate the top with more sprinkles and cut into squares when cool.


  1. lovely presentation :-) I so missed living in my village in Trinidad...and receiving endless parcels of Divali treats!

  2. This is one of my favourite Indian desserts-and your version is just beautiful! :D I would love to see a Diwali festival some time.

  3. This is one of my favourite Indian desserts and yours looks beautiful! I'd love to see a Diwali festival one day :)

  4. That is such a beautiful post and I adore the mixed culture. This burfis are perfect .. just perfect :)

  5. I didn't know muslims embraced Christmas Trees!

  6. this is not a treat i've had the fortune to enjoy--it sounds so dreamy! thanks for sharing these things about your traditions. :)

  7. Hey..I didnt knw abt your indian connection! This looks great..Burfi is one of my fav sweets..u have done them perfectly!

  8. I've enjoyed Indian sweets past week for Diwali at my neighbor's house. It was so delicious. She didn't prepare barfi (I think, or at least for our gathering). Rose water is something I have been wanting to taste... Beautiful photography!

  9. I'm craving some sweets now after your delicious photo!

    Guyana is as odd Trinidad when it comes to religious groups mixing and mingling :-)

  10. What a fun treat- I love those little dots of bright color! Seems like they'd make a great holiday gift.

  11. Your burfi looks just perfect. You are one of the luckiest few to know the warmth of every religion and culture! Lovely tempting pictures!

  12. That looks great and the presentation makes it look even more tempting.

    Spoon and Chopsticks

  13. What a fantastic recipe. I love your photos too -they make the barfi look really inviting

  14. bravo pour ces couleurs !!pierre

  15. Wow, your barfi looks yummy my niece would be delighted in all the colors - of course I am too. =)

  16. I think its a great thing to be exposed to different cultures and traditions = makes for a richer life experience, especially if delicious looking fudges like this are on offer! And Thanks for sharing the raison d'etre of Diwali. Light truly will always triumph.

  17. I love barfi but have never made it before, I do have to be careful how much i eat though as it does give a good sugar rush ;o)

  18. Lovely pics and tempting recipe.. I want to have them just now .. sob sob !!

    Happy to follow u :)

    UK Rasoi

  19. I would soooo love to go to India one day during Divali. Your fudge is sooo cool. You always educate me on something new and coolio! WIshing you a wonderful New Year ahead and look forward to more of your writings and recipes! :)

  20. Wooowww! That looks deliciously beautiful!

  21. The name really throws me off this... not a huge sweets fan, but it sure does look tempting.