Coconut barfi

Madhur Jaffrey enjoys Kalwant Sahota's recipe for these Indian sweets made with condensed milk and flavoured with cardamom and coconut
By Madhur Jaffrey
Coconut barfi
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 15 pieces
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 10 saffron strands
  • 6 green cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 100 g dessicated coconut, plus extra to coat
  • 7 tbsp condensed milk

Tips and Suggestions

As an extra treat, omit the coconut coating and dunk half the barfi in melted chocolate, allowing it to set before serving.


1. Soak the saffron threads in half a teaspoon of warm water and crush the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle. Blitz the coconut in a processor to a coarse powder.

2. Pour the condensed milk into a small, preferably non-stick pan about 18cm in diameter and set it over a medium heat. Warm it for 2 minutes, then stir in the saffron and its water.

3. Sprinkle in the cardamom and stir for 1 minute, then add the coconut, incorporating it thoroughly and quickly into a thick, sticky paste.

4. Stir continuously until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan in a ball.

5. Remove from the heat and cool until it is comfortable to touch. With wet hands, take small pieces of the mixture, each about the size of a large hazelnut, and roll into a ball.

6. Dredge each ball in coconut powder to coat it well. It can now be eaten or stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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