This barfi recipe made with mawa (khoya) is soft, creamy, rich, melt-in-the-mouth, and uber delicious! Here’s a step-by-step video recipe that shows you how to make halwai-style mawa barfi at home.
I hope you guys have checked out my previous post on homemade mawa made entirely from scratch. If not, then please do so now, because we are going to be using that same mawa to make this soft and delicious barfi recipe.
I’m just kidding guys! You can most certainly use store-bought mawa as well. But there is no denying that nothing beats homemade food 🙂
So as promised, the next few posts are going to be dedicated to sharing some yummy festive treats. Now that I’ve shown you how to make mawa from scratch, let me show you how you can put it to use as well. This barfi recipe is an excellent way to use up that homemade khoya.
After all, barfi and peda are the most popular sweets distributed to friends and family during most Indian festivities such as Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Rasksha Bandhan, etc.
Table of Contents
What is barfi?
Barfi or barfee is an Indian milk-based sweet, prepared by cooking evaporated milk solids i.e mawa or khoya with sugar. It is dense, rich, creamy, and simply melts in the mouth.
It is one of the most popular Indian sweets available at every mithai shop (Indian confectionary store). They are usually rectangular or square-shaped and sometimes even circular or diamond-shaped.
There are so many different types of barfi such as kaju (cashew nut) barfi, besan (chickpea flour) burfi, coconut, gajar (carrot), ghiya (bottle gourd), badam (almond), maida (refined flour), sing (peanut), til (sesame), 7 cup, dodha, sev, mango burfi’s, etc to name just a few.
Today, I’m going to show you how to make the classic plain white burfi. You can use this recipe as a base to make any flavored burfi of your choice.
Why you must try this recipe?
✓ This barfi recipe with khoya is an easy, two-ingredient recipe
✓ Delicious and quite addictive
✓ Not overly sweet
✓ Perfect to be gifted during festivities
✓ Since it’s homemade, it is free of any additives
✓ Can be customized and adapted to make your own flavored burfi
✓ A great, make-ahead dessert that’s ideal for potlucks, parties, and get-together
To make this mawa ki barfi, you will essentially need just two ingredients;
Mawa or Khoya
The most important ingredient needed to make this mithai. I do recommend using homemade if you can. If you can’t don’t stress too much about it, feel free to use the store-bought one.
If using frozen mawa, thaw it in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temperature before using in the recipe.
You will need regular granulated sugar. Usually, sugar is added in a 2:1 ratio of mawa to sugar. This works perfectly fine for us.
If you prefer a less sweet burfi, feel free to decrease the quantity of sugar. I don’t suggest increasing the sugar, because it might turn a little too sweet.
I’ve used some silver varak (edible silver leaf), slivered pistachios, and edible flowers only for photography.
We actually prefer plain khoya barfi, and so, I’ve skipped flavoring it with anything. If you’d like yours to have some flavor, do check out the variations listed below in the post.
How to make mawa barfi recipe at home – Step by step process
Step 1: Prepare the tin
Grease a pan or tray with ghee, line with parchment paper overhang (extra paper hanging over the sides). I used a 7 x 5 x 0.5 inch (L x B x H) pan. (Photos 1 and 2)
Step 2: Roast mawa over low heat
Add 250 grams of grated or crumbled mawa into a heavy-bottomed kadai or pan. Roast it on low heat, for about 1 to 2 minutes, or just until it begins to warm and melt. (Photos 3 and 4)
Step 3: Add sugar and cook until mixture leaves the sides of the pan
Add 125 grams sugar, mix well, stirring continuously. (Photo 5)
Sugar will melt and release moisture due to which the mixture will become runny. (Photos 6 to 8)
Continue cooking on low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken and leave the sides of the pan. When you see the large bubbles bursting, cook for another minute.
Switch off the heat. It took me about 10 minutes to reach this stage (after adding the sugar). (Photo 9)
You can add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder at this point.
Continue mixing vigorously until the mixture cools down slightly, for about 3 to 4 minutes. (Photo 10)
Step 4: Set the burfi
Immediately transfer the mixture to the prepared pann, flatten it using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Allow it to set for about 6 to 8 hours or overnight at room temperature. This will depend on the size and thickness of your pan.
Step 5: Garnish and cut into pieces (Optional)
Lift the parchment paper out of the pan. Garnish with silver varak. (Photos 14 and 15)
Cut into desired sized pieces. Enjoy khoye ki barfi! (Photo 16)
Khoya barfi is a milk-based sweet, and hence it will last at room temperature for 1-2 days. You can store it in an airtight container for a maximum of 1-2 days at room temperature.
For longer shelf life, refrigerate the burfi pieces in an airtight container lined with parchment paper, for up to 1 week. Cold burfi turns hard as the fats solidify and that doesn’t really taste as nice. The texture turns dense, so bring it to room temperature before serving.
You can also stack them between parchment paper in a freezer-safe container for up to two to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bring it to room temperature before serving. Expect some change in texture due to the freezing.
Tips to make the best burfi recipe
Although this barfi recipe is easy, if you miss some crucial steps, it can totally ruin that soft and melt-in-the-mouth texture. It took me two trials to get this right. It is crucial to be sure when you have to take the mixture off the heat as it can make or break the recipe.
So I’d like to share some pointers that should prevent you from doing the same errors.
The right time to switch off the heat (the most tip!): Once you see the large bubbles bursting, it means that the sugar is well cooked and most of the moisture has evaporated. The mixture will also thicken considerably and begin to leave the sides of the pan.
Refer to the video for a better understanding. Once you reach this point, cook for just a minute more. Switch off the heat. Do not switch off the heat before this stage, or your barfi will not set well.
Continue mixing after switching off the heat (2nd most important tip) : This is an important key point to mimic that halwai-style burfi. You need to agitate the mixture vigorously, after turning off the heat, until it cools down slightly. This process gives the signature granular texture that’s reminiscent of barfi sweet. The mixture should not be hot when you pour it into the tray to set.
Scaling the recipe: You can make as much as quantity as you want. But know that, the greater quantities you use, the longer it will take.
Line your pan with parchment paper overhang: I always follow this tip for easy removal of the final product, be it a baked good, fudge or burfi in this instance. It also helps to avoid any accidental scratches on the pan.
Use room temperature khoya: Using cold khoya directly in any recipe will lend a bitter taste to the final product. Always prep in advance to make sure you let the khoya come to room temperature for best results.
Always cook the burfi on low heat: Doing so will take care of two things. One, you will not burn the khoya, and second, you will retain that beautiful white color of the burfi. This comes together within 10 minutes of adding the sugar. Do not be tempted to turn the heat too high during the entire recipe.
If using store-bought mawa: The commercially available mawa tends to be quite dry, unless you can bank on a really good dairy store that sells unadulterated mawa. Sometimes, you will find that the mawa doesn’t melt as much as the homemade one. You can add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk to add some moisture so that the mawa melts.
If using frozen mawa: Thaw the mawa before using. Usually, this mawa tends to be quite dry as well, and will not melt easily. Add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk and roast the mawa till it begins to melt. Then add the sugar and proceed with the recipe.
Do not overcook: Do not wait to reach a doughy stage, that will overcook the mixture, and the resultant burfi will definitely turn hard and chewy. Again, please refer to the video to get an idea of the final consistency.
To check the right consistency: Ideally, if you follow the first two tips to the T, you will not need this tip. But if you are not sure, simply transfer a small portion of the mixture (when you see the bubbles bursting) to a plate greased with oil or ghee, try to form a ball, if you can, then the mixture is ready to be poured into the tray. If not, cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes more.
Grease the spatula: Grease the back of the spatula with some ghee or refined oil. This will prevent the burfi mixture from sticking to the spatula and you will be able to smooth out the surface evenly.
Allow time for it to set: I prefer making this barfi at night and letting it set overnight. It’s perfectly set the next morning.
Variations of this recipe
Cardamom: You can add 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder to flavor this burfi. Add it in the last step, when you switch off the heat.
Rose scented burfi: You can add about 1/4 teaspoon of rose essence along with the cardamom. You can add a little pink food color to make pink-colored barfi’s.
Chocolate: Add about 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder along with the sugar for a delicious chocolate-flavored burfi.
Layered burfi: Make one layer of the recipe as such. Make another layer using the same quantities but add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder for a chocolate layer. Layer the chocolate layer over the plain layer and allow it to set for a few hours before cutting it into pieces.
Saffron (Kesar flavored): You can add about 2 tablespoons of saffron-infused milk along with the sugar. To make the saffron milk extract, crush a few saffron strands in a mortar and pestle. Add it to 2 tablespoons of hot milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
My barfi did not set, what should I do?
This will happen when you take the mixture off the heat earlier than you should. Put the entire mixture back in the pan, and cook on low heat for another 2-3 minutes. Then try setting it again.
Why did my barfi turn hard?
Overcooking the mixture is the only culprit. Do not cook to the dough stage. The mixture needs to be thick and flowy when you pour it into the tray to set.
Can I use powdered sugar instead of regular sugar in this barfi recipe?
Yes, you can swap the regular sugar with powdered or confectioner’s sugar. Use an equal amount of powdered sugar by weight.
Can I use condensed milk instead of sugar?
I’ve not tried making barfi with khoa and condensed milk, so I’m unsure of how it would turn out. I think it should work out fine. If you do happen to try, please let us know how it works out.
You may enjoy these burfi recipes
★ Did you enjoy this easy khoya barfi recipe? If you happen to try it out, I would love to hear from you! I’d appreciate it if you could rate and leave a review below in the comments. Your reviews help others know the recipe better too. Thanks so much 🙂
Barfi Recipe | Mawa Barfi | Khoya Barfi
- 250 grams mawa, approx 2.25 cups lightly packed
- 125 grams granulated sugar, refer notes
- 1 teaspoon ghee or oil, to grease the pan and spatula
- 2 sheets of silver vark, optional
- Grease a pan or tray with ghee, line with parchment paper overhang (extra paper hanging over the sides). I used a 7 x 5 x 0.5 inch (L x B x H) pan.
- Add grated or crumbled mawa into a heavy-bottomed kadai or pan. Roast it on low heat, for about 1 to 2 minutes, or just until it begins to warm and melt.
- Add sugar, mix well, stirring continuously.
- Sugar will melt and release moisture due to which the mixture will become runny.
- Continue cooking on low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken and leave the sides of the pan. When you see the large bubbles bursting, cook for another minute.
- Switch off the heat. Continue mixing vigorously until the mixture cools down slightly, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Immediately transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, flatten it using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Allow it to set for about 6 to 8 hours or overnight at room temperature. This will depend on the size and thickness of your pan.
- Lift the parchment paper out of the pan. Garnish with silver varak.
- Cut into desired sized pieces. Enjoy khoye ki barfi!