My Mother’s Coconut Barfi & Eid Eats 2015

Some foods make me think of being a small child, of little hands and not so little hands, sneaking pieces when no one is looking, only half sure that the consequences of this petty theft won’t be so bad.  This barfi is one of them, my mother usually made it on special occasions and colored it so that one layer was pink and the other was green. The coconut she used was sweeter, heftier, and my little self couldn’t get enough of it. Yes, my dental problems started early.

Coconut Barfi

My older daughter has a surprising love for all ‘desi’ desserts. Kheer, kulfi, shahi tukray, gulab jamun – she loves them all. And I love passing down a love for culinary heritage. When I said I would make something for Eid that her Nano (grandmother) made when I was young it made her beautiful little eyes sparkle with excitement. Sometimes I wish I could bottle that stuff up and keep it forever. But to me that is what Eid is about, sheer happiness. While I am far from the land of glittering ‘chaand raats’ (the night before Eid) we are building our own Eid traditions and homemade Pakistani desserts will always be part of them.

My Mother’s Coconut Barfi

This barfi is not the usual white kind; the ingredients combined with the cooking down of the dairy make it taste like a caramelly coconut fudge. I used unsweetened coconut, but my mother put sweetened coconut. Use whatever you prefer, but just remember to stir stir stir otherwise this will burn burn burn!

Another new tradition that I am very excited about is Eid Eats, we had our first annual eid potluck last year and thanks to it I discovered many delicious recipes and some wonderful bloggers who I now think of as friends. This is year two and I am even more excited to see what my fellow hosts – Henna at My Ninja Naan and Asiya at Chocolate & Chillies – and other remarkable food bloggers have to share. Please click on the Eid Eats graphic below to see the full gallery of yumminess and add yours to the mix; remember we would all love to hear from you! Hope this inspires you to have a deliciously happy Eid!

Eid Mubarak to you and your loved ones!!!

Psst for those of you wondering how to join in, hop on over here.

Coconut Barfi
(Makes enough for a 13*9 inch pan, halve if needed)

2 cups Ghee

300g shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)

3 cups full fat milk powder (Nido)

2 cups sugar

1 litre whole milk

1 tin condensed milk (300ml)

1.5 tsp crushed cardamom

1/2-3/4 cup each chopped pistachios and blanched chopped almonds – can scatter over and/or mix in.

Warm the ghee in a large pot till it’s sizzling then add in the shredded coconut, toast till it’s deliciously golden and then add the remaining ingredients and whisk well. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer stirring frequently to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn. When the mixture becomes dense and fudge like – this takes 45 minutes to an hour – then pull it off the stove and spread it in your dish of choice or a lightly greased 13*9 inch pan.

Cover tightly and put it in the fridge to cool. When it is cold cut into your desired shapes. I found I could use square cookie cutters to good effect. Sprinkle over some crushed pistachios and enjoy.

Coconut Barfi

Freezes well for up to 3 months.

Coconut Barfi

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37 Comments

  1. what a fabulous recipe! i think my husband will love it. he has an inveterate sweet tooth! i will definitely have to make this sometime soon. eid mubarik to you, the girls and your other half! happy feasting! xx

    1. I can see your link, in terms of linking back I am a little confused – do you mean having the link party show on your blog? it’s set up right now so it’s only showing on the host blogs. To link back to us just link to the host posts (as odd as that sounds)! thanks for joining in – you know I don’t have a go to recipe for channa chaat – yet.

      1. got it! the question was about how to link back to your blog since you invited me. i had no difficulty doing the link back at all. what a lovely idea! thanks for inviting me.

  2. I am drooling at those little brown squares of coconut barfi… It is amazing when kids love desi mithai over chocolates and cakes, however I have an ulta bunch… but give them pedas and they would eat it in bunches! 🙂

  3. Love coconut-fkavoured anything! I always pin recipes that are passed down from mother or grandmothers, because they are almost always no-fail recipes. Can’t wait to impress the family with this 😉

  4. Oh Sarah I never thought it was so delicious ,thanks. I was probably too busy getting the umpteen things made . My memories of eid are of when we had the open house on eid in Karachi and u were making those delicious cocktail sized stuff that people were devouring. Miss those times . Thank God for those happy days . Love u all . A big cuddly hug to Zara and Mishal .

  5. It’s amazing that your daughter loves desi mithai! You totally need to teach me your tricks because Zunoon will not touch mithai in any form 🙁
    This looks fab, and I love the little wrappers! And Eid Mubarak to you my mithai-making-queen-friend 🙂

    1. Henna I don’t get it myself. in fact the next day I told her she could pick a treat – eclairs or cupcakes and she said “did the guests eat all our mithai?”

  6. Eid Mubarak Sarah! The mitthaai looks fabulous 🙂 hubby and I spent our first Eid away from family this year so yeahh.. food is what kept us feeling close to home.. I made his family’s tradition nihaari and my moms traditional Sheer Khorma – which turned out so good we both kinda wondered how that happened 😉
    You’re lucky your kids like the desi stuff, I’m sure in 20 years they’ll be making it for their kids and telling them how nano used to make it too!

    1. thank you so much for your message Eraj 🙂 this eid was really hectic so I have been a little slow to respond. My older one surprises me a little, but I am glad because otherwise I would never bother making this stuff! btw I think you are totally awesome for making nihari – thinking about it scares me!

  7. You are lucky to have a kid who loves desi sweets. Treat her till she doesn’t get lured by the brownies and cakes and soufflés. Those coconut burfis look divine

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