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.
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.
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.
(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
½-3/4 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.
Freezes well for up to 3 months.