Active time to make: 15 minutes
This recipe is for a plain burfi. It is often likened to a milk fudge but it has a slight crumb texture that is characteristic of the sweet. It has a hint of cardamom and is topped with chopped nuts. There is no need to make a sugar syrup which can make Indian sweets hard to make.
Here’s a quick video showing the process:
I use dry milk powder for this easy burfi recipe. It is perfect to make for many special occasions or during the festive season as a Diwali sweet or during festival season.
Why you will love this Milk Barfi recipe
- Easy: this Indian mithai requires about 15 minutes active time
- Simple ingredients: uses 5 base pantry ingredients, no mawa or khoya needed
- Delicious: burfi is popular for a reason!
- Vegetarian and gluten-free
With some patience, it is easy to get this white barfi color and slightly crumbly yet melt-in-your-mouth texture, just like at the mithai shop!
Key Ingredient Notes
This milk powder barfi recipe only requires a few ingredients.
Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. You only need basic ingredients.
➜ Whole milk powder – this recipe requires whole milk powder (full-fat milk powder). I have not ever tried it with skim milk powder, but due to the lack of fat will likely not work in the same quantity.
➜ Cardamom powder – Cardamom powder adds a yummy hint of flavor. You can add a little more if you want a strong cardamom flavor to come through, but just don’t go overboard!
➜ Sugar – I have used white sugar.
➜ Ghee – Use pure ghee, homemade ghee always tastes great!
➜ Lemon juice – Fresh squeezed lemon juice serves two purposes. 1. It adds a bit of crumble to the texture like mithai shop burfi. 2. It give a subtle brighter taste.
➜ Optional – Chopped mix nuts or for garnish and contrasting texture. I love to use pistachios for color. Almonds are great, too!
Other options for garnishing the burfi include edible silver leaf or gold leaf, rose petals, saffron strands, or your choice of dry fruit.
Prep: Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
You can use a 9 inch square pan, the pieces will just be thinner.
➜ Put a non-stick pan on medium on the stove. Add ghee and melt. Add in whole milk. Mix with ghee.
➜ Add lemon juice, and mix. Let simmer for 3 minutes.
➜Add sugar while stirring using a whisk to help dissolve quicker.
➜Turn heat down to low-medium. Add milk powder in parts. Mixing as you go along. Doing it in parts will help reduce the amount of clumps and so will using a whisk.
➜Now you will let the mixture cook while stirring every 30 seconds or so. You will notice it feels heavy to mix to become a bit fluffier. The mixture will begin to pull away easily from the sides of the pan and come together. Cook for 7-8 minutes. Do not overcook or it will become chewy.
➜Turn off the gas. Remove the pot from the stove. Add cardamom powder and mix. Work quick.
➜Spread the barfi mixture into the parchment-lined 8-inch square pan.
➜ Use the bottom of a steel bowl or cup and put a little bit of ghee on it. Use the bottom of the bowl or cup to smooth over the surface. Lightly tapping if needed.
➜ Add chopped nuts and lightly press into the mixture. Optionally also top with gold foil or silver varq or rose petals.
➜ Let it cool completely. Dependent on the temperature in your kitchen at least 4-6 hours.
➜ Cut into pieces and serve. I like using a long knife. Cut off a thin slice of the edges to get a nice finish.
Tips for Making Barfi
➜Watch the temperature – start out at medium and turn down to low-medium. I keep it just two notches above low when adding the milk powder. The low temperature helps in achieving a lighter colored barfi and prevents overcooking.
➜Use a whisk to help incorporate well
➜Give it time to dry! This is key to getting the right texture
➜Use a sharp, long knife to cut shapes. Cut when cool. Cut off a thin slice on the edges for a finished look.
Giving barfi mixture time to dry is important. If you want to serve it quickly you can put it in the fridge so it cools quickly. But leaving it out to dry and cover gives it a great texture.
Using this milk barfi base recipe you can add in so many flavors it is honestly endless.
A few other ideas include ground-roasted almonds or pistachios, chocolate, or even saffron. Get creative!
There are many different types of burfi you can explore:
Cashew burfi or Kaju barfi
Store in an airtight container. Out on the counter for about 2-3 days (depending on temperature). In the fridge, it will be good for about two weeks. I highly recommend refrigerating it and then letting it come to room temperature before serving.
If your burfi is chewy you have overcooked the mixture resulting in a harder texture. Be sure to watch the heat level and time while making this sweet.
You have a few options. To make milk barfi without milk powder you can use condensed milk or the traditional method of using khoya or using full-fat milk. If you want a condensed milk barfi, my Cookies and Cream Burfi uses this method.
You can make condensed milk barfi in a microwave. The result is a more solid/thicker consistency vs the more traditional slight crumble texture.
While peda and barfi are similarly made from condensed milk solids, they have some differences. Peda are round-shaped, more firm in texture, and made of khoya. Barfi is also made of condensed milk solids, khoya or besan, or a variety of other flavors and fillings.
15 Minute Milk Barfi or Milk Powder Burfi
- Mixing bowl
- Heavy bottom pan / non stick
- ½ cup ghee 90g
- 1⅓ cup whole milk 300ml
- 4½ cup whole milk powder 465g
- 1½ cup sugar 300g
- 1 tsp cardamom 3g
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds) optional, topping
- Prep: Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
- Put a non-stick pan on medium on the stove. Add ghee and melt. Add in whole milk. Mix with ghee.
- Add lemon juice, mix. Let simmer 3 minutes.
- Add sugar while stirring using a whisk to help dissolve quicker.
- Turn heat down to low-medium. Add in milk powder in parts. Mixing as you go along. Doing it in parts will help reduce the amount of clumps.
- Now you will let the mixture cook while stirring every 30 seconds or so. You will notice it feel heavy to mix to becoming a bit fluffier. The mixture will begin to pull away easily from the sides of the pan and come together. Cook for 7-8 minutes. Do not overcook or it will become chewy.
- Turn off gas. Remove pot from stove. Add cardamom powder and mix. Work quick.
- Spread the barfi mixture into the parchment lined 8 inch square pan. Use the bottom of a steel bowl or cup and put a little bit of ghee on it. Use the bottom of the bowl or cup to smooth over the surface. Lightly tapping if needed.
- Add chopped nuts and lightly press into mixture. Optionally also top with gold foil or silver varq or rose petals.
- Let it cool completely. Dependent on the temperature in your kitchen atleast 4-6 hourse. Cut into pieces and serve. I like using a long knife. Cut off a thin slice of the edges to get a nice finish.