December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Coconut Barfi (Nariyal Burfi) – My Food Story

Did you know you can make coconut barfi at home with just 5-6 ingredients?  Soft to bite, not overly sweet, and with a full-on coconut flavour – this nariyal barfi is THE barfi to make this festive season. 

Coconut Barfi sliced and laid out on parchment paper

What if I told you that you could make halwai-style barfi at home with just 5-6 ingredients? It starts with the combination that forms the base of all the decadent desserts we love: milk, cream, and sugar. Add desiccated coconut and some cardamom, garnish with silver foil and chopped pista if you’re feeling fancy and that’s it – your authentic coconut barfi is ready. With Ganesh Charturthi just around the corner, and the festive season fast approaching as well, this recipe is one you’ve got to try out!

Sometimes, the struggle with these homemade recipes is that they end up not lasting as long as their store-made counterparts. These barfis however, last 7-10 days if stored in an airtight container and even longer if they are refrigerated.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Picture of all the ingredients for coconut barfi with text to identify them
  • Desiccated coconut – For the signature coconut flavour. I prefer using desiccated coconut but this recipe also works with fresh grated coconut. Roast the freshly grated coconut on a low flame for a few minutes before using. 
  • Milk – I recommend using whole/full cream/full fat milk for this recipe for that rich halwai-style taste.
  • Cream – Adds to the richness, keeps these barfi’s soft and moist.
  • Sugar – For sweetness. You can use condensed milk as an alternative to using milk and sugar together, but I find that this recipe is best for holding together that barfi shape and staying fresh for longer. 
  • Cardamom Powder – Just a pinch for flavour and fragrance.
  • Chopped Pista – To garnish, but I love the crunch they add to the soft barfis and another layer of flavour once again.
  • Silver Foil – This is purely for the aesthetics but makes these barfis look super authentic.

How to make Coconut Barfi

Here’s a quick step by step showing you how to make coconut barfi at home:

Step by step picture collage showing how to make coconut barfi

1. In a kadhai or thick bottomed pan, add milk, cream and sugar and heat on low. Keep stirring till the sugar dissolves completely.

2. Add the desiccated coconut and mix well. Keep stirring occasionally and cook this mixture for approx 20-22 minutes till it thickens and starts to come together into a thick, moist ball.

3. The mixture is ready when it starts to leave the sides of the pan. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.

4. Grease a 8X8 baking tin or tray with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, grease it well with ghee or oil. This helps ensure the barfi comes out without sticking. Transfer the barfi mixture to the prepared tin or baking sheet.

Step by step picture collage showing how to make coconut barfi

5. Use a spatula to even out the top and press it down well so that its tightly packed. Set aside to cool for an hour or two. You can also refrigerate it for an hour, but this sets just as well at room temperature.

6. Using the sides of the parchment, lift out the set barfi sheet.

7. If using the silver leaves as garnish, transfer them onto the barfi without touching them (watch the video to see how). Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

8. Cut the barfi into squares and serve or store!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is coconut barfi healthy? 

Coconut barfi is an Indian mithai so it’s more of a treat than something healthy. But since this is homemade, you know it’s super fresh and made using only the best ingredients.

What is coconut barfi made of? 

Grated coconut, milk, cream, sugar, and spice is all you need to make the most delicious coconut barfis. 

How do you store coconut barfi? 

I like to store my coconut barfi in an airtight container in the fridge – I find that this makes it stay fresh the longest. I take out the container half an hour before serving to bring the barfis to room temperature. 

Why is my coconut barfi not setting?

Barfi not setting is a sign that your mixture is undercooked, you can reheat the mix for a few minutes and set it again. You know the mixture is ready when it’s thick and comes together in a ball.

What is desiccated coconut?

Desiccated coconut is just grated/flaked coconut that has been dried to remove moisture. I always keep a pack of this at home and it comes in handy not just for making sweets but for curries and as a topping as well. I find that when you want to make a big batch of barfi, it’s easier to get 2 cups of desiccated coconut than to grate a large quantity of fresh coconut yourself. But this is really a matter of personal preference!

Close up of coconut barfi
Coconut barfi served on a grey plate

If you haven’t tried making Indian sweets at home, let me tell you: there’s just such a good feeling you get knowing your mithai is all homemade. Ever since I started making sweets at home, I’ve kept the tradition of making them each year – it just makes the festive season feel a lot more special. It’s also something that doesn’t go unrecognized! My family, friends and guests are always raving about these barfis. 

If you’re looking for Ganesh Chathurthi recipes to start planning out what you’ll be serving, you need to add this coconut barfi recipe to the list! It’s sooo yum and looks the part too, not to mention being so easy to prepare. I’ll be sharing more of my recipes for the festive season so stay tuned for more inspiration! 

Watch the Recipe Video

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Coconut barfi served on a grey plate

Coconut Barfi

Coconut Barfi is one of the easiest Indian desserts that only need 5 ingredients and 30 minutes. Who would’ve thought making mithai at home would be so easy!

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Course: Desserts

Cuisine: Indian

Diet: Gluten Free, Hindu, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Servings: 16 pieces

Calories: 135kcal

Instructions

  • Grease a 8X8 baking tin or tray with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, grease it well with ghee or oil. This helps ensure the barfi comes out without sticking.

  • In a kadhai or thick bottomed pan, add milk, cream and sugar and heat on low. Keep stirring till the sugar dissolves completely.

  • Add the desiccated coconut and mix well. Keep stirring occasionally and cook this mixture for approx 20-22 minutes till it thickens and starts to come together into a thick, moist ball.

  • You know the mixture is ready when it starts to leave the sides of the pan. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.

  • Transfer this mixture to the prepared tin or baking sheet. Use a spatula to even out the top and press it down well so that its tightly packed. Set aside to cool for an hour or two. You can also refrigerate it for an hour, but this sets just as well at room temperature.

  • If using the silver leaves as garnish, transfer them onto the barfi without touching them (watch the video to see how). Sprinkle with chopped pistachio and then cut the barfi into squares.

Video

Notes

  1. Sub for desiccated coconut: This recipe also works with freshly grated coconut. Roast the freshly grated coconut on a low flame for a few minutes before using. This helps get rid of any extra moisture but don’t let the coconut brown
  2. Storage: I like to store my coconut barfi in an airtight container in the fridge – I find that this makes it stay fresh the longest. I take out the container half an hour before serving to bring the barfis to room temperature. 
  3. Barfi not setting: Barfi not setting is a sign that your mixture is undercooked, you can reheat the mix for a few minutes and set it again. You know the mixture is ready when it’s thick and comes together in a ball.

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.4mg