Milk barfi is an Indian sweet treat made with milk powder, sugar and spices and topped with rainbow sprinkles. It’ll likely remind you of a fun milky fudge.
In Trinidad, barfi is usually made for certain religious celebrations like Divali, Eid, and prayer ceremonies but can be enjoyed any time, anywhere.
The taste is such a favorite in T&T that you’ll find barfi flavors in ice cream and even cheesecake. I’m not kidding! And if you enjoy milky treats, then you’ll definitely appreciate that barfi flavor.
In India, there are many types of barfi (or burfi). Some are made with cashew, pistachios, coconut, berries and other tasty ingredients. For a fancy touch, barfis are sometimes topped with silver or gold edible foil.
Also, barfi is often called mithai – that’s the Hindi word for sweets so you may even see kurma, gulab jamoon and other delicacies being called mithai.
What is in Barfi?
This recipe is from my mother-in-law. She uses:
- full cream milk powder
- cardamom powder
- rainbow sprinkles
You can top barfi with slivered almonds, nuts, and pistachios but sprinkles are most often used.
How to Make Trinidad Barfi
To make my mother-in-law’s recipe, start by incorporating the cream and milk powder together. It’ll form clumps but keep working in the cream until the mixture becomes powdery again.
Sift after to remove clumps.
Once that’s done, it’s time to make paag or spiced sugar syrup.
Place a pot on low heat. Add water, sugar, cardamom powder and ginger. You can use other spices here too like cinnamon powder.
Simmer the simple syrup, stirring often. Eventually it’ll become frothy and will develop sugar threads. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.
When you see crystals redeveloping on the sides of the pot, you know your paag or sugar syrup is ready for your milk powder-cream mixture.
Be careful when pouring the syrup into the milk – sugar gives a nasty burn! Incorporate the syrup and milk until it becomes clumpy and sticky.
At this point, butter a baking tray and place the mix on the tray, pressing down to fill in any air pockets.
The more you compress the mixture, the more your barfi will look like a piece of fudge and the less likely it’ll fall apart.
When you’ve gotten all the air pockets out, top the mixture with sprinkles. Press them into the barfi so they stay on there and won’t fall off.
After a couple minutes, score the mixture with a sharp knife to create tiny squares (exactly like fudge). Scoring while hot will make it easier to cut later on.
After an hour or so when the barfi has cooled and hardened, cut into smaller pieces.
That’s all you need to make this delightful, East Indian delicacy.
Serve it cold alongside Trini gulab jamoon (fat kurma), kurma, and ladoo.
My Mother-in-Law’s Barfi Recipe
Trinidad Milk Barfi Recipe
- 650 mL full cream milk powder
- 150 g cream
- 900 g sugar
- water to dissolve
- 1 tbsp ginger (freshly grated)
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- rainbow sprinkles
- Crumble milk powder and cream together.
- Mix until smooth.
- Set aside.
- Place a pot on low heat.
- Add sugar, ginger, cardamom powder and enough water to dissolve the sugar.
- Stir often and allow to simmer.
- After 15 minutes or so, the syrup will form sugar threads.
- Remove from heat.
- Add syrup slowly to milk powder and cream mixture.
- Stir the mixture until clumpy.
- Butter a flat tray.
- Place the clumpy mixture onto the tray.
- Compress and shape the mixture to remove any air pockets.
- Add sprinkles and press into the barfi.
- Score will hot to create sharp lines to make it easier to cut.
- Leave to cool, harden and set.
- Once cooled, cut into squares
Be sure to pin this recipe: