Khoya barfi was a winter staple in our home while growing up. My parents refused to bring any sweets and desserts from the shops so my mom would make the khoya barfi regularly during the winter months. And if my mom wasn’t paying attention, I would gobble down large quantities of this barfi! But what is khoya barfi? It’s made from only four ingredients: atta (wheat flour), khoya (reduced milk), ghee (clarified butter) and sugar but it requires a bit of labour to make. But so worth it! I would say a closest thing to barfi in the West is fudge but not exactly same.
I have taken pictures of the khoya barfi with the jewels to mark the wedding season in India as large majority of weddings take place over the winter months as the weather is pleasant. And sweets are a big part of the wedding celebration. Families will hire halwai, the professional sweet makers, to set up a temporary halwai kitchens in their homes to prepare about thousand tons of sweets (ok, slight exaggeration but only a little) which are then friends, families, neighbours and guests
- 300 gram khoya reduced milk
- 500 gram wheat flour used for making chapatis
- 450 gram sugar
- 275 gram ghee clarified butter
- 1/2 cup water
- Making khoya at home: You can buy khoya from the halwai shop but we always make it at home and while it’s time consuming to make it’s pretty easy to make.
- Add 1.5kg of milk to a thick bottom pan and simmer it at low heat while continuously stirring it so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- After about 45 minutes, the liquid will evaporate, leaving behind a solid mass. Continue to stir until no more water is left and it’s fully solid but not hardened.
- Turn off the heat and let the khoya cool.
- Heat a large pan with a thick bottom and add ghee. Once the ghee has melted, add the flour.
- Mix the ghee and flour together.
- Cook the flour for about 45-50 minutes, stirring continuously and alternating the heat between low and high to make sure that the flour doesn’t burn.
- Once the flour turns fragrant and colour becomes reddish, about 45 minutes, mix in the khoya.
- Make sure that that khoya and the flour are mixed together well, about five minutes. Move the flour mix to a different pan.
- In the same pan that you used for cooking flour, add one cup of water and sugar and set on high heat.
- Cook the sugar for about 12-13 minutes. To test whether the sugar is cooked, scoop a bit of sugar solution in a spoon and lightly dip your thumb and index finger (careful as the mixture will be hot!). Slowly move your thumb and finger about 1/2 inch away from each other, If one string wire forms then the sugar solution is ready.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the flour and khoya mixture.
- Mix for about 2-3 minutes so that there are no clumps.
- Set in a tray, about 1/2 inch thick layer and garnish with almonds.
- Cut into pieces while still warm as it will be difficult to cut once it sets. Enjoy!