Almond Cream Fudge (Badam Barfi)

Barfi (Photo by SiFu Renka/flickr)
Barfi (Photo by SiFu Renka/flickr)

This is sold in Indian sweet shops in large, flat diamond shapes on which thin sheets of edible silver are sometimes pressed for decoration.


1 litre/2 pints/4 cups milk
185 g/6 oz/3/4 cup white sugar
375 g/12 oz blanched ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or 6 drops cardamom extract
2 tablespoons blanched pistachio nuts
edible silver leaf (optional)


In a heavy saucepan (preferably one with a non-stick surface) boil the milk, stirring constantly until it has reduced and thickened. Add the sugar and stir over low heat. Add ground almonds and cardamom, and continue cooking and stirring until mixture leaves sides of pan in one mass.

Turn onto a buttered dish and quickly smooth top with the back of a buttered spoon, or press a lightly buttered piece of banana leaf (or aluminium foil) on the surface, and roll lightly with a rolling pin to smooth and flatten the surface. Remove foil and when sweet is almost cold, decorate with pistachio nuts which have been blanched for 30 seconds in boiling water. Remove the skins and split pistachios in two, or cut into slivers. If using silver leaf decoration, handle it very delicately, holding with the interleaved pieces of tissue and gently fluttering the silver leaf (varak) onto the surface.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)