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What Is Kaju Barfi?

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  • Written By: Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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Kaju barfi is a popular Indian dessert typically cut into diamond shapes and is made of cashew nuts and sugar. The word kaju stands for cashew, while the word barfi stands for a type of sweet. Kaju barfis are normally white or yellow in color, though it is possible to find them in green if pistachios have been used in the cooking process. They are very easy to prepare at home and can even be made by children under adult supervision. It's a popular sweet to gift to friends and family during festivals and special occasions.

It's an extremely popular barfi because it's only mildly sugary and comes with the delicious goodness of cashew. Also known as kaju katli, it is quite expensive when compared to other varieties of barfi because of the use of cashew. Huge amounts of kaju barfi are sold during festival times like Diwali. It's also made during Ganesh chaturthi, which is the festival that celebrates the birth of the elephant god Ganesha.

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While other varieties of barfi are made with thickened milk, mild spices, and a few dry fruits, kaju barfi is made solely with cashew nut without the milk. The nuts are soaked overnight in water and ground up the next day. A solution of sugar syrup is made by boiling water and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Once the syrup has become thick and threadlike in consistency, it is removed from the heat. The cashew powder is stirred into the syrup thoroughly until it becomes a gooey mixture.

The mixture is poured into a shallow, flat container and allowed to cool for around one to two hours. To give it an elegant touch, edible silver leaf may be placed on top. The kaju barfi is then cut into bite-sized diamond shapes and served. Dry fruits, cardamom powder, and saffron may also be added to the barfi in the stirring stage to subtly alter its flavor. A tip to get truly mouthwatering barfi with a smooth texture is to use very little water to blend the cashew nuts into a fine paste.

Another good idea is to stir the blended paste into the sugar solution continuously. Adding a little ghee imparts a very rich flavor to the sweet. To get evenly shaped kaju barfi squares, some cooks recommend rolling out the final gooey mixture with a rolling pin. This makes for more uniformly shaped barfi pieces after it has been cut up.

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ddljohn
Post 3

@ysmina-- You're right about kaju barfi (or kaju burfi) being calorie rich but from what I understand, people only eat one or two pieces at a time. It's basically just to taste. I've never heard of anyone eating a whole box of barfi.

There are so many different types of barfi in India that it's hard to keep track. Barfi is originally made from milk or cream. But there are many versions made with different nuts, beans or with fruit like coconut. I think I tried about six types when I visited India. And every single type was good!

ysmina
Post 2

@literally45-- Yes, it sounds like you had badam barfi (almond barfi). It's almost the same thing as kaju barfi, except almonds are used instead of cashew nuts. Kaju barfi or ("kaju ki barfi" in Hindi) is my favorite sweet. Unfortunately, I don't get to eat it too often because my family only buys it for special occasions and celebrations. In India, barfi is literally forced into people's mouth when there is something to celebrate. Relatives and friends will make you have some saying "sweeten your mouth, it's an auspicious occasion!"

Maybe it's good that we don't buy it all the time because I eat too much of it when I get the chance. It's a delicious treat but it's high in fat and sugar, so it has a lot of calories. Kaju barfi is made with ghee (Indian clarified butter). So it's rich and dense.

literally45
Post 1

I think I had the almond version of this. I have an Indian coworker who brought some Indian sweets to the office once. I don't remember the name of the sweet but it was a creamy colored, diamond shaped sweet made of almonds. It tasted similar to Italian marzipan and it was decorated with silver leaf.

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