We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Saffron barfi

Barfis can be too sweet but not this delicately flavoured one, which has almonds, bringing an extra dimension of creaminess. It’s easy to make but you do need patience, which is well rewarded with a gorgeous pudding.


MAKES 12800ml

(27fl oz) whole milk

a pinch of saffron ghee, for greasing

60g (2¼oz) granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

150g (5½oz) ground almonds

a handful of pistachios, finely chopped


Bring the milk slowly to simmering point in a pan. Add the saffron, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes to prevent sticking. Meanwhile, use some ghee and baking parchment to grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) square loose-bottomed cake tin.

Once the 15 minutes is up, stir the sugar into the milk and cook for 10 minutes, still stirring every 2 minutes. Add the cardamom and almonds and mix well. This is where you need to be patient: continue cooking for 20–25 minutes, stirring slowly the whole time. The mixture will slowly thicken and come together, leaving the sides of the pan.

Quickly tip the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the pistachios over the barfi and press them in. Leave to set completely. Cut into pieces to serve. You can store this in the fridge for 3–4 days – just make sure to leave it at room temperature for an hour before serving.


This recipe is from Chetna’s Healthy Indian: Vegetarian by Chetna Makan