A delicious treat, destined for occasions where celebration is at the top of the menu, Gajar Barfi is a sweet fudge-like dessert hailing from India. It is traditionally served during festivals, like the wonderful Festival of Lights – Diwali, as well as throughout Christmas and various other times of joy.
The name barfi, comes from the Persian word barf, which means snow. You’ll see why, as the basic recipe is made with condensed milk and sugar, that when set forms a snowy-white fudge.
This version is made with gajar (carrots) and a few festive spices. I’ve also strayed from the traditional slightly, by adding a crunchy honeyed-oat topping to give it an extra dimension in texture.
RECIPE: Gajar Barfi – Indian Carrot Fudge
SOURCE: Basic recipe from Maunika Gowardhan
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Sweet with a fudgy texture and delicate spices, topped with crunchy honeyed oats.
GOES GREAT WITH: This would be an amazing dessert to have after a spicy curry.
NOTES: Keep an eye on the honeyed oat clusters when in the oven, as they can catch. Stirring the mixture halfway will prevent that and give you a lovely even golden colour.
MAKES: 30cm x 20cm tray (18 squares)
- 90g (3.2oz) HEAVY CREAM
- 90g (3.2oz) MILK POWDER
- 40g (1.4oz) BUTTER
- 375g (13.2oz) CARROTS, coarsely grated
- 200g (7oz) CONDENSED MILK
- ½ tsp. GROUND CARDAMOM
- ¼ tsp. GROUND CINNAMON
For the topping:
- 50g (1.8oz) OATS
- 100g (3.5oz) HONEY
- 30g (1oz) BUTTER
- ½ tsp. VANILLA EXTRACT
- Line two 30cm x 20cm trays with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180c. First, make the topping: Put the HONEY and BUTTER in a bowl. Pop it into the microwave for a few bursts to melt. Then, add the OATS. Give it a good stir and leave to sit for 10 minutes so that the oats can absorb some of the liquid.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through so that the colour is even. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly for a minute or two and then break it up into clusters. Leave these aside for later.
- For the Barfi: In a small bowl, add the MILK POWDER and HEAVY CREAM and mix it together until it forms a dough-like consistency.
- In a large frying pan, melt the BUTTER and add the CARROTS. Cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add the CONDENSED MILK and cook it into the carrots until it has reduced (about 10 minutes).
- Add the MILK-CREAM-DOUGH to the frying pan and break it up until there are no lumps. Stir in the GROUND CARDAMOM and GROUND CINNAMON. Cook for a few minutes.
- Tip into a lined tray, flatten with a spoon and top with the HONEYED OAT clusters. Chill for at least 2 hours and then cut into bite-sized pieces.