Trinidad Barfi (recipe)

Trinidad Barfi, Burfee, burfi

Barfi is one of those traditional Indo-Trinidadian sweets that one consumes when attending many a Hindu or Moslem celebration. I have seen it referred to (on websites) as an East Indian fudge or Indian cheesecake. Maybe these descriptions accurately capture the East Indian version, however they fall short of capturing the taste and feeling of Trinidadian barfi. Here in Trinidad, barfi has a distinctly milky taste because of the powdered milk and/or condensed milk that is added by the cupful. Combinations of ginger, cardamom and other optional spices only add to create an additional complexity that makes you forget that each mouthful is probably 1000 calories a piece. Although our recipe for barfi in Trinidad does not seem to differ too much from the original ‘plain’ one in India (where burfi and barfee seem to be the preferred transliterations) one distinctly Trinidadian touch has been the addition of multi-colored sprinkles to the top of this creamy delight. I’ve seen Chennette mention that she’s seen local barfis that also incorporate coconut and carrot but I’ve never seen or tasted those, well maybe coconut but def. not carrot. I think (and she’ll correct me I’m sure if I’m wrong) that the plain version is pretty much defacto as far as Trinidad barfi goes. And also defacto… sprinkles!! :D

I mean come on… it’s just not barfi (-in Trinidad-) without the sprinkles!! :D I guess we’re just colourful like that ;)

ETA: I have decided to submit this post to the Taste of Terroir :D

What is terroir?

(From Wikipedia) “Terroir was originally a French term in wine and coffee appreciation used to denote the special characteristics of geography that bestowed individuality upon the food product. It can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place” which is embodied in certain qualities, and the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the manufacture of the product. …Some writers include history, tradition, vineyard ownership and other factors. The contemporary meaning of the term clearly goes beyond mere geography, but at that point disagreement begins. Some assert that terroir is distinct from the characteristics imparted by the plant variety, the vintage and production methods (vinification, etc.), and is the product of a range of local influences that are transmitted into the character of the product.”

Anna, (the host of TTaste of Terroir ) thinks that terroir can go far beyond the traditional definition, and wants to apply it to those foods and drinks which truly give a sense of place, or those in which the taste of the place can be observed.


Trinidad Barfi

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 cups full-cream powdered milk
1 cup thick or heavy cream
multicolored sprinkles

Directions:

1. Grease a 9×9 inch glass dish
2. Combine sugar, water, and ginger in small saucepan
3. Boil for about 10 minutes, just until sugar spins a thread
4. Combine 2 cups milk with cream, mix thoroughly
5. Pour sugar syrup into milk mixture, mix well
6. Stir in the additional 2 cups of powdered milk, mixing well.
7. Push mixture into greased dish using the back of a spoon
8. Decorate with sprinkles (multicolored)
9. When almost set, cut into squares.

Makes 16 squares

Trinidad Barfi, Burfee, Burfi

My squares were still a tad gooey when cut, they should have the consistency of fudge when completely set… but you get the idea

And remember, in Trinidad it’s not barfi without the SPRINKLES!!! :D

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    I’ve never seen that milk powder before!

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    I’ve never seen that milk powder before!

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    I’ve seen coconut and carrot versions in Trinidad. But usually as made by Indian nationals, or at some fancy occasion where they want to try an Indian rather than Indo-Trini dish. So, the basic premise is still accurate – barfi in Trinidad is milk-based.

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    I’ve seen coconut and carrot versions in Trinidad. But usually as made by Indian nationals, or at some fancy occasion where they want to try an Indian rather than Indo-Trini dish. So, the basic premise is still accurate – barfi in Trinidad is milk-based.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – fuh real?.. there was a seaaaaaaaa of it at Hi-Lo … wonder if it new and they trying to ram it down people throat? :lol:

    Chennette – ah hear yuh ah hear yuh :) is like when you use the olive oil on the macaroni :P

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – fuh real?.. there was a seaaaaaaaa of it at Hi-Lo … wonder if it new and they trying to ram it down people throat? :lol:

    Chennette – ah hear yuh ah hear yuh :) is like when you use the olive oil on the macaroni :P

  • http://cyber-holidays.blogspot.com Casey

    Hi Sarina,
    Me & my Indian friend Piya just got together now and were reading your post about Trinidadian Bafri, when she claimed that barfis in India are often made of different flavours apart from the simple milky flavour. Indians add Pistachios, green coloured flavours and even cashewnuts to create varieties of Barfi. My mouth is already craving for Barfi:)Ummm -Regards, Casey

  • http://cyber-holidays.blogspot.com Casey

    Hi Sarina,
    Me & my Indian friend Piya just got together now and were reading your post about Trinidadian Bafri, when she claimed that barfis in India are often made of different flavours apart from the simple milky flavour. Indians add Pistachios, green coloured flavours and even cashewnuts to create varieties of Barfi. My mouth is already craving for Barfi:)Ummm -Regards, Casey

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Casey – yes, Indian barfi comes in different varieties, that’s why i said ours was the ‘plain’ one :) Trinidad barfi never adds anything nut like. There was actually a fun discussion about the differences between Trinidad barfi and Indian barfi over here at Chennette’s blog, your friend and you may find it interesting :) The thread starts here. Best wishes, and I will be writing up my support of Cyber Holidays tomorrow, it should go out on Saturday :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Casey – yes, Indian barfi comes in different varieties, that’s why i said ours was the ‘plain’ one :) Trinidad barfi never adds anything nut like. There was actually a fun discussion about the differences between Trinidad barfi and Indian barfi over here at Chennette’s blog, your friend and you may find it interesting :) The thread starts here. Best wishes, and I will be writing up my support of Cyber Holidays tomorrow, it should go out on Saturday :)

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Oh we don’t go to HiLo although I keep trying to make mom. She wants to but it too far.
    And she don’t willingly change the powder milk she use

    Tho she does make coconut barfi sometimes
    :-(

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Oh we don’t go to HiLo although I keep trying to make mom. She wants to but it too far.
    And she don’t willingly change the powder milk she use

    Tho she does make coconut barfi sometimes
    :-(

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – I will add some coconut next time around I can taste it playing off the ginger and such quite nicely… and milky.. can’t go wrong with milky :) what brand y’all use? :) Hi Lo is just a few minutes from me so is no scene. I don’t think I ever been round your way before :(

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – I will add some coconut next time around I can taste it playing off the ginger and such quite nicely… and milky.. can’t go wrong with milky :) what brand y’all use? :) Hi Lo is just a few minutes from me so is no scene. I don’t think I ever been round your way before :(

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Um
    You asking me? I think it’s Kerrygold but it could be Dairy Dairy or it could be both of one of them could just be BAAAD!

    Maybe mom will see this :-p

    I dunno where your way is but I’m guessing it’s in the “north” which would explain everything…People in the “north” don’t ever feel they have to go anywhere else. They think the whole island is there :-p

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Um
    You asking me? I think it’s Kerrygold but it could be Dairy Dairy or it could be both of one of them could just be BAAAD!

    Maybe mom will see this :-p

    I dunno where your way is but I’m guessing it’s in the “north” which would explain everything…People in the “north” don’t ever feel they have to go anywhere else. They think the whole island is there :-p

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – I know! it’s so horrid how lazy everyone gets once they live around POS… I’m guilty too :(

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – I know! it’s so horrid how lazy everyone gets once they live around POS… I’m guilty too :(

  • Marsha

    :( Barfi is not one of my fav things…..

  • Marsha

    :( Barfi is not one of my fav things…..

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Marsha – sux to be you :P

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Marsha – sux to be you :P

  • http://www.productivepen.com Evelyn

    OK, this recipe, while it looks delish, is not going to help me reach my goal of losing this butt!

    Thanks for the link!

    Evelyn

  • http://www.productivepen.com Evelyn

    OK, this recipe, while it looks delish, is not going to help me reach my goal of losing this butt!

    Thanks for the link!

    Evelyn

  • Marsha

    Yeh I know :( I was never really into sweets like jub jub, and traditional trini desserts…

  • mom

    Hi Sarina

    Good going on your Barfi thread.
    I use powdered Klim generally but if I do not get that then Dairy Dairy and my next would be Kerry Gold. By the way for those interested in a low fat Barfi the Dairy dairy Skim Milk or Low Fat Milk makes a nice firm Barfi , but you would need to add a little extra of Nestle’s Cream.
    The Barfi can be varied by adding coconut as Lilandra mentioned and once I did pulverised almonds and added it to the mixture, it tasted very good.
    By the way that was the year when I made many different sweets all by myself as I had no children at home as all four were in four different directions of the globe.

    Cheers and take care.

  • Marsha

    Yeh I know :( I was never really into sweets like jub jub, and traditional trini desserts…

  • mom

    Hi Sarina

    Good going on your Barfi thread.
    I use powdered Klim generally but if I do not get that then Dairy Dairy and my next would be Kerry Gold. By the way for those interested in a low fat Barfi the Dairy dairy Skim Milk or Low Fat Milk makes a nice firm Barfi , but you would need to add a little extra of Nestle’s Cream.
    The Barfi can be varied by adding coconut as Lilandra mentioned and once I did pulverised almonds and added it to the mixture, it tasted very good.
    By the way that was the year when I made many different sweets all by myself as I had no children at home as all four were in four different directions of the globe.

    Cheers and take care.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Evelyn – Hehehehe :) it’s like I told someone, I never thought starting this blog would end up jeopardizing my waistline :lol: But yes, barfi is your friend :) Sweeten that booty! :D

    Marsha – no jub jub?? :( oh gorm… yuh gonna make me cry :( :( :( what about khurma? oh gosh, yuh cyah hate khurma?????

    Mom!!! – :) But look how you waited for your children to leave home to pack up the house with sweets :D That’s so funny!!! I will try the Dairy Dairy and Klim the next time around. Me personally I want all the fat in a dessert :lol:

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Evelyn – Hehehehe :) it’s like I told someone, I never thought starting this blog would end up jeopardizing my waistline :lol: But yes, barfi is your friend :) Sweeten that booty! :D

    Marsha – no jub jub?? :( oh gorm… yuh gonna make me cry :( :( :( what about khurma? oh gosh, yuh cyah hate khurma?????

    Mom!!! – :) But look how you waited for your children to leave home to pack up the house with sweets :D That’s so funny!!! I will try the Dairy Dairy and Klim the next time around. Me personally I want all the fat in a dessert :lol:

  • http://www.quickindiancooking.com Mallika

    Hi sarina – these look delicious. I have some fresh coconut so am going to try and make a barfi out of it. Eeeek. Hope it comes out as well as yours…

  • http://www.quickindiancooking.com Mallika

    Hi sarina – these look delicious. I have some fresh coconut so am going to try and make a barfi out of it. Eeeek. Hope it comes out as well as yours…

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Malika – Hi! :) I’m a big fan of your blog :) Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to say hi :) Do you use the milk of the coconut or do you add it grated? :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Malika – Hi! :) I’m a big fan of your blog :) Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to say hi :) Do you use the milk of the coconut or do you add it grated? :)

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    Not really my thing to eat (I don’t really have a sweet tooth) but I must try to master the art of achieving sharp focus a little way back from the front. It makes photographs so fantastic – they draw you in as if they were swallowing you.

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    Not really my thing to eat (I don’t really have a sweet tooth) but I must try to master the art of achieving sharp focus a little way back from the front. It makes photographs so fantastic – they draw you in as if they were swallowing you.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Trig – you and my dad! I wonder how sweet tooths break down gender wise… cos well mom and me .. nyam nyam nyam!! Then again my father makes koolaid with 2 cups of sugar but doesn’t like desserts, go figure. I find the macro setting invaluable, especially with the way natural light falls :) I wish I had a better camera though, this one is showing its age and limitations :( But yes, extreme closeups are the best :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Trig – you and my dad! I wonder how sweet tooths break down gender wise… cos well mom and me .. nyam nyam nyam!! Then again my father makes koolaid with 2 cups of sugar but doesn’t like desserts, go figure. I find the macro setting invaluable, especially with the way natural light falls :) I wish I had a better camera though, this one is showing its age and limitations :( But yes, extreme closeups are the best :D

  • http://is-that-my-bureka.blogspot.com/ burekaboy

    looks GREAT sarina! love the sprinkles, have to admit ;D very festive/happy looking. strange, we only seem to have nonfat dried milk powder here in the stores. i know i can get fullfat versions at bulk & healthfood stores though. i do have one question: how much is left?! LOL :))

  • http://is-that-my-bureka.blogspot.com/ burekaboy

    looks GREAT sarina! love the sprinkles, have to admit ;D very festive/happy looking. strange, we only seem to have nonfat dried milk powder here in the stores. i know i can get fullfat versions at bulk & healthfood stores though. i do have one question: how much is left?! LOL :))

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Burekaboy – Sprinkles are LOVE :D Resistance is futile! None is left, the last square was consumed today by MOI :lol: Powdered milk is my friend :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Burekaboy – Sprinkles are LOVE :D Resistance is futile! None is left, the last square was consumed today by MOI :lol: Powdered milk is my friend :)

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    Yes, Mom experimented while we were all away. So of course we only have her word for it ;-) But I am sure she’ll say if we’d bought her a camera she could have sent pictures! Actually the very next year, both Lilandra and I were home again, but not sister the elder, or the boy, and we planned and prepared and documented EVERYTHING FOOD related so we could send to the siblings (her Canon). Mom thought we were being cruel, but my brother especially appreciated it.

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    Yes, Mom experimented while we were all away. So of course we only have her word for it ;-) But I am sure she’ll say if we’d bought her a camera she could have sent pictures! Actually the very next year, both Lilandra and I were home again, but not sister the elder, or the boy, and we planned and prepared and documented EVERYTHING FOOD related so we could send to the siblings (her Canon). Mom thought we were being cruel, but my brother especially appreciated it.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Chennette – whenever you say sister the elder I think of Pliny :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Chennette – whenever you say sister the elder I think of Pliny :)

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Would you prefer Big Sis? Married Sis? Sister who’s a mommy?

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Would you prefer Big Sis? Married Sis? Sister who’s a mommy?

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    You mean Gaius Plinius Secundus? I had to google because I am lacking in knowledge in that area ;-) You learn new things every day!

    And sister, the elder was because she doesn’t blog and therefore has no nickname I can use…Maybe Sister, the Mommy…or better yet The Provider of A Grandchild on the Grandmother’s Birthday, or for short, Mother of the Grandchild. Those should be impressive and memorable, and dare I say, more relevant :-D

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    You mean Gaius Plinius Secundus? I had to google because I am lacking in knowledge in that area ;-) You learn new things every day!

    And sister, the elder was because she doesn’t blog and therefore has no nickname I can use…Maybe Sister, the Mommy…or better yet The Provider of A Grandchild on the Grandmother’s Birthday, or for short, Mother of the Grandchild. Those should be impressive and memorable, and dare I say, more relevant :-D