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://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra & Chennette – :lol:

    hehe Gaius Plinius Secundus… thatz hott… i want a name so ! :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra & Chennette – :lol:

    hehe Gaius Plinius Secundus… thatz hott… i want a name so ! :D

  • http://theduttywine.blogspot.com Dutty Wine

    Man this looks so good. It looks like it will give crazy cavities or it is super sweet. Ahhhhhh should be in Trinidad for carnival but looks like 2008 before I get to try such delights (and the women) :(

  • http://theduttywine.blogspot.com Dutty Wine

    Man this looks so good. It looks like it will give crazy cavities or it is super sweet. Ahhhhhh should be in Trinidad for carnival but looks like 2008 before I get to try such delights (and the women) :(

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Dutty Wine – Yuh doh need teeth to wine ‘Dutty’ :lol:

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Dutty Wine – Yuh doh need teeth to wine ‘Dutty’ :lol:

  • http://www.redsheepcrafts.com Lynn

    You know how many times I’ve tried to make it by the whole boiling of the milk? Now I will try your method!

  • http://www.redsheepcrafts.com Lynn

    You know how many times I’ve tried to make it by the whole boiling of the milk? Now I will try your method!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lynn – Yuh boilin de milk? :D Oh my lolz queen :D I heart thee :D Chennette’s mother method lookin’ good too :) That’s the one I gonna try next time around :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lynn – Yuh boilin de milk? :D Oh my lolz queen :D I heart thee :D Chennette’s mother method lookin’ good too :) That’s the one I gonna try next time around :D

  • http://rachelsbite.blogspot.com Rachel

    Okay, so alot of people have heard of Barfi before but I have not. And I can’t help it, this is crass, but did you know in America the word “barf” is slang for throwing up? So of course that’s immediately what I think of. I can’t get past the mental image of this one time my step-daughter . . . okay, enough for a food thread.

    But YOUR Trinidad Barfi looks like so much fun! I love the sprinkles. So does it taste like fudge? Of just have the consistency of it?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hee yes i know about barf :) and hurl and upchuck hee :D yay for American sitcoms :lol: … but i never connected barf and barfi until just now .. thanks rachel!!! :lol:

      I don’t think it tastes like fudge … it kind of has the consistency of it though :)

  • http://rachelsbite.blogspot.com Rachel

    Okay, so alot of people have heard of Barfi before but I have not. And I can’t help it, this is crass, but did you know in America the word “barf” is slang for throwing up? So of course that’s immediately what I think of. I can’t get past the mental image of this one time my step-daughter . . . okay, enough for a food thread.

    But YOUR Trinidad Barfi looks like so much fun! I love the sprinkles. So does it taste like fudge? Of just have the consistency of it?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      hee yes i know about barf :) and hurl and upchuck hee :D yay for American sitcoms :lol: … but i never connected barf and barfi until just now .. thanks rachel!!! :lol:

      I don’t think it tastes like fudge … it kind of has the consistency of it though :)

  • http://hi Kimmy

    I love barfi it;s good my people eat t itrini to the bone

  • Kavita

    I tried that recipe for Divali twice but it wasn’t hard. I tried putting it in the fridge but it still wasn’t hard. Any tips?

  • Kavita

    I tried that recipe for Divali twice but it wasn’t hard. I tried putting it in the fridge but it still wasn’t hard. Any tips?

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Kimmy – :)

    Kavita – a trick I have found that helps immensely, is after making the syrup, add the milk and cream to the syrup, stirring rapidly. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan. At that point, then pour out the mixture into the serving dish. You should find it has no problem setting :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Kimmy – :)

    Kavita – a trick I have found that helps immensely, is after making the syrup, add the milk and cream to the syrup, stirring rapidly. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan. At that point, then pour out the mixture into the serving dish. You should find it has no problem setting :)

  • sita

    what heat level should you boil the syrup? for ex. med. high or low
    thanks

  • sita

    what heat level should you boil the syrup? for ex. med. high or low
    thanks

  • Palwasha

    Hey Sarina
    I recently found this website, and tried out the recipe myself and it was delicious!!! Thank you soo much for putting this up! My family loved it and I personally thought it was better than the store brand kind :D Thanks again!

  • Palwasha

    Hey Sarina
    I recently found this website, and tried out the recipe myself and it was delicious!!! Thank you soo much for putting this up! My family loved it and I personally thought it was better than the store brand kind :D Thanks again!

  • Trudy

    Barfi, the best!!! i dont get it much bc i dont live in Trini but i miss it a whole lot!! Everyday im wishing to back home!!!! I miss all my trini food and sweets!

  • Trudy

    Barfi, the best!!! i dont get it much bc i dont live in Trini but i miss it a whole lot!! Everyday im wishing to back home!!!! I miss all my trini food and sweets!

  • Anya

    Hey um is it refridgerated at all? also how long would it take to set? it’s been a couplle hours since and mine is still soft and gooey

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Hey Anya, if it is still gooey after several hours it means that the sugar did not reach a high enough temperature to crystallize/ set. Next time you want to make sure that the sugar mixture is pulling away from the sides. Depending on the consistency you can still save it by reheating the mixture.

  • Anya

    Hey um is it refridgerated at all? also how long would it take to set? it’s been a couplle hours since and mine is still soft and gooey

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Hey Anya, if it is still gooey after several hours it means that the sugar did not reach a high enough temperature to crystallize/ set. Next time you want to make sure that the sugar mixture is pulling away from the sides. Depending on the consistency you can still save it by reheating the mixture.

  • PleatherBoots

    I am so glad to see this here! I’ve been homesick for a while and haven’t eaten barfi in donkey years so I decided to make it. I live in the US now, in California, and full cream powder milk is so hard to find. People here don’t believe such a thing exists. They have the low fat one only, so I will have to use that. Do you think I need to add more fat to it? Maybe condensed milk? I just might.

    My grandmother used to make a coconut/carrot version to convince me that carrots were delicious! I didn’t buy it and needed more convincing but gosh this brings back memories. She used to use soft coconut jelly with the carrots (just a little) and sprinkle some left over grated hard coconut (that she used for coconut milk) in the mixture.

    I definitely won’t be trying my grandmother’s recipe here because the Asian coconuts have a funny pre-during-and-after taste. However, I’ll definitely give yours a try.

  • PleatherBoots

    I am so glad to see this here! I’ve been homesick for a while and haven’t eaten barfi in donkey years so I decided to make it. I live in the US now, in California, and full cream powder milk is so hard to find. People here don’t believe such a thing exists. They have the low fat one only, so I will have to use that. Do you think I need to add more fat to it? Maybe condensed milk? I just might.

    My grandmother used to make a coconut/carrot version to convince me that carrots were delicious! I didn’t buy it and needed more convincing but gosh this brings back memories. She used to use soft coconut jelly with the carrots (just a little) and sprinkle some left over grated hard coconut (that she used for coconut milk) in the mixture.

    I definitely won’t be trying my grandmother’s recipe here because the Asian coconuts have a funny pre-during-and-after taste. However, I’ll definitely give yours a try.

  • coyzee

    i love barfi, going to make it for the first time this afternoon, sure hope it comes out gr8.

  • coyzee

    i love barfi, going to make it for the first time this afternoon, sure hope it comes out gr8.

  • http://trinisite trini kiwi

    I had a browse thru the trini food page website.. and found it very great, to see thateven living so far away from Home i can still make some of my fav foods of back home!!
    love the barfi one too.. but can i used caondensed milk instead of cream and sugar syrup?

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