Indian Mithai & Desserts

Coconut Burfi (Fudge) for Diwali

Wishing everyone a prosperous & joyful Diwali.

It is Diwali day tomorrow in India.Commonly know as the festival of lights, Diwali is a five-day long fare celebrated across the country with a lot of tradition & merriment.The grandest among the Hindu festivals and dated about 11000 years back, it celebrates the homecoming of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of banishment and a triumph over the demon king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, people of the kingdom decorated their homes, lit diyas (earthen lamps) & rejoiced.Till today, lightning a string of diyas around the house and place of worship is said to remove negativity and is symbolic of inviting gyan (knowledge) inside the house.

Sitting on the couch as I write this post on a grey, cloudy afternoon, not a single thing is fluttering outside or inside the home. All I can hear is the sound of tall palm trees swaying relentlessly in the winds. It is a strange cone of silence that draws my mind towards it, at the same time my heart is bubbling with memories of Diwali from back home. Innately, each half an hour I look at the clock & wonder what would happen as the day starts in few hours.

Mom would start by spreading the overnight soaked diyas (earthen lamps) in the courtyard to dry out before the evening , give finishing touches to her colorful rangoli. She would cook all day to feed an army of guests who will throng the house to greet & exchange gifts. Dad would keep himself busy decorating each nook & corner of the house with all kinds of luminescent lights & eating mithai (sweets) every hour. By evening, the house would be decked up as a new bride, prayers offered to goddess of wealth, Laxmi, prasad distributed among family members,dinner served among chatter & chaos followed by night long gambling, which is considered auspicious today.

‘Burfi’ or ‘Barfi’ is a very basic sweet, fudgy confectionary in India. Quite like the western counterpart, its made with loads of sugar & milk and is necessarily flavored with cardamom, saffron, fruit extracts or rose-water. Traditionally, milk solids to ground nut powders to different types of flours are used but now even fancier versions with chocolate and cheese are hugely popular . For me, Diwali is incomplete without gulab jamuns & some kind of burfi.

Like all Hindu festivals, Diwali is necessarily a sweet rally. I missed out on making any sweets at home last year, this time I was keen on doing something for sure. Anything with coconut is an instant favorite in the house. Keeping it quick & simple, I prepared this 15 minute coconut – dulce de leche burfi last night.

My grandmother’s coconut burfi recipe involves caramelizing whole milk from scratch, simmering it slowly over stove top for hours, stirring it patiently to release the natural sugars in there & achieving an intense, grainfree consistency. The creamy, gooey milk solids at the end of the toil are dreamy. If I may say, it’s probably one of the things I would love to lick for my last meal. So good!

However, for now, instead of making it from scratch, I used dulce de leche in my recipe. I love the anticipation that builds up when I m trying to tweak things in the kitchen. It all looked falling into place from the beginning , right from when coconut flakes toasted in ghee to the divine aroma that lingered while dulce de leche warmed up, loosening slowly  & combining with the ingredients. Trust me in this concoction, the humble latin spread did not disappoint. The fudge came out dense, perfectly sweet & almost melt in the mouth like. P said that it reminded him of the coconut burfi from the favorite sweet shop in his hometown. You don’t miss anything here, except maybe the opportunity of licking the pot as fresh milk thickens when you do it from scratch.

Printable Recipe

Preparation time : 5 – 8 minutes

Cooking time : 10 minutes + setting time in the refrigerator or at room temperature

Ingredients Makes 8-10 squares (approx 2″ X 2″ X 1/2″ thk)

  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 3 cups dried coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 3 tbsp almond meal (or fine crushed almonds)
  • 1 no 13.4 oz (380gms) dulce de leche can
  • 8-10 green cardamom pods or 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tsp  ghee (for greasing the tray)
  • For garnish : 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Method :-

  • Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and crush them into a fine powder using mortar & pestle.Set aside. Skip this step if using ready-to- use cardamom powder.
  • Liberally grease the tray/brownie pan you want to set the fudge in with 2 tsp ghee. Set aside.
  • In a heavy, wide-mouthed ( I use my 12″) pan, melt the 4 tbsp ghee on a low heat. Add the almond meal and roast it for 1-2 minutes until it smells fragrant but does not change color.Next,on low to medium heat, add the dried coconut flakes & toast them stirring continuously until you smell the aroma and they just start to turn light brown.About 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the crushed cardamom next & mix well.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add dulce de leche. Immediately stir everything together till the mixture clumps up together. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Put off the heat.
  • Transfer the mixture to the greased tray and spread evenly to a uniform thickness.You can use back of a spatula or spoon to smoothen out the surface. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Cover the surface with a wax paper next and let set in refrigerator (during summers) for at least 1.5 hours or outside (in winters) until firm to touch.With cold weather in,I let the tray sit on the countertop overnight.
  • Melt the white chocolate chips over a double boiler and drizzle over the fudge. Let set for another hour till the chocolate dries out.
  • Cut into neat squares using a sharp knife dipped in hot water.


  1. I use dried, desiccated, unsweetened coconut flakes available in the bulk supply section at Whole foods. You can use fresh or frozen coconut (skinless) in this recipe but you will need to adjust (increase) the toasting time in that case.Ensure that the moisture has totally dried out before you add the other ingredients.
  2. I stock whole green cardamom pods, break open,crush the seeds using mortar/pestle and use in my recipes. It is a much fresh & economical option.
  3. You can leave the fudge as it is or use any kind of nuts,semi sweet chocolate , edible silver/gold foil for garnishing.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

34 thoughts on “Coconut Burfi (Fudge) for Diwali

  1. So good to see a post from you Tanvi.
    A very very happy Diwali to you and your family. Though I am not the one to celebrate festivals, this year I am doing my bit to make my daughters day special. Cooked an elaborate meal complete with cheer last night, lit ‘divas’ and burst crackers!

    Love the look of this Burfi. It looks really rich and fudgy… just the way it should be for Diwali.

    1. Thanks Chinmayie.Happy Diwali to you & family too. I m sure your daughter mustbe enjoying every bit of it.Its such a festive occasion!

  2. Hope you keep posting! Happy Diwali to you! I can imagine how tough it is to be away from your family, but you should definitely make the most of the holiday and celebrate!

    Beautiful pics – I loveeeee them! xoxo

  3. hi tanvi..nice write up..the burfi looks awsome..m sure its melt in keep posting recipes regularly..happy diwali

  4. Happy Diwali my dear friend! Really wonderful to see a post from you, please don’t stop blogging, you recipes and photos are way too good not to be published xx

  5. Happy Divali to you and your family, I am just about to head over to my in;laws. My mother in law puts out a fabulous spread every year. The kids are excited to see the lights later and yes there will be barfi:-) Gosh had it been me making this I doubt that caramelized milk would have made it to the barfi I would have been too busy eating it straight from the spoon!

  6. Irresistible burfi recipe! Love the use of dulce de leche here 🙂

    Happy Diwali and hope you post more deliciousness!

  7. Tanvi, after a long back, I was able to comment on your blog. Coconut burfi looks yumm. Happy Diwali to you and your famiy.

  8. Happy Diwali! Great to see your post Tanvi! And keep posting delicious dishes like this!

  9. Dear Tanvi,
    Very happy diwali to you! I have been checking your blog every day since your last post. Good food people like you should not stop blogging! I made coconut laddus and gulab jamuns at home for diwali and reading how you love them for this festival, I wish I could send them over to you! And yes, you are bang on how we miss being away from home on diwali. For me, Diwali is all about home. Though after getting married and settled about 2500 kms from my parents, my solace is in creating the same happy memories for my daughter that my family created for me.


  10. It is nice to see your post. Love your photography and stories that go with the lovely recipes. Coconut barfi with dulce de leche looks amazing. Will try it!
    Belated diwali wishes to you and your family.

  11. Tanvi! Here after ages. That burfi looks so good. I tried to make coconut burfi this year–a sad and soggy affair I’m afraid. I found this picture for a chana dal dip on pinterest and followed it here. So glad I did. am bookmarking this recipe for future reference.

    Hope you had a wonderful diwali!


  12. Welcome back, dear Tanvi.. Missed your beautiful photos and delicious recipes..and stories from home. This looks wonderful and I am glad you had your sweets this year 🙂

  13. Hey! great post and pictures!

    I am really excited to try this recipe. Can you tell me how long does the barfi stay fresh for? I am thinking of making it a few days before Diwali. Thanks a lot!

    1. Coz it starts getting cold around this time of year in my part of the world(USA),it stayed good for 4-5 days,room temperature

  14. Any suggestions on replacing almond meal with something else? My husband is allergic to almonds.

  15. Wonderful recipe, prepared the same and it came out awesome. Please add your recipe url in printable version. So if we want to come back to your blog it would be of great help!

  16. Totally lip-smacking. Was browsing through the web the other day in search of a different sweet recipe. Stumbled on yours. Hats off to you for introducing food lovers to such heavenly flavours. Loved every bite of it.

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