Coconut Barfi/Thengai Burfi (with desiccated coconut)

30 mins
Serves 15 Pieces
Author: Rajni Ram
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Coconut Barfi is the most commonly made sweet in South India. It is a favorite during festivals as it gets done very quickly. My grandmother would make this in a jiffy whenever there is excess coconut at home. There are many versions of this recipe. Some use fresh coconut, while some use  desiccated coconut. Using desiccated coconut has its own benefits. Firstly,the shelf life is longer and then the coconut flavour is dense in desiccated coconut. Finally, using desiccated coconut shortens the making time. It just takes about 15 minutes to make this delicious sweet.

You will find that I have not used milk, condensed milk or Sooji as a base for this sweet. Instead I have used Almond flour,which gives it a soft texture. While you are here I request you to look up my other Indian sweet recipes like Pineapple Rabri, Moong Dal Halwa, Beetroot Halwa, Maa Ladoo, Thenga Therattipal,and more…

 

Ingredients

 

  1. Desiccated Coconut 175 gm
  2. Sugar 150 gm
  3. Almond flour/meal 1-2 tbsp (as required)
  4. Cardamom Powder 1/4 tsp
  5. Cashewnuts a few broken to bits
  6. Ghee 2 tbsp
  1. To a pan add 1 tbsp ghee and heat, add the broken cashew nuts and fry until light brown. To this add the desiccated coconut and roast for 2 minutes. It only needs to get warm not brown. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
  2. Now to the same pan add the sugar, followed by 1/4 cup water. Switch on the flame and stir to dissolve the sugar. Keep stirring until you reach one string consistency (the picture taken is not very clear, I did not realize that it is out of focus. This will be rectified as soon as possible). To check one string consistency, wet your fingers, from the back of the ladle take a small bit of syrup on your index finger,bring your thumb finger close to it, and stretch. If the single string remains intact without breaking, you have achieved 1 string consistency. Check note for this step.
  3. Now add the roasted coconut into the sugar syrup and stir. If the mixture appears too dry, sprinkle 1 tbsp water and stir again. Now add the almond flour(add  1 tbsp first, more can be added if required). As you stir, you should get a halwa like consistency. Check the picture given. If the consistency is still lose or very dry(either case),add a little more almond flour and stir. Put off the flame.
  4. Now add the cardamom powder followed by a tablespoon of ghee,and mix well. Grease a plate with some ghee and pour the coconut mixture into it,and spread evenly.
  5. Pour another tablespoon of ghee,and even out the coconut dough on the plate. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, and cut into diamonds or squares, but don’t separate them as yet. Let them cool down fully to separate the pieces. Store in an airtight box in a cool place.

To a pan add 1 tbsp ghee and heat, add the broken cashew nuts and fry until light brown. To this add the desiccated coconut and roast for 2 minutes. It only needs to get warm not brown. Transfer to a plate and keep aside. Now to the same pan add the sugar, followed by 1/4 cup water. Switch on the flame and stir to dissolve the sugar. Keep stirring until you reach one string consistency (the picture taken is not very clear, I did not realize that it is out of focus. This will be rectified as soon as possible). To check one string consistency, wet your fingers, from the back of the ladle take a small bit of syrup on your index finger,bring your thumb finger close to it, and stretch. If the single string remains intact without breaking, you have achieved 1 string consistency. Check note for this step. Now add the roasted coconut into the sugar syrup and stir. If the mixture appears too dry, sprinkle 1 tbsp water and stir again. Now add the almond flour(add  1 tbsp first, more can be added if required). As you stir, you should get a Halwa like consistency. Check the picture given. If the consistency is still lose or very dry(either case),add a little more almond flour and stir. Put off the flame. Now add the cardamom powder followed by a tablespoon of ghee,and mix well. Grease a plate with some ghee and pour the coconut mixture into it,and spread evenly. Pour another tablespoon of ghee,and even out the coconut dough on the plate. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, and cut into diamonds or squares, but don’t separate them as yet. Let them cool down fully to separate the pieces. Store in an airtight box in a cool place.

Notes:

  1. Almond flour used here is store bought. Incase you don’t find it at a store, grind a handful of almonds, and pass it through a sieve.
  2. What can go wrong with the sugar syrup- If you cross the one string consistency, and add the coconut,it will not come together, the mixture will crumble. If this happens, then add 2 tbsp water to the mixture,stir well until it comes together ,and then pour into a greased plate. In case you add the coconut before one string consistency, then you will have to stir it longer for it to come together.
  3. In the final step,after 5 minutes of cooling immediately make serrations. If you allow it to cool competely and then cut,they will break into uneven pieces.

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