Here's a delightful coconut barfi recipe made with desiccated coconut, fresh milk, condensed milk, and ghee. This easy coconut sweet that resembles fudge is always a hit during the festive season, but who's to say you can't have it otherwise? Made with just four ingredients, it's an Indian mithai you can't do without!
Take the coconut in a bowl and add slightly warm milk. Stir to make sure all the coconut gets soaked in the milk. Keep it aside for one hour. You will notice that the dry coconut will absorb most of the milk and turn soft.
Add 2 tablespoon ghee in a heavy karahi (wok) and heat it gently. (Reserve 1 tablespoon ghee for later). Then add the milk-soaked coconut and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring all the time.
Add the condensed milk, mix well and cook on low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Keep stirring the mixture to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the karahi. After 20 minutes or so, the mixture will become quite thick, sticky and golden. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee and cook for 5 minutes more. Now, take it off the heat.
Grease a platter or tray and spread the mixture on it. Smooth the top and sides. Allow it to cool down completely, then cut into squares or any shape that you want. Decorate with silver leaves if using. If you are making laddoos, shape the mixture into small balls and roll them in some dry coconut.
Instant Pot Instructions
Whisk the condensed milk and fresh milk in a bowl.
Add two tablespoons ghee to the steel insert of your instant pot (reserve one tablespoon for later) and melt it on sauté mode (a few seconds only). Cancel sauté.
Add the condensed milk and fresh milk mixture (from step 1) and the desiccated coconut. Stir all the ingredients with a spoon and secure the lid. Make sure the steam release vent is sealed and press the porridge mode. It automatically sets itself to 30 minutes. Walk away. After the pot beeps, wait for a natural release of pressure (around 10-12 minutes).
Open the pot and switch to sauté mode. You will see that the mixture has thickened considerably and turned brown. Add the remaining one tablespoon ghee and with a big spoon, stir the mixture until it thickens even further and becomes shiny (7-8 minutes). Cancel sauté.
Take the mixture out onto a greased platter and spread it evenly and thickly. Allow it to cool down a bit more, then cut into squares with a knife. Decorate with silver leaves if using, otherwise top with slivered nuts.
Use pure ghee only for making the barfi. Anything else will not give the same taste or color.
Keep stirring the mixture continuously if making the barfi on the stovetop in a karahi to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and burning.
Top the barfi with slivered almonds and cashews if you want to.
Keep the extra barfi in the refrigerator. It tastes really nice chilled too, but you can microwave it for a few seconds if you want to have it warm. However, don't microwave it if you have decorated it with the silver leaves. Instead keep it out at room temperature for some time.
Add a few drops of rose water to the barfi in the last steps (before taking it out on the platter) for a nice aroma.