Coconut Burfi

11:30 am on 20 December 2010

This traditional Indian sweet found in every sweet shop in India. There are many different versions and even more ways to make it. This recipe is quite simple and the end result resembles coconut ice. If you’d like to grate your own fresh coconut then this will be even more delicious.


  • 3 cups desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • approximately ½ cup water
  • ground cardamom
  • silver leaf to decorate – optional 


Combine the coconut and milk in a wide based sauté pan and stir over a medium –high heat until the milk evaporates. Set aside.

Put the sugar in another smaller pot, adding just enough water to moisten the sugar. Heat it gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar and brushing off any sugar that sticks to the side of the pot with a wet pastry brush to prevent it burning.

Increase the heat and bring the syrup to the boil. Boil until the sugar forms very dense bubbles on the surface. At this point test a little by pouring it onto a cold plate and see if it forms several unbroken threads between your thumb and forefinger – be careful as it will be very hot.  Alternatively, use a sugar thermometer to check when it reaches 113-118ºC (soft-ball stage).  Once achieved add the syrup immediately to the shredded coconut and place back over a lower heat, stirring constantly until almost all the moisture has gone.

Add cardamom to taste and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is quite dry. (This can take quite a while so be patient.) Tip into a non-stick or butter-greased tray, spread out to about 2-2½ cm deep and smooth the top.

Cool and when firm decorate with silver leaf and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.

From Nine To Noon

Find a Recipe

or browse by title