5 Ingredients or Fewer

Indian Fudge (Besan Barfi)

December 21, 2012
5 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes 2 dozen pieces
Author Notes

Besan Barfi is Indian fudge, which is made in most Indian households during the festival of Diwali. It's very delicious, takes just minutes to make, and is also gluten-free. I have added a twist by decorating the barfi with chocolate. Traditionally, we garnish it with watermelon seeds or a dry nut called "charoli." —Devangi Raval

Test Kitchen Notes

Who doesn't love a good fudge? This one is not too sweet, with just the right hint of spice. PistachioDoughnut's suggestion to drizzle chocolate on top brings it all together. This was an incredibly easy snack/dessert to make: it comes together in under two hours (even less time if you're impatient like me and chill it in the fridge). It's the perfect last-minute, no-bake potluck contribution or gift. —ktchnninja

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups ghee
  • 3 cups coarse chickpea flour (available in Indian grocery stores -- look for "besan ladu" in the flour aisle)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup milk or dark chocolate, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons watermelon seeds, almond slivers, or charoli nuts (or other nuts) for garnish
  1. Heat ghee in a non-stick pan. Add the chickpea flour and stir it continuously. Remember, chickpea flour burns quickly so do not leave it unattended. Keep stirring until the color changes and your house smells different—trust me, you will be able to tell when this happens. (You can also feel the mixture getting lighter as it cooks.) Even when you remove the pan from flame, remember that it will still keep cooking. Keep stirring to prevent the flour from burning or transfer the mixture to a bigger pot (as you still have to add sugar).
  2. Once it's done, add the ground cardamom and mix well. Then, let it sit at room temperature to cool completely. Once it has cooled down, add the sugar and mix it well—really well. (Note: if you add the sugar to a hot mixture, it will start melting and convert into sugar syrup. You do not want that.)
  3. After you've added the sugar, transfer it to a 9 x 9-inch baking dish, smooth it out, and garnish it with some watermelon seeds or any other nut—slightly press the nuts into them so they do not fall off when you try to pick it up. Immediately cut the barfi into diamond shapes or use a cookie cutter (I've used my daisy cutter to make these cuties).
  4. For the chocolate garnish: melt either milk chocolate or dark chocolate in the microwave at intervals of 30 seconds, stirring with a spoon in between, until the chocolate is melted enough to garnish it on the barfi. Be careful not to scorch the chocolate. You can also melt chocolate in a double boiler. Drizzle the chocolate on the barfi freestyle with a fork or make little dots; anything you feel like. Let your imagination run wild.
  5. These will easily last for up to 2 weeks (or for several hours if you can't resist!).
  6. Notes—you can use smooth or coarse chickpea flour. Both are available in Indian grocery stores, which is where I recommend buying it. If you can't find coarse chickpea flour, you can make some by yourself: Get the smooth variety, add a couple of spoons of ghee and milk to it and try to rub it in your palms—what this will do is will form crumbles, thus making it coarse in texture. Either way it will taste good. Keep in mind that sometimes you'll need more or less ghee depending on the quality of flour.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jeanette Larson
    Jeanette Larson
  • Kim Van de Ven
    Kim Van de Ven
  • Rach3190
  • Afsana Liza
    Afsana Liza
  • Deborah Reeves
    Deborah Reeves

15 Reviews

Jeanette L. February 24, 2021
I couldn't work with this after putting in pan. Looked up another recipe, and that one said to let sit for 2 hours. So sorry I didn't follow the other recipe!!!
Kim V. April 12, 2020
I can't find where you can buy ghee. can you also use other clarified butter?
Devangi R. September 1, 2020
Ghee is available at lot of stores these days, I have seen it at Wholefoods and Trader Joe's. You can make some at home too. :-)
Rach3190 October 15, 2017
Will this recipe still work okay if I use normal besan flour, that is not coarse?
Devangi R. October 16, 2017
Yes, you can use any type of besan.
witloof October 13, 2017
My neighbor from India makes this on Diwali and it is amazingly delicious. I know where to get besan ladu in NYC, can't wait to try it.
Devangi R. October 16, 2017
Enjoy! You have a good neighbour! 😊
Afsana L. February 1, 2017
How long will these last at room temperature?
Devangi R. October 16, 2017
In warmer weather I would not leave them out for more than a day or so. For cold weather it can stay out for a week. I store it in the refridgerator and take them out few hours before eating to bring them to room temperature texture!
Deborah R. June 22, 2013
I travelled in India for 6 months last year and ate barfi all the time (the name is misleading, it's delicious, and I can't wait to try this recipe!)
Devangi R. June 25, 2013
Why is the name misleading? Thanks. Barfi is delicious for all sweet lovers. Back in India, our fridge would never be without barfi..:-) If you try , please do let me know how it turned out.
witloof October 13, 2017
Barf in English means vomit, that's why it's misleading!
Alice October 23, 2022
My coworker from Bangalore called it burfi, which sounded better to my American ears!
Hilarybee June 20, 2013
My husband loved these, by the way. They were wonderful!
Devangi R. June 25, 2013
Thanks Hilarybee. I am glad he liked them.