This traditional dairy dessert is sweet, crumbly, milky, and decadent. Surprisingly easy to make given its delightful taste, this is a real crowd pleaser. Milk barfi can be made with everyday ingredients that may already be lying around in your pantry. The best part? This version comes together in under fifteen minutes!
4 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup whole milk
2 cups milk powder
¼ tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp sprinkles or slithered nuts for garnish
Start preparing your dish by greasing the bottom, sides, and edges with ghee or clarified butter. Heat 4 cups of clarified butter or ghee in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. As soon as it melts, pour in ½ cup of whole milk and ½ cup of sugar. The mixture will not combine but rather the milk and ghee will remain separated. Stir to dissolve the sugar and add in 2 cups of milk powder.
As it starts to come together, the mixture at this stage should be sticky and wet. Stir for a couple of minutes and add in cardamom powder. Stir for another 5 minutes or so. You will know it is ready when the mixture does not stick to the pan anymore, and you must stop cooking at this stage. Otherwise, the barfi will become too hard to eat. Pour this dough-like mixture into your greased dish and press hard with a spatula to make the top flat.
While it is still hot, decorate the top with your choice of sprinkles if you want to add colour to this rather white dessert. Or, you can take the traditional route and scatter slithered almonds and pistachios on top. Whichever you choose, press them down and let this cool for at least an hour in room temperature. There is no need to refrigerate this dessert.
Once fully cooled, grease the sharp edge of your knife with ghee before cutting. This will help it slide right in and give you even edges and great presentation. This recipe makes ten individual servings of thick-cut milk barfis.
STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE BARS
Has the thought of eating your milkshake rather than drinking it ever crossed your mind? This recipe does just that. It takes one of the most popular milkshakes of all time, and turns it into piquant dessert bars. Tangy and sweet, this will leave you craving for more.
For the biscuit base —
8-10 pieces thick butter biscuits
¼ cup melted butter
For the strawberry mixture —
1 cup fresh strawberry
½ cup milk
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 tsp strawberry essence
Begin by preheating your oven at 160°C and grease an 8" X 10" ovenproof dish. Fill a zip lock bag with butter biscuits. Bash them up to fine crumbs with the help of a rolling pin; you can also do this in the food processor. In a bowl, combine the biscuit crumbs and pour ½ cup of melted butter. Mix them to get a wet sandy crumb that comes together when pressed hard.
Pour this mixture at the base of your greased pan and let it bake in the oven for 10 minutes or so. This step is necessary and setting in the refrigerator is not an alternative, or else the milkshake mixture will get soaked right in.
Meanwhile prepare the milkshake mixture in a blender. Start by adding the wet ingredients at the bottom of the blender. Pour in milk and strawberry essence, drop in vanilla ice cream, crack in the eggs, and finally add chopped strawberries. Blitz this to attain a thick mixture with strawberry seeds spread throughout. Take the baked biscuit base out of the oven and allow it 5 minutes to cool and harden.
Pour the strawberry milkshake mixture slowly on top and put it back in the oven to bake. Let this bake for 20-30 minutes until it is firm yet jiggly at the middle. To check if it is ready, poke a skewer at the centre and it should come out clean. Let this cool completely before serving and decorate with sprinkles. To get neat edges, dunk the sharp end of the knife into warm water before slicing in.
Food and Photo: Fariha Amber