Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weird Food Wednesdays: Barfi

It's time again to explore the world of weird food!

The only thing really weird about this week's topic is the name:
Barfi. Most people can't get past the name. Well, too bad for them because it's absolutely delicious (more for me & Kris!) Barfi is an milk-based Indian sweet commonly served during holidays and festivals, but we're happy to eat it anytime as a snack.

I tried barfi for the first time in elementary school and I'm ashamed to admit that I probably joined in with all the other mean kids making fun of my poor friend who'd brought it to school -"EWW... you're eating what? BARF?! GROSS!" The unfortunate name is Persian in origin: the word "barf" translates to "ice" in Farsi, and probably refers to the crumbly granular texture of barfi.

The taste and consistency remind me a little of fudge, and my favorite flavor is still the original plain milk barfi. There's just something about the intense milky flavor and how every bite melts in your mouth. But at $8.99/lb I can afford to get barfi in every flavor at my local Subzi Mandi Indo-market! Pictured in the photo: almond, tri-color, plain milk, chocolate (which one of us do you think chose that one?), and cashew barfi. These particular sweets were made by Jain Foods of Linden, NJ.

You can also find barfi at several Indian sweet shops in NYC's Murray Hill area (a.k.a "Curry Hill": Lexington Ave b/t 27th & 29th Sts). Or in your own city's Little India.

So bring some barfi to a party and watch it disappear (just don't tell your friends what it's called).

If anyone out there has a good authentic milk barfi recipe, please contact me at mehungryphyllis@gmail.com

-Phyllis

Update: I just received a very informative comment from Amalik about barfi:

"It's pronounced burr-fee, so the name should not be an issue. There are a million different types of barfi, made from each different grain and even some that are cheese based. They are not all milk-based."

Thanks for your comment, Amalik!



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10 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

Cool post, beautiful pictures!

foodwanderlust said...

Oooh! Thanks for sending me the link -- this looks really tasty actually. I'm going to have to look into it :)

Tangled Noodle said...

I love most Indian desserts (except, perhaps the shredded carrot one - can't remember the name) but I haven't actually had many sweets like these. Like you noted, the name is familiar because of its novelty to some of us but looking at this pic, I'm over it! I'd love to taste some of this, particularly the cashew one. I'm trying to think if their is a dedicated Indian grocery around here that offers these . . .

BTW, I still have to try the pei dan - this weekend, hopefully!

Nila Rosa said...

At first, I thought it was a coconut dessert, then I thought it was sapin-sapin.

I've never had barfi. I'll have to look into that soon.

amalik said...

It's pronounced burr-fee, so the name should not be an issue. There are a million different types of barfi, made from each different grain and even some that are cheese based. They are not all milk-based. Tangled Noodle, the shredded carrot dessert is "gajar halva."

oysterculture said...

Me Hungry - great photos and write-up. Barfi is great, I've enjoyed trying the different flavors. I'm lucky living in the Bay Area there are some wonderful Indian stores to scour for these tasty tidbits. It's been a while since I had some, so you've reminded me that I must go back for more - thanks!

YCT said...

The colors remind me of the Malaysian kuehs. Will have to try some of this.

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Shweta said...

Mmmm...My mouth is watering!

Ann said...

Looks delicious, lovely and very colorful picture :)