Coconut Burfi {Indian Coconut Fudge}

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Coconut burfi is one of the most popular Indian sweets around festival time. Get the fast and easy recipe to make perfectly set coconut burfi every time.

Coconut burfi or thenga burfi is one of my most favorite sweet treats ever. I’ve only ever had it homemade with freshly grated coconut, flavored with freshly pounded green cardamom, and sweetened with sugar. The texture, smell and taste of fresh coconut burfi is something I can conjure up from my memories at any time. It is such an integral part of my childhood and still remains one of my favorite treats ever.

But alas, I suck at making coconut burfi the way it should be. Perfectly made coconut burfi sets into non-sticky, firm bars of pure coconut goodness. They last for several days in a tin on the counter-top, but only if you can keep your sticky fingers away from them for so long!

I have a somewhat modern twist on the traditional coconut burfi recipe on the blog here, which is made with condensed milk, and which failed to set into said bars of firm goodness despite my best intentions. I simply named them chewy coconut bars and never tried making them again.

That is, until mom came to visit. I literally made a list of recipes for her to make for me (quite cheeky, aren’t I?), and her famous coconut burfi topped the list. We (read: mom) decided to make it well in advance for Diwali so that I could share it with you guys!

For the uninitiated, Diwali is a popular Indian festival (more popular in certain regions of India than others), and is basically a week-long fun and festive event with lots of food! A famous Diwali tradition is the assembly of mithai boxes or boxes filled with sweet treats which are exchanged among friends and family. This is very much like a Christmas cookie or cake exchange, if you will.

I had plans of assembling our own tiny Diwali mithai box, but the Happy&Harried household is under a tiny crisis at the moment. A certain 8-year-old fractured his pinky finger at school, which needs to be reset (under general anesthesia, no less!) and put in a cast. We are scheduled to go in on Diwali day, so I am kind of pre-occupied with the whole ordeal right now. I do not usually share a lot of personal info on the blog, but I’d love some positive vibes sent our way, if you will.

But anyhow, these burfi happened last week and ever since I shared them on my Instagram feed, my followers have been asking for the recipe. And, make sure you are following me on Instagram for daily updates on what’s cooking here and other tidbits of our life. I love how drama-free and vibrant the Instagram community is compared to other socials right now.

Here’s the super easy, fail-proof, mom’s Coconut Burfi or Indian coconut fudge recipe. It hardly takes 30 minutes to make and is an easy Diwali sweet recipe for those last-minute preparations. Happy Diwali!!

Coconut Burfi
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Anjana Devasahayam
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24 pieces
Coconut burfi is one of the most popular Indian sweets around festival time. Get the fast and easy recipe to make perfectly-set coconut burfi every time.
  • Finely grated coconut – 3 cups, somewhat firmly packed (around 400 gm)
  • Fine granulated sugar – 2 cups
  • Sweetened condensed milk – 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Saffron – a big pinch, crushed
  • Cashew nuts – 10-12, coarsely powdered
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp, plus a little extra for greasing
  1. Grease a 10″ round plate or pan with a few drops of ghee and set aside.
  2. Take a large, deep, thick-bottomed pan. Add coconut, sugar and condensed milk to the pan and start cooking on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. In a few minutes, the sugar will begin to dissolve. Add saffron, cardamom and powdered cashew nuts and mix well.
  4. Stirring constantly, let the sugar dissolve completely, then turn into a thick syrup-like liquid. Keep stirring to allow the mass to thicken into a fudge-like consistency.
  5. When the coconut burfi is almost done, the mixture will start leaving the sides of the pan and you will also see foamy bubbles rise from it. Add a tablespoon of ghee and mix well.
  6. Immediately, pour this hot mixture into the greased plate and spread it to about half an inch thickness with a greased offset spatula or long knife.
  7. After a couple of minutes, while the mixture is still quite warm, use a greased knife or pizza cutter to cut it into smaller pieces (either square, rectangle or diamond shaped pieces).
  8. Cool it completely, remove the individual pieces and store them in an airtight container.
1. Using a large pan will allow the coconut mixture to cook faster and evenly, giving you better results.2. I use fine granulated sugar here in the US, so a cup of it will be volumetrically more than the coarse granules commonly used in India. If using coarse sugar, use a 1:1 ratio for coconut and sugar.3. Stir the coconut burfi mixture constantly and remove from heat as soon as you see the foamy bubbles rising from it to prevent browning or burning the mixture.4. Leave the cashew nuts out if you do not want to use nuts.5. Add a few drops of desired food coloring to make colored coconut burfi. For pure white-colored coconut burfi, make sure to use only the white fleshy parts of a fresh coconut. I have thawed and used frozen grated coconut, hence the pale cream color for my burfi.

Do try this coconut burfi recipe for special occasions or whenever you feel like it! They are great for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, Diwali, Christmas, or just about any day.

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Do you celebrate Diwali? What is your favorite homemade sweet treat? Do share.

Go here for a comprehensive list of Indian Festival Sweet recipes.

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I am sharing this over at Fiesta Friday.

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