A Recipe for Chocolate Orange & Vanilla Cardamom Barfi, an Indian-Style Fudge

A recipe for barfi, excerpted from the cookbook New Indian Basics by Preena Chauhan and Arvinda Chauhan

Back in 1997, we were invited to participate in Eat to the Beat, a charity gala to raise funds and awareness for Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support. In its first year, chefs were asked to prepare a dessert or sweet. We chose to prepare layered barfi, a milk-based Indian-style fudge traditionally made and shared on festive occasions. I’m taking that same base recipe but giving it a twist—this is a new and special combination I created especially for my brother, Paresh, who is the biggest chocolate lover I know and who also fancies the flavor of orange. I’m adopting this classic pairing of chocolate and orange and applying it to our traditional barfi recipe so it’s modern, exquisite, and exceptionally decadent with vanilla, dark chocolate, and a hint of juicy citrus.

Chocolate Orange & Vanilla Cardamom Barfi

Prep time: 1 hours, plus 4 hours to overnight chilling
Cook time: 1 minute
Yield: 16 to 20 pieces


  • ¼ cup ghee
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1½ cups whole milk powder
  • ¼ cup half-and-half cream
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon green cardamom seeds, finely ground
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon finely slivered pistachios, to garnish

Chocolate Topping

  • 3½ ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 3½ ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water


  1. Line an 8-inch diameter, 1-inch deep stainless-steel plate with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet on medium-low heat, melt the ghee. Stir in the icing sugar to combine.
  3. Sift in the milk powder and mix to combine. Add the cream, almond flour, cardamom, and vanilla and stir so all the ingredients become uniform. Remove the barfi from the pan, and once it is cool enough to handle, knead it with your hands so all the mixture comes together.
  4. Press the barfi into the prepared plate and smooth it out into an even layer. You can use the bottom of a small stainless-steel bowl or katori or
    a spatula to compress the mixture firmly into the plate.
  5. For the chocolate topping: Melt the chocolates using a double boiler (see Note). Once the chocolate is smooth and melted, stir in the butter. Add the cream and orange blossom water and stir to combine. The chocolate topping should be glossy.
  6. Using a spatula, layer the chocolate topping on top of the barfi and smooth it out evenly. Sprinkle on the pistachios to garnish. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Cut the barfi into 1¼-inch squares or diamond shapes. For a bite-sized barfi, cut the squares into 1-inch pieces. Serve as a decadent treat!

Note: Chocolate is often melted in a double boiler so that direct heat—either direct from the stovetop or a microwave— does not come in contact and overcook the chocolate. Set up
a double boiler by boiling water in a small saucepan or heavy-bottomed pot over the stove. Nest a slightly larger stainless-steel bowl on top of the saucepan, ensuring it doesn’t come into contact with the boiling water. Add the chocolate to the bowl and it will slowly melt from the accumulated steam.

New Indian Basics

Excerpted from New Indian Basics, by Arvina Chauhan and Preena Chauhan. Copyright © 2022, Arvina Chauhan and Preena Chauhan. Published by Appetite, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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Originally Published in Best Health Canada