Monday, June 25, 2007

Loco for Coconut

The other day, the other half was gently nagging me to use up the packs of dessicated coconut in the larder. "Ah," a light bulb switched on in my head yesterday, "I'll make some Coconut Barfi."

In secondary school, my fellow Rangers and I were taught by one Mrs Mona Toh how to make coconut candy with freshly grated coconut, sugar and condensed milk. We were told to watch out for the 'change of colour' towards the end of the endless stirring and turning over of the mixture. That's when the aromatic lump sticks together and the sugar content reaches crystallization point. Very dicey, this. If you cook it too long, you get dry crumbly candy. If you take it off the heat too soon, you'd end up with a soft, difficult-to-cut gooey mass.

I looked up my recipe file yesterday and decided to make Coconut Barfi, a Indian sweet similar to school-canteen-day coconut candy but mildly flavoured with cardamom.

Here are the ingredients:

1 1/2 tbs butter (or ghee)
1 cup dessicated or freshly grated coconut
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
3 tbs sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp ground cardamom

Medium-heat a thick bottomed pan, preferably non-stick. Put in 1 tbs of the butter. Add coconut. Stir fry for a minute. Add sugar, milk and condensed milk. Quite constantly stir with a silicone or wooden spatula until mixture is thick. Add cardamom. Continue cooking until mixture sticks together (duration: about 12 minutes). Add remaining 1/2 tbs butter and cook for another minute. Turn out onto buttered small shallow pan (15cm diameter if round). Let cool for 25 minutes and cut into rectangles.

Caution: This sweet is very, very addictive!


Lee Ping said...

Dear Argus,

I am seeing more and more food recipes. :)

I love the cardamom spice and condensed milk. There is an Indian dessert that I love call Kheer. So, I can understand why your coconut candy is addictive.

Yesterday night, I found two great Indian food blogs. I included them on my recipe link. I will study them in the weeks to come. I may not necessarily try the recipes out just, "study" them for now.

Argus Lou said...

Dear Mrs HBT, thanks for dropping by. What is in Kheer? Have you ever tried making it?

The other Indian desserts or sweets that I love are Pistachio Halva, Carrot Halva (which my other half recently made very nicely) and most of the different flavoured Barfi or Burfi.

Happy 'studying'!

ColourMeCrazy said...

Hey, thanks for linking my site too. I love coconut candy! Too bad about the calories - coconut AND sugar! Never tried Coconut Barfi but it sounds like something that I could eat a lot off! I'll probably wait a while before I make this though - I'm still eating those cookies ;-)

Argus Lou said...

Hi ColourMeCrazy/WokandSpoon! Boy, you've at least two blogosphere identities, huh?

Yep, sugar and coconut and milk and butter, too! (The cardamom is just for distracting us from the calories.) No wonder it's addictive... ^_^

Your cookies looked wholesome and yummy all at the same time.

Lee Ping said...

The pleasure is all mine. I love reading your articles as much as reading the comments you leave me. :)

Here's the link to Kheer:

I may have tried replicating this dessert once (many years ago) because I still have whole cardamom in my spice drawer.

I haven't tried any of the other Indian dessert you mentioned. Pistachio Halva sounds like a Greek dessert.

I will reply to the comments that you just left me on my blog later tonight. Little Chicken just came by and blew me a sweet kiss.

Argus Lou said...

MrsHBT, halva or halwa in its varied forms is popular across Middle Eastern and Balkan countries as well as Greece and India. Wikipedia explains it well.

Pistachio is very expensive here, so I don't think I'll be making pistachio halwa any time soon. ;)

Thanks for the link to Kheer or Payasam. I remember eating it a couple of times in Indian restaurants in M'sia.

You're a very sweet and attentive mum & wife; your children and other half are so blessed to have you. :)

gRaCe said...

Argus dear,
When r u gonna open up a shop to sell all the yummy foods that u can make ah? At 1156am, ur making me usual. heheh

your coconut barfi looks very nice leh..*saliva drooling..*

WokandSpoon said...

Hehe - yeah, 2 blog identies - only sometimes i get confused!

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Spiffy. Nice of you to drop by in the a.m. There's a quaint 'village market' two minutes' walk from my flat on Saturday mornings. My other half says I can rent a stall and sell stuff. But I'm a bit wary -- when one makes things to sell, it could get less fun and more pressurised, ya?

Wok&Spoon, so today you're kitchen implements. Yesterday you were 'loco hued'. :D

gRaCe said...

i normally drop by ur blog in the morning..when i'm not too busy.. yet. Heheh..

Hmm...ur right. Let's change my sentence here abit... when are u gonna invite us to have a makan session? With all the good food that u can make. Yum Yum..! LOL... =)

Argus Lou said...

Spiffy, we must ask Xeus if we can throw a party for her/us in her house, ya? Say, towards the end of August. Then when I flip the roti, u can catch it. ;-P Just don't barf up my barfi, OK?

gRaCe said...

aiyah...tht one u ask la because u are the guest of honour. Heheh.. ;o)

i'm sure ur barfi will very nice and ur brownies, cakes, breads... wahhh..! Hehe..;o)

Argus Lou said...

Hah, Spiffy, Xeus has already said yes, we can have a party at her house. Either end of August or around Sept 12. Can? (The neighbourhood chickens had better hide then.)

gRaCe said...

hm.m..sept 12 MIGHT be a slight problem for IS a workday and i travel daily from Seremban to PJ..but no worries..just let me know the day, and i'll try to make me.

No No..shud be..i will be there. Period. I'll figure out the after party thingy. Hhehe...;o)

Argus Lou said...

Spiff, Sept 9 is OK too - if Xeus and her house are available. No worries.

My old living-room

My old living-room
In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

A cherished dream

A cherished dream
To live on a pale beach by a crystal clear sea. (This was taken on the east coast of Johor state, Malaysia.)