Beginner's Fiji Barfi - Shireen Datt

Shireen Datt

The recipe I would like to share is Beginner’s Fiji Barfi –

I have tried many barfi recipes and still get it wrong. Each time I learn something new. I have finally combined a few recipes with trial and error to this current beginner’s barfi. With everything going wrong in 2020 it’s nice to have a win and make my first batch of barfi that has worked!

I started stirring the pot in the kitchen for my Mum from a young age and am so glad we cooked together every afternoon. My love for cooking is from the time we had together and the things I learnt from her.

Trial and error from online recipes – Simply Blessed Living, Sneh’s recipes and Facebook recipes!

How many times I have failed lol. My cousin Anju makes the best barfi and I look up to her. She makes trays of barfi for family events including my wedding and I wish one day I could cook like her! 

To have my own business in cooking/baking as my primary career – to cook and bake each day for people (besides my husband and parents) would make me so happy! 


My parents have been in Sydney since the 70’s and I was born in Sydney. My grandparents were born in Fiji, however their parents came to Fiji during Girmit. Despite being born in Sydney I am so glad my parents encouraged my brother and I to learn Hindi and embrace our Indian culture. I love having a mix of Aussie and Indian culture.

No but would love to know more! I know uncles and some cousins have.

No children but my husband loves my Fijian Indian cooking and my mum is impressed with the dishes I cook (even the one I didn’t like as a child such as khichdi!).

I cannot wait to pass on what I learnt from my mum to my future children. For now, I will continue to learn and try new recipes. And as I learnt from my barfi experiences it’s important to keep trying. The feeling of success over this one dish has me over the moon!

Beginner’s Fiji Barfi
Barfi mix 
  • 1 kg powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup ghee for barfi mix and additional ghee to grease tray/baking paper
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 2 -3 teaspoons elaichi
  • 1 4 cups brown raw sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Chopped almonds or hundreds and thousands
  1. Put the syrup ingredients into a deep pot and start to heat in high.
  2. Whilst the syrup is heating up, combine the bardi mix ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Once the wet ingredients have incorporated with the dry ingredients, set aside the wooden spoon and use a rubbing motion with your fingers or palms to rub the barfi mix continually.
  3. When the syrup starts boiling lower the heat. Continue rubbing your barfi mix so it starts to resemble sand.
  4. The syrup mixture needs to get to at least 110 degrees celcius. I use a cooking thermometer to check on the syrup’s temperature. The traditional Fiji-Indian way is to get some syrup on your pointing finger and thumb to see if you can get a 1 thread consistency. I’m still mastering this simple task!
  5. Add half the syrup to the barfi mix when it is 110 degrees celcius. Start to mix with your wooden spoon. And another quarter and watch the mixture combination carefully. This is where I have gotten Barfi wrong in the past. If your mixture is very dry and separated add more syrup otherwise stop adding syrup when it has a dough consistency with a slight stickiness.
  6. Pat the mixture into a tray that is lined with ghee greased baking paper and use the bottom of a pyala to help smooth out the top of the barfi.
  7. Set in the fridge, cut into little sweet squares & enjoy!!