Foamy Coconut Fudge (Narial Barfi)

Use only freshly-grated coconut. For a combination flavor, add 2 tablespoons roasted unsalted chopped cashew nuts with the coconut.


  • 3 cups freshly-grated coconut
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee or light vegetable oil


  1. Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Add grated coconut, and fry it, stirring constantly, until it looks dry and flaky but is still snow-white — 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer the coconut to a bowl.
  4. Combine sugar, cream of tartar if you are using it, and cold water in the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring. Let the syrup continue to boil over medium heat, uncovered, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the syrup is thickened and looks frothy and full of bubbles.
  5. Add coconut and ground cardamom, and cook for 2 to 5 minutes, stirring rapidly and vigorously.
  6. Stir in the ghee or vegetable oil, and continue cooking until the mixture begins to foam and stick to the bottom of the pan — about 1 minute. Do not stop stirring the fudge during this last critical minute for any reason whatsoever, or you may end up with crystals of candy instead of flaky-textured fudge.
  7. Immediately pour the mixture into a greased 9-inch square pan or onto a square of greased paper, and working deftly and quickly, spread the fudge to form an even layer, patting it gently with a flat spatula. Do not pack too much or the fudge will become dense. The fudge should be light and foamy, filled with air pockets.
  8. Let it cool for 5 minutes, then cut it into 1 1/2-inch square pieces.

This fudge keeps well for several months if stored in tightly sealed containers.