Coconut Barfi is often called Kopra Pak, Narylache Vadi and Khobryache Pak but in my home Vadi was made as a milk free candy with just sugar and coconut. While Vadi had a delicate brittle texture this Barfi is soft and moist.
2 cups finely grated fresh white meat of coconut or use defrosted, unsweetened coconut
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh good quality mava (khoya) crumbled finely
4-5 strands of saffron (kesar) strands crushed and soaked in a tbsp of warm milk
1/2 tsp green cardamom seeds powdered (elaichi or velchi)
1/2 teaspoon corn starch dissolved in a tablespoon of water
To garnish (optional)
a tiny pinch of green cardamom powdered
a tablespoon of powdered almonds
a small pinch of powdered saffron (do not add too much- uncooked saffron can be bitter)
Heat the milk and sugar on a medium flame in a non stick skillet or kadai. When it reaches a boil add the coconut.
Cook over a medium flame for 20 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent burning.
Stir in the cornstarch paste.
Stir in the khoya or mawa and cook another 7-8 minutes stirring continuously. Allow the mixture to thicken.
Add the crushed saffron and milk and cardamom powder. Cook until mixture is thick, sticky and spreadable.
Transfer the coconut mixture onto a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet or a pan approximately 8 by 8 inches wide. Spread it evenly using a spatula.
Allow it to cool for atleast 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down on the coconut and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator cut into 9 squares. You can cut smaller squares and make the squares thicker too if you prefer by using a smaller pan.
Garnish with a little more cardamom powder and almond crumbs. Serve at room temperature.