Chocolate Burfi – Indian Holiday Treat

For me the holiday season always begins with the Hindu holiday Diwali.  It is a three-day festival that is based on the lunar calendar and falls sometime during the end of October and beginning of November each year.  I love this holiday because there is so much family tradition in it.  And I also love what it represents.  Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs and some Buddhists symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair.


Each year for Diwali we would clean out the house, draw mandalas on our doorsteps, and decorate the house to the hilt, and we would light the house up with candles everywhere.  Mom would buy us brand new beautiful clothes in vibrant color, with stunning embellishments, in flowing fabrics.  Then we would cook.  There was lots of cooking.  Curries, rice, and breads.  But the most important part of the festival for us kids was the mithais.  We would always have a big party for Diwali, and every guest would bring home-made mithais.  It was heaven.


As I got older, I started surprising my Mom by bringing home some mithais I had made.  Some were good, some really weren’t, but all were well appreciated by Mom.  Over time I created my own special mithai that only I make.  It is my Chocolate Burfi.  It’s not really traditional, because Indians don’t usually use chocolate in their sweets. But I’m a mix of Indian culture and American culture, so I thought my signature mithai should be too.  I love it, and so do all of our friends.  In honor of the holidays, I thought I’d share it with you too.  Maybe you’d like to try something new this year.  I’d love to hear what you think.


With love,


Burfi is the traditional treat for the holidays in India.  This is the burfi for chocolate lovers.  It’s not traditional, but it’s amazingly yummy.

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Total time: 35 min
  • Servings: 15 small pieces
  • Difficulty: Easy

What you need:

1 can condensed milk

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk powder

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2-3 drops vanilla extract (optional)

A pinch of salt (optional)

Putting it together:

  • Grease a 9 inch by 9 inch pan.
  • Heat a non-stick pan and add the butter. Turn the heat to very low (simmer) and melt the butter completely.
  • Add the condensed milk, milk powder, and cocoa powder.
  • Keeping the heat low, mix the ingredients gently together until they are blended and the mixture starts to turn smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and salt. Keep mixing.  Do not stop mixing during this whole process.  You don’t want the bottom to burn.
  • Keep mixing patiently until the mixture gets gloopy and leaves the sides of the pan, circling your ladle.
  • Now cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the mixture is super thick and traps your ladle and doesn’t let you stir anymore, transfer it to a greased pan.
  • Pat it down with a spatula and stick some whole cashew nuts on top.
  • Let it cool completely and then refrigerate for an hour.
  • Cut into bite size squares, with one cashew on top of each square.