Janmashtami Special: The Traditional Prasad Of Barfi Churmu

Have you tried this traditional Gujarati dessert yet?

Shraddha Varma

Indians across the globe are gearing up to celebrate the festival of Janmashtami. This day marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Like most Indian festivals, Janmashtami too is celebrated with much fervour—devotees observe fasts, sing bhajans, and offer tasty delicacies to Lord Krishna. These dishes offered to the deity are then distributed to the devotees as prasad/naivedya

The state of Gujarat on Janmashtami has a special dessert to please the Lord Krishna, Barfi Churmu. Barfi Churmu is considered as one of the most important Janmashtami offering in different parts of Gujarat including Kathiyawad. We got in touch with Surat-based Instafood blogger Urvi Zanzmera, her blog’s, My Food My Way, sole focus is to showcase Kathiyawadi cuisine to the world. Zanzmera shared with us on the Janmashtami special Barfi Churmu. “This nutritional dessert is traditionally prepared for Shitla Satam and Janmashtami. It is made using wheat flour, sugar, ghee, and water,” she said. “Shitla Satam, a day before Janmashtami, is a day dedicated to Goddess Shitla in the Gujarati calendar. On this day, no fresh food is cooked in the house and all the cooking is done on Randhan Chhath, which is a day prior,” Zanzmera explains.

Here's her recipe to making the perfect barfi churmu at home.


For churmu

1 cup whole wheat flour, coarsely ground
Ghee for deep frying
1/2 cup water (for kneading dough)

For sugar syrup

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water (for sugar syrup)

For garnish

Dry fruits of your choice


In a big bowl, mix whole wheat flour with one tablespoon ghee. Mix the two by rubbing them between your hands, so that ghee is evenly mixed with the flour.
2. Now, add some water and knead them into a stiff dough.
3. Divide the dough into four equal portions and give them a cylindrical shape by pressing it between your fist and fingers. Since the dough is stiff, it will take some time to mould them.
4. Once done, heat ghee on low flame in a kadai and deep fry the dough balls until golden brown. Place them on an oil-absorbing cooking paper.
5. Once they cool down, grind the dough balls into a coarse powder and add ½ tablespoon ghee. Mix well.
6. In the meanwhile, Prepare the sugar syrup for the barfi churmu by boiling sugar and water in a pan on medium-high heat.

7. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly.
8. For barfi churmu, you need a single-strand consistency of the syrup, so stir the mixture until it reaches the required consistency.
9. Add the churmu to the syrup and mix well for about a minute.
10. Spread the churmu on a greased plate while it is hot and garnish it with chopped nuts of your choice.
11. Cut it into square pieces and serve. 

While this is a basic recipe of barfi churmu, if you want to make the dessert richer, add some elaichi powder, nutmeg powder, dessicated coconut, and poppy seeds to the mixture. It will not only lend a more complex flavour profile to the barfi churmu, but also add a variety of textures.

Apart from barfi churmu, dhaniya panjiri, makhan misri, and panchamrit are some other popular desserts made on Janmashtami. Panchamrit is a sweet concoction made of five (panch is five in Sanskrit) ingredients—jaggery, milk, ghee, honey, and yogurt, while makhan misri is sweetened white butter made with milk cream and rock sugar or misri daana. Dhaniya panjiri, on the other hand, is like the barfi churmu powder, but with coriander seed powder, and dry fruits.

Image used for representational purposes only


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