Mamta's Kitchen - A Family Cookbook

Makhana (Gorgon Nut or Fox Nut) Burfi

Makhane ki Barfi

Yashoda Gupta

Dessert Easy Free From Garlic Free From Ginger Free From Onion Free From Tomato Indian Snack Sweet Vegetarian

This is my mum's recipe. It is one of the old fashioned sweets that both my maternal and paternal grandmothers used to make frequently. It is less fashionable now, but no less delicious!

Makhanas or Gorgon Nut or Fox Nut (Euryale ferox), are the seeds of a plant from lilly family, which has purple flowers not dissimilar to lotus flower. This is why they are sometimes confused with and described as puffed lotus seed, which they are not. The plants are cultivated in ponds all over northern India, especially in Bihar.

The Makhanas that we use as food are the puffed kernels of the seed pod.


  • 250 gm. whole wheat chapatti flour (atta)
  • 250 gm. Sugar
  • 125 gm. water
  • 50 gm. makhana
  • 50 gm. charmagaz (a mix of four types of seeds; white melon, water melon, pumpkin & cucumber)
  • 50 gm. almonds
  • 2 heaped tbsp. desiccated coconut
  • 200 gm. ghee
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder (optional)
  • A flat metal or other heat-proof tray, lightly greased


  1. Soak almonds in a bowl of hot water and leave for a few hours. Peel skins off and chop. Keep aside.
  2. Microwave makhana (or dry fry in a wok) on full for 1+1 minutes, stirring in between. They should now be crisp. May take longer in less powerful microwave.
  3. Remove any black skins that may be left on makhana. Cool and grind coarsely, so that there are small bits left and it is not too powdery. Keep aside.
  4. Microwave (or dry-fry in a wok) charmagaz seeds and almonds together, for 1+1 minutes. Keep aside.
  5. Dry roast/fry coconut in a wok, until light pink in colour or aroma of coconut oil rises. Keep aside.
  6. Heat ghee in a wok and stir-fry flour until pinkish in colour and aroma of roast flour rises. Keep aside.
  7. Place sugar and water in a large wok or pan and bring to boil. Continue boiling until you have a syrup of 2 wire consistency.
  8. Add all other ingredients to the syrup, mix vigorously and pour quickly on the tray, before it begins to set.
  9. Flatten with a wetted potato masher or any other flat kitchen implement.
  10. Score deeply into diamond shapes or squares, using a sharp knife.
  11. When cool, separate and store.
This recipe was originally created Apr 7, 2006 and last updated Jun 13, 2024

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