Kesar Burfi or Peda (Easy Diwali Sweets)


Kesar (Saffron flavored) Pedas or Burfi for Diwali

I love October, as it marks the beginning of the Holiday season! We just finished with Halloween, and now its time to shift gears and get cooking some tasty Indian sweets and snacks as Diwali, one of the biggest Indian festival is just around the corner! What better way to start the festival fervor than by making some delicious sweets! These lovely Kesar Pedas or Burfi is one of the easiest Indian sweet recipes I have ever seen, and will get you into the perfect Diwali mood.

Adapted from Siri’s recipe for Amrit Peda, which was originally published via Tarla Dalal, this is indeed a very simple yet delicious recipe. And it will not take more than 30 minutes, from start to finish, I promise! The recipe uses Khoya, also known as Mawa, which makes it a steal to get the desired consistency in no time. And for those you cannot find Mawa in Indian stores around them, I’ve added the method to quickly make some at home. Quick, simple, beautiful and extremely delicious – what more can you ask of a Diwali dessert?! [Recipe & photo courtesy of Tarla Dalal]


Quick & Easy Kesar Peda or Burfi

1 cup Khoya (also known as Mawa)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
4-5 strands of saffron (dissolved in 1 tbsp warm milk)
1 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
1 tbsp slivered pistachios – for garnish

Note: If you cannot find ready-made Khoya, you can even make it at home. Take 1 cup milk powder in a bowl and slowly add evaporated milk to it until it forms a smooth sticky dough. Form into a lump or a log, then cover with a lid and freeze for at least 30 minutes to make Khoya which can be used to make the Pedas.

Combine the Khoya and powdered sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and cook on a slow flame while stirring continuously till the sugar has dissolved and the moisture has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Keep the flame on medium-low, as high flame will burn the Khoya, and that is not what we want.

When the mixture starts clumping together, remove from the stove and add cardamom powder as well as the saffron mixture (dissolved in warm milk to extract color) and mix everything well together. Allow it to cool completely. Once you can handle it with your hands, grease your palms a little, then take spoon-sized mixture and roll it into a smooth circular ball or Peda. Make a small indentation in the middle of the Peda with your pinkie, and dust it with slivered pistachios

If you want to make Burfi instead, transfer the Khoya mixture while it is still warm (after adding the cardamom and saffron) into a greased dish, about 1/2 inch thick. Level it smoothly on the top using the back of a spoon or a katori. Sprinkle slivered pistachios on the top for garnish and allow the Burfi to set as it cools. Cut into neat squares or diamonds as desired.

This is a very quick easy and tasty dessert to serve your guests this Diwali. The Pedas also make for cute and meaningful Diwali gifts. Just wrap some in a gift box, adorn it with a festive ribbon and send it over to friends and family. However, due to presence of milk products, Khoya-based sweets should be refrigerated and consumed within a week.

Looking for more Diwali inspiration? Check out these 5 Easy Diwali Sweets recipes for more fun while cooking!


  1. Hi Rupa, I normally buy the Nanak brand available here in US. Not sure about Singapore though, sorry!!

  2. Which brand milk powder do you use, I.e in Singapore there are many brands, but all do not give the same texture needed for a semi grainy mava? Thanks

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Mansi! i didnt get khoa in my local desi store, so ended up with the milk powder version. I will try again .

  4. Hi there….I have never tried with homemase Khoya but I think using non fat milk is a bad idea. Use whole milk or store biught khoya as fat is imp to achieve smooth consisteny. Milk powder is def not suggested…that xaused the after taste….also use some ghee on your palms while making the pedas. This helps bind them and give smoother shape. Hope this helps!

  5. Anonymous says:

    HI, Tried these pedas, but maybe I messed up. I made the khoa with the milk powder(non fat dry milk powder), the texture wasnt smooth and there was a medicinal after taste… any suggestions? And the texture also was chewy, cant figure out why?

  6. Prefect and cute looking pedas..

Speak Your Mind