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Jul 24, 2007 11:44 AM

Afghan Dessert: Burfi? Burfee?

Hello. I moved last year from Baltimore to LA. Back east we had a killer Afghan restaurant called the Helmand. Many years ago they made a dessert that I would love to find in LA, called burfi, or burfee perhaps. Not sure of the spelling. It was a ricotta cheese-like paste that had cardamom, pistachio, maybe rosewater - came served in a bowl. It was blissful. Has anyone heard of this? Are there any good Afghani restaurants around town? I am in Venice but will travel far and wide. Thanks!

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  1. There's only one Afghan restaurant in town, Azeen's. I've never been, but have heard decent reports. I don't see this dish on their menu, though.

    1. Burfi is also an Indian dessert, available in squares of various flavors -- pistachio, almond, etc., available at all the India's Sweets and Spices type markets. But it's not served in a bowl, it's more like fudge -- I don't know if the Afghani version is different.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Chowpatty

        I've had both. The version at The Helmand in Baltimore is slightly different from the Indian version. Compared to what I have eaten in Artesia, the Afghan version is less firm and not as sweet. Both are good, but I prefer the Afghan version, but that may be because I ate it at The Helmand. (How wonderful is that restaurant, by the way? The other brother has a location in SF. Quite the family -- on brother has a restaurant in SF, one brother has a restaurant in Baltimore, and the other brother is president of Afghanistan.)

        1. re: Chowpatty

          Believe it or not, I posted my thoughts below without reading Chowpatty's post first. :)

          1. re: Chowpatty

            Wow - I didn't know about the brother in SF - could you post his restaurant's info? Helmand in Baltimore is terrific - I cannot get enough of it. And yes, impressive family! I've had the Indian version which is really nothing like the Afghan. I will have to ask Azeen's about making it...Thanks!

            1. re: lovepoutine

              Helmand Restaurant
              430 Broadway
              San Francisco, CA 94133
              (415) 362-0641

          2. I've had an Indian dessert called barfi in LA before, but I've never tried the Afghani burfi. The Indian kind is a small square in different colors (green for pistachio, white for almond, etc.), and it is available at India Sweets and Spices in LA. I thought the taste was okay but not great, and I think there are other places that probably have better. For the Indian variety, I'd go to Artesia. There are many Indian groceries, markets and shops in that area. :)

            India Sweets & Spices
            3126 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

            1. If it was soft it wasn't burfi it was Sheer pera. Google that. You will find recipe.