As I was brought up in a land of lot of values and cultures, Diwali was my most favourite event as all my friends used to celebrate this festival of lights.
I was a catholic and I was introduced to this festival by my friends in Mumbai — Jyoti, Raj and Sid.
Joyti’s dad had a sweet shop and on my last trip to India, I learned how to perfect this beautiful recipe with him.
The most beloved sweet by all during the festive season; lots of memories with my friends having this beautiful treat back in Mumbai.
I try to celebrate this festival for all the beautiful memories with my friends. So, I thought I would share a recipe close to my heart.
It’s easily available in the market, but there is more joy in making it your own.
Perfect Kaju Katli, or Kaju Barfi, is a traditional Indian cashew fudge candy that’s terrifically smooth, thin, and melts in your mouth.
This lovely treat includes a hint of rose, but is completely customizable, which means this foolproof recipe will be a dessert for yourself and a sweet gift for family and friends.
The dish is prepared with cashew nuts soaked in water for a considerable period of time (usually overnight), which are then ground to a paste.
Sugar solution is boiled down until a single thread forms when two fingers are dipped into it and pulled apart, after which it is added to the ground cashews.
That being said, you can use any nuts of your choice.
The following recipe is meant to serve two pounds of Kaju Katli:
- 500 g of cashewnuts
- 400 g of sugar
- 200 ml of water
- One (1) teaspoon of liquid glucose
- A pinch of cardamom essence
Powder cashew nuts in a mixer to make a fine powder or paste.
Strain the kaju and any thick pieces, then grind again to get a smooth texture.
Separately mix together sugar water, glucose and make a thick syrup of one string consistency.
Turn the heat to low and powdered cashew nut to it and cook for one (1) minute. Remove from heat.
Wearing heat resistance gloves to knead it to a ball.
Now, roll it on some edible gold or silver paper.
Finally, let it cool down completely, then, while using a rolling pin, roll it out as thick as you want and cut it into diamond shape before serving.
Things to watch out for
A lot of times, there are small pieces of skin in cashew nuts. Remove them and then use it.
Kaju should also be powdered thoroughly.
While cooking, kaju should not stick to the bottom of the pan as this will darken the colour.
To check if the mixture is ready, take a very little quantity in your fingers and roll it into a ball.
Or, just add the ball in water and see it doesn't lose its shape.
If it takes the shape of a ball without sticking to the fingers, then it's ready. If not, cook a bit more.
Glucose plays a big role to give it a perfect texture.
Ashney Rebello of Coquitlam is a homemaker, recipe developer and freelance writer for food magazines. She's currently writing her own cookbook — Ashney's Kitchen Stories.