After the garlic murukku that covered the savory part, we move on to the dessert part. “Kaju” means cashew in hindi and this dessert is all about cashew. The natural taste of cashews combined with sugar takes this dessert to a whole new level and one cannot stop with a single piece. I had kept postponing this dessert for a while because it is hard to click and work quickly at the same time since missing the consistency of the syrup or the dough means we are going to end up with something far away from the original.
Finally, the D day came and I was all set to make it and surprisingly I had only half a cup of cashews. Nothing was going to stop me and I went ahead and it all turned out perfect except that I had pieces that were so thin not to mention the pathetic shapes I ended up with. I still took pictures since I had no more cashews and the store was a long 3 hours drive. But, for some reason I could not get myself to post those pictures since we are talking “Kaju Katli” here and the rich sweet needed to be perfect. Luckily my friend was visiting the big city and she picked up 2 pounds of cashews for me.
Sadly, my second attempt was a disaster and I ended up with a perfectly edible, but crumbly kaju katli. The good part about the failed attempt was that I learnt a lot on the various things that could go wrong in the recipe. I have shared them in the pictorial. I made my third batch immediately and watched it more closely and ended up with the pieces of my dreams . My daughter has been unstoppable since then and all she talks about is “cashew sweet”. She has also been mad at me since I was giving her small pieces whereas K got big pieces. My son has been pretty calm and stopped with a couple of pieces and I have been nibbling every time I passed the box of sweets and I normally stay away from sweets. There is something about that cashew .. somebody stop me . Enough of my long rambling, off to the recipe.
A tasty Diwali dessert made using cashews and sugar.
- cashews - 1 cup - raw cashews (whole or broken)
- sugar - 1/2 cup
- water - 5 tbsp
- ghee - as needed to grease
Homemade ghee can be made following this link
1. Take the raw cashews in a blender or coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Pulse in intervals and make sure you stop when you get a powder. It will be slightly coarse.
2. Take water and sugar in a pan and keep the heat on medium. The sugar dissolves and then starts boiling.
3. First the sugar syrup will be sticky when you touch. Start testing the syrup consistency by pouring a few drops in a plate with water.
4. Needed consistency. When you push the drops around, it will form thick strands in the water that do not dissolve immediately. See attached pictures.
5. Add the powdered cashew at this point. Keep stirring and you will see the mix coming together.
6. Wet your fingers and pinch a small portion of the mixture and see if you can form a ball.
7. If so, turn the stove off. If the dough is not runny and you can gather it with your ladle, transfer the dough to a plate greased with ghee. If the mixture is still watery, stir in the pan for a minute or so. Then transfer it. The dough will look course. Grease your hands and knead the dough and you can see it turn soft.
8. Roll between wax papers and slice into diamonds.
9. Kaju Katli ready to serve.
1. Syrup consistency : When you push the drops of syrup that is in water, it will form thick strands that do not dissolve immediately.
2. Dough consistency : When you can pinch a small portion and form a ball, dough is ready.
3. Work fast while the dough is warm. It will start hardening on cooling.
4. Greasing the plate and rolling pin is important. The dough will stick otherwise. You can also roll between wax paper.
5. Do not scrape the bits from the pan and add to dough. Those bits are probably already hard. Eat them from the pan .
Last Year : Oven roasted tomato soup
1. I roasted the cashews for a minute in the microwave since I store cashews in the fridge.
2. If using whole cashews, break them into pieces and take in a coffee grinder or blender.3. Blend to a powder. Do not run the blender continuously since the cashew will start releasing oil. Pulse a few times and shake the blender to release the bits sticking on the sides. Repeat until you get a coarse powder.4. I got close to 1.5 cups of powder with 1 cup of whole cashews.5. The next part is the sugar syrup. Take water and sugar in a pan.6. Keep the heat on medium. The sugar has dissolved.7. Next it comes to a boil. The syrup will be sticky when you touch. After this keep checking the syrup consistency by pouring a few drops in a plate with water.8. Pour a few drops of the syrup in the plate. When you push it with your fingers, you will find it forming strands that do not dissolve immediately. This is when we will add the powder. This takes practice sometimes, so do not be worried if you do not get it right the first time. 9. Add the cashew powder to the sugar syrup. Remember to keep the heat at medium.10. Keep stirring and you will see it come together. 11. Wet your fingers with water and pinch a small piece from the mixture and check if you can form a ball. If you can form a ball, turn the heat off.12. If the mixture looks like a dough, transfer immediately to a plate greased with ghee. If the mixture appears to be watery, keep stirring in the hot pan for a minute or so and transfer to a greased plate. Note that the mixture will still be sticky, we just do not want a runny mixture. As long as you can gather it together with the ladle, we are good. Do not scrape the bits on the pan and add to the dough. Those bits would have probably hardened and will not give a smooth dough. Do not discard those bits, please gobble them or have your little ones nearby and they will do it for you.13. It looked coarse and I was alarmed the first time I made it. But the kneading did the magic. Grease your hands with ghee and knead for a few minutes. The mixture will be hot/warm, but the ghee should help. Work fast because the mixture will harden as it gets colder. 14. Now we get a soft dough. I was happy .15. You can either grease the rolling pin and roll the dough or place the dough between greased wax papers and roll it. I greased even the wax paper as I did not want to take any chances after all this work . Cut into shapes you desire. I needed a tutorial on slicing into diamonds as I ended up with pathetic pieces the first time I made the sweet.16. Phew, I had some pretty pieces for the picture. Store the remaining pieces if any, in airtight containers.Woo hooo .. time to celebrate the effort. No need to wait, start munching right away. In fact, I was munching right from the time I checked the dough for consistency.
Linking to Diwali Bash.