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Friday, October 28, 2011

Kaju Katli - Kaju Barfi - Cashewnut Marzipan

This is possibly the best known sweet or "mithai" in India. Most people from all corners of India know of this sweet and might have eaten it as well. Whenever, someone visits from India, they will invariably get a request for this wonderful delicacy. This is also one of the most expensive sweets. It is garnished with silver foil, which is reserved to garnish the best sweets. This sweet can be stored for a long duration as well. It is one of the sweets that can easily be found in Indian stores outside India as well. Now, generally most recipes call for a syrup to be made, which is a lenghty process. But do read on, because the best part about this particular recipe version is that it is the easiest method to make this sweet. Of course, it's one of my Mom's recipes. The method is so easy, that if you use this, this will be the easiest mithai you can make. Whip it  up for a special occasion, and you are sure to impress the fussiest guest.

raw cashewnuts
powdered sugar
(see the method below for the proportions)

Start with the amount of cashews that you want to use. I would suggest using about 2 cups of cashews, if you plan to make it in a small quantity. Soak these in water for at least 4-5 hours, overnight would be best. Then drain the water and process the cashews to make a fine paste of the cashews. Measure the cashew paste. Then, measure an equal quantity of powdered sugar. Mix the two together and then start heating this mixture. Stir it and let it cook. Keep the temperature at a very low level while cooking to avoid any browning. Make sure to keep stirring the mixture so that it doesn't stick to the base of the pan and brown. As the mixture starts thickening, it will get more difficult to stir it around as it gets heavy and sticky. However, it is crucial that at this stage you stir it and do not let it stick to the base and brown. At this stage, test the consistency of the mixture. Take a small drop (it will be hot so be careful) and roll it between your fingers. If you can mould it into a ball (it will be like molten wax) and it retains its shape, then you can take it off the heat.

Let the mixture cool to a temperature where you can handle it. At this stage, knead the mixture into a ball like a dough ball. Then roll it out into a sheet which is about  half a centimeter in thickness. Then cut the dough into diamond shaped pieces (about 1.5 inches across). Keep these on a greased sheet (grease it with ghee/clarified butter). Kaju katli is ready when the diamond pieces have cooled down completely. Garnish with silver foil if available.

You can store it in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. It lasts in the refrigerator for upto a month.

The cashew paste must be very fine and there shouldn't be any grainy texture. Measure the sugar after you process the cashews. Both must be of equal measure. Use a large pan so that the evaporation rate is faster and that will make the cooking process faster. Use a non stick pan so that the mixture will not stick while cooking. The color should not change. It will be a grey, beige color mixture. Also, as the sugar melts, the mixture will start getting sticky and as the the cooking process comes closer to completion, it will get more difficult to stir it around. If you are cooking a large quantity, then it is advisable to take turns with someone else to stir it. Grease your hands with some ghee/clarified butter before you knead the cashew mixture to keep it from sticking to your hands.

I used a pound of cashews and that resulted in a very large quantity of kaju katli (over a 100 pieces).

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Do you have a recipe for making a combined burfi of kaju and pistachio. Like one layer is of Kaju and the other of pistachio. Thanks!