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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rose Cashewnut Fig Almond Barfi - Rose Kaju Anjeer Badam barfi

This year I have challenged myself to make some complex sweets which I had usually bought in the past. I have realized that the taste of homemade sweets is so good and I have so much control over the quality of the ingredients that we enjoy it more than the store bought version. This is another decadent sweet. The outer covering is made using cashews and sugar and the process is similar to that of Kaju Katli, which is a Cashew sweet and once you cut into it, you see the inside filling of figs and almonds. This is also a labor and time intensive recipe and you need to keep a close eye on the ingredients but oh so delicious!

Hope you like the recipe and give it a try. If you do, leave me a comment.

1 cup raw cashewnuts
red food coloring
rose essence or rose water
12-14 dried figs
1 tsp ghee
1/4 cup of mava/khoa
1/8 cup of sliced almonds
powdered sugar (measurement in the recipe for cashew covering)

3-4 tbsp powdered sugar for fig mixture (it depends on how sweet the fig paste turns out to be)

Soak the cashews with enough water to cover them completely. Soak the cashews for at least 4-5 hours, overnight would be best. Then drain the water and remove any peels that may have been on the nuts and then rinse them out. Process the cashews to make a fine paste. Add just a little water when you make the paste, just enough to let your grinder function properly. Then, measure an equal quantity of powdered sugar. Mix the cashew paste and sugar and start heating it in a open pan.

Keep stirring the mixture and let it cook. Keep the temperature at a very low level while cooking to avoid any browning. Make sure to keep stirring the two mixtures so that they don'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. Make sure that the ball is not at all sticky. If it sticks to your fingers even a little, cook it a little longer.

Soak the dry figs for about 15-30 mins and then heat them on the stove top for a few mins till they soften. Then process this through the grinder and make a paste. In a pan, heat the ghee and add the mava. Heat it till it softens and you get the smell of roasting it. Then add the fig paste, sugar and stir well. Cook this mixture till it starts to thicken and then add the sliced almonds. Cook this till it cooks down and becomes pliable like a dough. Remove a small quantity and let it cool down till you can touch it and then try rolling it. If it is not sticky and can be easily rolled into a ball then the mixture is at the right consistency.

Let the mixtures cool to a temperature where you can handle it. Add a couple of drops of red food coloring to the cashew mixture and a couple of drops of rose essence. Knead this into the cashew dough till it is evenly mixed and you have a nice pink color and the dough is a smooth ball.

Then take a fistfull of fig mixture and roll it into a ball. Make a bigger ball of the cashew mixture and then using your fingers make a depression in it and then roll this cashew ball around the fig ball. Cover the fig ball completely with the cashew and then roll this to get a smooth finish. Then flatten it into a thick disk. Slice this into sectors by cutting the disc into eighths along the diameter of the disc. You can make about 4-12 slices based on how big you make the disc.

Garnish with silver foil if available. You can do this before cutting the disc.

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

If you add a lot of water when you grind the paste, then the sugar proportion will be off. Also, since you need to cook it down to a dough consistency, it will take much longer to cook it. The nut paste must be very fine and there shouldn't be any grainy texture. If you are in doubt, use 1 cup of powdered sugar for 1 cup of nuts and if it is granulated, use 3/4 cup of sugar. Granulated sugar will take much longer to melt, and if you process it in the grinder, you can turn it into powdered sugar and use that.

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. 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 and also when handling the fig mixture to keep it from sticking to your hands.


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