kaju katli or kaju barfi or cashew fudge is a most sought after indian sweet at home. whenever we get a big box of kaju katli at home, they just get over in a couple of days.
if you stay in north india then during diwali festival you might receive a box of kaju katli or dry fruits as a gift. kaju katli is one of the most popular sweets which is gifted to relatives and friends during the diwali festival in north india.
i will not say making kaju katli at home is easy. honestly speaking it is not. if you are making for the first time, then just forgive yourself if the kaju katli does not come out well. i tried different methods of making kaju katli at home. all the recipes & methods were disasters. twice i ended up making something else from the cashew mixture… and once i had to throw away the whole mixture… something which i hate doing. i could not save the cashew fudge in any way
from these disasters i learnt a few things that contribute to get a perfect kaju katli – the consistency of the powdered cashews, the consistency of the sugar syrup & cashew dough and why kneading the cashew dough is important.
this step by a step post is a sincere attempt to share the method to get the perfect kaju katli at home. since i actually struggled with this indian sweet many times while making the other indian sweets were a cake walk.
these kaju katli are the way they are actually meant to be – thin, smooth, melt in the mouth slices of cashew goodness. i have mentioned the tips and pointers in the step by step recipe details.
i have also added fresh organic rose from my balcony garden in the kaju katli. this is totally optional and you can just skip it. if you prefer you can even add rose water or saffron. otherwise there are no flavorings added in the kaju katli. its just cashews and sugar. varak or silver foil is also placed on the kaju katli. since i don’t use varak, i have skipped it completely.
lets start step by step kaju katli or kaju barfi recipe:
1: take the cashews in a dry grinder or coffee grinder and grind to a smooth powder. i usually keep cashews at room temperature. hence the cashews are dry. avoid using refrigerated cashews. also make sure you don’t over do the grinding process as oil should not release from the cashews. i ran the mixer at a stretch first and then scraped the sides and ran again at intervals for a couple of times.
the cashews should be in powder form and not become pasty. if there are tiny pieces in the cashew powder, then just let it be….. or you can also sieve the cashew powder and keep aside. use a medium fine sieve and not a fine one to sieve the powdered cashews.
2: take sugar and water in a thick bottomed pan or kadai or a non stick pan.
3: keep on low flame and let the sugar dissolve in the water.
4: when the sugar completely dissolves in the water, add the cashew powder.
5: stir and keep on stirring and stirring on a low flame. if there are lumps then break the lumps as you stir and continue to stir.
6: the mixture would start thickening and almost come together. when it starts coming together in one form and starts looking like a very very soft dough… its time to remove the whole lump of the mixture from the pan and place it on a work surface. this process of getting the cashew dough took me exact 8 minutes on a low flame. depending on your temperature, pan etc you can use a time span of 7 to 9 minutes after adding the cashew powder. another way of checking is taking a small piece of the dough and form into a ball. the ball should not stick to your fingers and be smooth. don’t even bother to scrape the edges. they are chewy.
7: put the entire cashew dough on the work surface. add rose petals and ghee or oil. the dough would be very hot… so when the heat is enough to handle begin to knead the dough.
8: knead the dough lightly. don’t over do as this will release oil from the cashews. the grainy texture in the cashew dough goes away as you knead it. remember the dough should be hot while kneading. you can also apply some oil or ghee on your palms instead of adding ghee/oil separately. in case the dough is soft, then add a teaspoon of some milk powder. if the dough looks dry or dense, add a teaspoon of milk to soften it.
9: flatten the dough and place it on a greased plate or tray. you can also place it on a large butter paper. the cashew dough should still be hot or warm when you start rolling it. as it cools it will harden more and becomes difficult to roll.
10: gently roll with a rolling pin to make it slightly even. there will be fine cracks on the dough.
11: to smoothen the cracks, place butter paper on top and roll more. this will smoothen the cracks and the kaju katlis will have a smooth appearance. the cashew dough can also be rolled between two butter papers.
12: roll to get a thickness of about 3 to 5 mm. let the rolled cashew dough cool.
13: once cooled completely, cut the cashew dough into squares or diamond shapes. scrape off the uneven edges and you can have them
14: using a butter knife gently remove the kaju katli pieces from the bottom, taking care that they do not break.
14: remove and arrange kaju katli on a plate. serve kaju katli immediately or store them in air tight container.
let me tell you, kaju katli will get over very soon you can make them for any festive occasion. another variation of this kaju katli which you should try after mastering this recipe is kaju anjeer rolls (cashew fig rolls). they are also equally popular as cashew barfi.
kaju katli or kaju barfi recipe below:
- 1 cup cashews
- ½ cup sugar or as required
- 5 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil (optional)
- 1 tsp chopped rose petals (optional) or rose water or 8-9 strands of saffron
- powder the cashew in a coffee grinder or a dry grinder.
- the cashews should be in powdered form and not become pasty or oily.
- on a low flame heat sugar and water in a thick bottomed or non stick pan or kadai.
- meanwhile grease a plate or a tray and keep aside or keep butter papers ready.
- when all the sugar dissolved in the water, add the cashew powder.
- stir and keep on stirring the cashew mixture on a low flame.
- the cashew mixture would start thickening.
- cook the cashew mixture for approx 7-9 minutes till the whole mixture starts to come together.
- remove the whole lump of the mixture from the pan and place it on work surface, bowl or plate.
- add the rose petals and ghee or oil to the cashew mixture.
- when the heat in the mixture is hot enough to handle, then knead the cashew mixture.
- flatten the dough and place it on a butter paper or on a greased plate/thali or tray.
- place a butter paper on top and then using a rolling pin, roll gently the dough from all sides till you reach a thickness of 3-5 mm in the dough.
- remove the butter paper and let the rolled cashew dough cool.
- when completely cooled, using a sharp knife cut the cashew dough giving square or diamond shapes.
- gently remove the kaju katli with a butter knife.
- serve the kaju katli straight away or keep in an air tight container.
2: if using rose water, then add it to the sugar and water solution.