Place 1 cup cashews (kaju) in a dry grinder or coffee grinder or blender. I usually keep cashews at room temperature. Hence the cashews are dry. Avoid using refrigerated cashews as they will release moisture once ground and turn more into a cashew paste.
Grind the kaju to a smooth powder, making sure you don’t over do the grinding process as fat 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.
Combine ½ cup sugar and 5 tablespoons water in a thick bottomed pan (or kadai or a non-stick pan).
Keep on low flame and let the sugar dissolve in the water. There is no consistency in the sugar syrup like one string or two string. Simply let the sugar dissolve in the water and then proceed with the next step.
Stir and keep on stirring non-stop on a low flame. If there are lumps then break the lumps as you stir and continue to stir. This consistent stirring is the key for a smooth and even kaju katli dough.
The mixture will thicken and start coming together to form a very soft dough. Then it is time to remove the whole lump of the mixture from the pan and place it on a work surface.
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.
Put the entire cashew dough on a work surface. Add 1 teaspoon rose petals (or 1 teaspoon rose water or 8 to 9 strands of saffron) and 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil.
Knead the dough lightly, flatten it and place it on a greased plate or tray. Don’t overdo kneading as this will release fat from the cashews. The grainy texture in the dough goes away as you knead it.
You can also place it on a large piece of parchment or butter paper. The cashew dough should still be quite warm when you start rolling it.
To smoothen the cracks, place parchment paper on top and roll more. This will fill in the cracks and the kaju katli will have a smooth finish.
Once cooled completely, cut the cashew dough into squares or diamond shapes. Scrape off the uneven edges and enjoy as a little snack as you work.
I recommend that you use a butter knife to gently remove the kaju barfi pieces from the bottom of the tray or paper, taking care that they do not break.
Enjoy right away!